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
  • Critics' Opinion:

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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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Karen (09/20/07)

A Great Book for Book Clubs!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and didn't want it to end. Mr Zusak's style of prose was charming and immensely readable. His descriptions helped the reader to feel the scene and not just read about it. His characters became people. I would definitely read anything else he wrote and have recommended this book to many friends already. I am a 50ish mother and my 23 year old son enjoyed it as much as I did.
Skye's Mom (09/12/07)

Book Thief - Amazing Read
Told by Death - tough reading in the beginning, but I guarantee you will not be able to put it down after the first 100 pages. Characters vivid and very real, setting so well portrayed I felt the cold and the snow and the wetness when the characters experienced them. I don't feel it was trite in the least, as that other reviewer did. I have recommended Book Thief to friends, who have loved it. I am also glad I didn't know it was for YAs.
DAZ (09/09/07)

The Book Thief
While this book was written from a unique point of view and gave the Holocaust a most personal perspective, I did not find myself particularly involved with the characters or their story. The story of book thievery and other thievery was an unusual combination with the story of Jewish persecution. In a small way, I felt the author was understanding of the Germans who "went along" with Hitler although he certainly represented the other side, those who helped the Jews, convincingly and poignantly. I found the book bleak which I imagine was intended. It should be an interesting book for classroom or reading group discussion however.
Leslie Galloway (09/07/07)

Excellent ......thought provoking
I was surprised to see this book rated as Young Adult Lit. I picked it up before I saw that and I'm so glad I did. The setting is a frightening time for adults and unimaginable for a child. It's like looking through the glass from the other side of the mirror, only to find that everyone's reality has melted together into the same sickening, and insecure 'present' of WWII in Nazi Germany. I kept sensing that I "know" these people - that we are all in this together regardless of our nationality or ethnicity. A great read and I recommend it to all. This is not a child's book.
M. J. O'Neill (08/20/07)

Exceptional
Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief" is without a doubt one of the best books I've read in quite some time. Didn't even notice it was tagged for "Young Adults" until I read the back cover after finishing it. I sure wish Markus Zusak had been writing when I was a kid.
The Shirl (07/19/07)

The Book Thief
This book is narrated by Death and describes the heartbreaking story of a young German girl forced to live with a family in Munich during Hitler's rise to power. She learns to read from her foster father and steals books with those around her. The book spans the emotions of loss, friendship, sorrow and joy during this turbulent time and explores the relationships that people form and change during extreme stress.
My 14 yr old granddaughter read it last year in 8th grade, and I read it in a book group. I can honestly say that we both gained a lot from the book, in spite of our different perspectives and knowledge. This speaks well to the book, although I do not feel that it is only a young adult or teen book.
Paige C (05/13/07)

Thriteen Year-Old Tears
This book. What can i say.
I'm thirteen years old and have been through a lots already, and i have the unfortunate gift of remembering practically everything. I have been able to since the age of 4 and i hate it. Why? Well because i remember everything bad as well.
Many people describe books as eye openers.
But for me, this book closed my eyes. And for that i want to thank you Markus.
This book showed me another side of things, it made me laugh and cry, it had a softness like no other, yet bought you down so hard with a flick of a page.
It closed my eyes to things i knew i should not see, and let me dream of what should be there. As a young teen that is what i need. I am very mature for my age, but i still know i am not ready for the full reality of the world.

Your writing gave me the chance for that.
This review may come as a shock, as it is not really a proper review, but you see i have been spending months trying to find a way to contact you, in order to thank you.
But this is the best i have been able to do.
Thank you Markus Kusak, you are my idol, at thirteen years of age. I myself have started to write a book, Thirteen Year-Old Tears. You are the reason i have started.
Thank you.
Yours truly
Paige
Sheila St. John (03/20/07)

The author's youth betrays him
The Book Thief was written by a children's author but is considered a teen or adult novel. The writing style and literary devices are better suited for children, although this story is not. Because its plot has a backdrop of Nazi Germany and abandoned children, the emotion of the book is pretty much spoon-fed to the reader. There is no subtly here and his use of metaphor is so prevalent it becomes almost meaningless. The writer tries to make every turn seem poignant and dripping with power, therefore no moment seems especially strong.

I read all 500 pages, however, because it was such an easy and transparent read.
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