Review: The Book Thief By Markus Zusak

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

  • ISBN-13: 9780375842207
  • Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
  • Publication date: 9/11/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Source: Purchased


It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

My Thoughts:

My thoughts about The Book Thief are very hard to put together since this book truly blew me away and I have no idea why I did not read it sooner.  Set in Germany in the 1940’s in the midst of World War II, The Book Thief is narrated by Death. Liesel Meminger is quickly introduced as the book thief as she travels to her new foster family with her mother and younger brother.  Her brother dies on the train and Liesel steals her first book, The Grave Digger’s Handbook, when it is dropped in the cemetery.  She keeps this a secret until her foster father discovers the book one night.  Together the two explode the words and Liesel’s world expands.  

It is so hard for me to put words to how I feel about this book.  I know that it has been said by so many but this is truly an unique and mind-blowing book, the history and feeling that went into the story writing is more than I have seen in a very long time.  I tend to struggle with books that are set in such a dark time and have many negative issues but this is the exception.  This book made me sit back and really think about this time in our world’s history and what it would have been like.  

I did face one large challenge when it came to reading The Book Thief and that was the style in which it was written.  While I enjoyed the narration from Death it often interrupted the flow of the story for me and I had a hard time getting back on track.  Even though this was a challenge it does not affect my overall feelings and rating of this book.  I do not know any other books that fall into this category for me.  Typically, if I have a hard time with the style I do not enjoy the book as much.  Not so with The Book Thief.

My Rating:




5 Amazing Little Penguins – WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG!

6 thoughts on “Review: The Book Thief By Markus Zusak

  1. I bought Johnny this book because he loves this time period and I thought he might enjoy it. I’m glad to see that it was such a fantastic story and even though it is not your normal read that you still enjoyed it.

    You really must read Between Shades of Grey if you havne’t yet because it will just blow your mind the things you probably didn’t know were going on while everyone was so busy concerning themself with the Holocaust.

    Thanks for the touching review.

    • Thanks for the tip Alexa. I have not read it but it is only list of books I would like to read. This was a really hard one for me to review because I had a lot of emotion built up around it.

  2. Oh, I loved this book so much!!! It was definitely one of my favorite reads last year!

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  4. I loved this book! The parts where Death narrates were my favorite, actually.

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