Reader reviews and comments on The Book Thief, plus links to write your own review.

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The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak

The Book Thief
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2006,
    560 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2007,
    576 pages.

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There are currently 74 reader reviews for The Book Thief
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Rhonda (09/20/07)

The Book Thief
What a very different approach to a well covered subject. From the moment you figure out who the narrator is, this book despite being over 500 pages long, holds your attention. The characters are rich and complex and book clubs would enjoy delving into all their personalities and conflicts. It centers around the rise of Hitler in a small part of Germany and how this affects the lives of the people who live there. Markus Zusak has a very different style of writing that I enjoyed and would recommend to everyone. You will smile and cry and carry it with you when you are done.
Lisa (09/20/07)

The Book Thief
Exceptional, captivating, heartwarming... so many words to describe how excellent I found The Book Thief. One need Liesel's "words" to describe the many emotions provoked by this wonderful story. The characterizations are outstanding. Each character has their own special quality to regard. I highly recommend The Book Thief. And have already done so!
Ann (09/20/07)

Words for ALL ages
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It is definitely not just for young people and I shall remember the characters for a long time.

The magic relationships that we see grow & deepen between Liesel & her foster parents, dear Rudy, and Max & Ilsa, the Mayor's wife, point to the importance of words & their power. At the beginning we find Liesel begging her foster father to teach her the words so that she can read. Which he lovingly does. At the close of The Book Thief, we learn we are reading her book. It is her story and we are privileged to read it.

The Book Thief challenges our humanity & inhumanity. This is a must read for book clubs!
Joe (09/20/07)

A True Gem
I have read the book twice and enjoyed it even more the second time. I was originally a little concerned as to how I would feel about Death as the narrator but found him to be a compassionate,likable character. Instead of spoiling the story, his telling of events in advance seemed to soften the impact, resulting in a thoughtful, powerful and sweet story rather than a thriller. I continue to recommend this book to everyone I know.
Nancy (09/20/07)

Sad, Sad, Wonderful Book
It’s hard to believe this book was written for young adults. Everyone should read it.
It’s not just the plot that will draw you into this book. It’s the way it’s written that will hold you just as enthralled. Narrated by Death, colors are used to describe the surroundings as souls are taken up. Within the beautiful words is an ugly world of Nazi Germany during World War 2.

The main character, Leisel, goes through more tragedy in her young life (not short life, for she lives longer than almost every other character in the book) than we can imagine. The theme of the book, while touching on the fate of German Jews, is centered around poor non-Jewish Germans of that awful time. Leisel’s most precious possessions are books she first finds, then begins stealing. She uses them to comfort her neighbors while they are hiding in a basement during the air raids.
Lisa (09/20/07)

Not what I expected
Although it took me a while to get into the rhythm of the book I liked the way it was structured and found myself drawn into the many relationships between the people who lived on and visited Himmel Street. Once you get past the fact that Death is the narrator and realize it is a book of faith not abandonment, the book comes alive. I found myself liking Mama and Papa although I expected them to be the evil foster parents depicted much of the time in literature. I half expected to find out that there was a pre-war connection between Liesel and Max or that Liesel was secretly Jewish. Having been to Munich and Dachau I was very aware of how close the camp was to its actual neighbors thus I could envision Liesel and Rudy watching the Jews being marched to the camp. I would not consider this Young Adult literature and am surprised it has been classified as such. When Max began his first book hidden in the basement I likened it to the diaries written on scraps of paper inside the camps which have become such an integral part of Holocaust history. This is a book with a unique premise that keeps the reader's attention about a time in history we can never forget.
Mary (09/20/07)

Great Book!
What a wonderful read! Once I got started I could not put it down. "Death" as the narrator was an interesting concept and it worked very well. There were many beautiful and powerful passages in the book. I started to underline them , but then realized I'd be underling a lot of the book! Liesel and the other characters stayed with me long after I finished the book. I would recommend this book for young and old alike.
Kathy (09/20/07)

Book Thief Steals More Than Books!
The Book Thief tiptoes into your life as you read the first few chapters of the book and gently steals your attention (it is difficult to put down). The language the author uses paints a haunting picture of life in Germany during Hitler's reign and makes the characters human and endearing. It reminds me that there are two sides to every war and innocent people are drastically effected by it. The story is moving and told from the perspective of the angel of death giving human emotions and feelings to tough subjects. While the book was written for teens it is a book adults will find enjoyable. A tender story that will grab any reader, loaded with elements for literary analysis and discussion.
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