The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Book rating: 04 Paperback Alfred A. Knopf

By (author) Markus Zusak

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 552 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 201mm x 38mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 22 September 2007
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0375842209
  • ISBN 13: 9780375842207
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 496

Product description

The extraordinary #1 "New York Times" bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who 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. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of "I Am the Messenger, " has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. "From the Hardcover edition."

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Author information

Markus Zusak is the author of I Am the Messenger, a Printz Honor Book and "Los Angeles Times" Book Award Finalist, and the international bestseller, "The Book Thief, " which has been translated into over thirty languages and has sold nine million copies around the world. He is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens and lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children. "From the Hardcover edition."

Customer reviews

By Diana 05 Jan 2014 5

My heart is broken. Pulverized. Shattered. I�¢â?¬â?¢m not surprised, not really. I knew I was in for a ride when I cried while reading the prologue. The Prologue. I mean, seriously? The book hadn�¢â?¬â?¢t even officially started yet and I was moved to tears. It could have been the subject matter of the story but, more than likely, it was the words that were used to tell that story. Because, if nothing else, Markus Zusak schools you in the power of words. Not only their ability to tell a story, but the incredible power they have to hurt, to comfort, to inspire, to heal. To Destroy. To Save.

�¢â?¬�?I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.�¢â?¬�?

The Book Thief is the story of a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany. A girl who steals books, befriends a Jew, and refuses kisses from a boy with hair the color of lemons. A normal girl who happens to live during a tragic time in history. And while this story is far from ordinary, the way that it was written is what makes it truly extraordinary.

One of my favorite things about this book was the writing. Zusak has this ability to describe things in such a way that they completely come to life. They pop off of the page, get right in your face, and dare you not to get sucked in.

�¢â?¬�?The crowd was itself. There was no swaying it, squeezing through or reasoning with it. You breathed with it and you sang its songs. You waited for its fire.�¢â?¬�?

On top of that, Zusak is a master storyteller. He takes his time weaving his tale, making sure that you are completely invested in his world and the characters that live within it. These people are your neighbors, your friends, and your family. You know every facet of their everyday lives: their worries, their hopes, their fears. You come to know each of them intimately, which is a blessing and a curse, because the more he gives to you, the more he can take away. And take he does, but not without warning. At least he gives us that.

But it�¢â?¬â?¢s not the sad things that define this book, it�¢â?¬â?¢s the reminder that even in the darkest times, the strength and warmth of the human spirit can still shine through. It�¢â?¬â?¢s an accordion player with a heart of gold. It�¢â?¬â?¢s words painted on a basement wall. Thirteen gifts at the foot of a bed. Stars that burn your eyes. A snowman in the cellar. It�¢â?¬â?¢s the bread giver. The word shaker. The book thief. It�¢â?¬â?¢s the knowledge that even through tragedy, hope can be found.

�¢â?¬�?In years to come, he would be a giver of bread, not a stealer�¢â?¬â??proof again of the contradictory human being. So much good, so much evil. Just add water.�¢â?¬�?

If you have not read this book yet, do yourself a favor and do it now. The Book Thief is one of those books that will rock your world and, quite possibly, change your life. I know it�¢â?¬â?¢s one of the best books that I�¢â?¬â?¢ve ever read and has earned a permanent home on my bookshelf. I cannot recommend it enough.

Review quote

"Brilliant and hugely ambitious...Some will argue that a book so difficult and sad may not be appropriate for teenage readers...Adults will probably like it (this one did), but it's a great young-adult novel...It's the kind of book that can be life-changing, because without ever denying the essential amorality and randomness of the natural order, "The Book Thief" offers us a believable hard-won hope...The hope we see in Liesel is unassailable, the kind you can hang on to in the midst of poverty and war and violence. Young readers need such alternatives to ideological rigidity, and such explorations of how stories matter. And so, come to think of it, do adults."-"New York Times, "May 14, 2006 ""The Book Thief"is unsettling and unsentimental, yet ultimately poetic. Its grimness and tragedy run through the reader's mind like a black-and-white movie, bereft of the colors of life. Zusak may not have lived under Nazi domination, but "The Book Thief" deserves a place on the same shelf with "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel's "Night." It seems poised to become a classic." - "USA Today " "Zusak doesn't sugarcoat anything, but he makes his ostensibly gloomy subject bearable the same way Kurt Vonnegut did in "Slaughterhouse-Five" with grim, darkly consoling humor." - "Time Magazine " "Elegant, philosophical and moving...Beautiful and important." - "Kirkus Reviews," Starred "This hefty volume is an achievement...a challenging book in both length and subject..." - "Publisher's Weekly," Starred "One of the most highly anticipated young-adult books in years." - "The Wall Street Journal " "Exquisitely written and memorably populated, Zusak's poignant tribute to words, survival, and their curiously inevitable entwinement is a tour de force to be not just read but inhabited." - "The Horn Book Magazine," Starred "An extraordinary narrative." - "School Library Journal," Starred ""The Book Thief" will be appreciated for Mr. Zusak's audacity, also on display in his earlier "I Am the Messenger." It will be widely read and admired because it tells a story in which books become treasures. And because there's no arguing with a sentiment like that." - "New York Times"