The Book Thief
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The Book Thief

4.36 (1,353,191 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

DON'T MISS BRIDGE OF CLAY, MARKUS ZUSAK'S FIRST NOVEL SINCE THE BOOK THIEF. 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. Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read. When Death has a story to tell, you listen. 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. "The kind of book that can be life-changing." --The New York Times "Deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank." --USA Today
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 552 pages
  • 140 x 208 x 33mm | 476g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Media tie-in
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0385754728
  • 9780385754729
  • 20,282

Review Text

"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

"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." -SLJ, Starred
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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 "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." -SLJ, Starred
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About Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak is the international bestselling author of six novels, including The Book Thief and most recently, Bridge of Clay. His work is translated into more than forty languages, and has spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, establishing Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia.
All of Zusak's books - including earlier titles, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, When Dogs Cry (also titled Getting the Girl), and The Messenger (or I am the Messenger) - have been awarded numerous honors around the world, ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers.
In 2013, The Book Thief was made into a major motion picture, and in 2018 was voted one of America's all-time favorite books, achieving the 14th position on the PBS Great American Read. Also in 2018, Bridge of Clay was selected as a best book of the year in publications ranging from Entertainment Weekly to the Wall Street Journal.
Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.
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Rating details

1,353,191 ratings
4.36 out of 5 stars
5 56% (760,652)
4 29% (394,945)
3 10% (141,697)
2 3% (37,117)
1 1% (18,780)

Our customer reviews

OMG, this is by far the BEST historical fiction I've ever read! I think it's really clever and amazing that Zusak wrote this book from the Death's point of view. In the beginning,he kept me guessing and wondering who the narrator is, and this definitely catches my attention and one of the reasons that kept me go on reading it. This book really brings out the terrible situation of both the Jews and Germans in when they were under the control of Hitler. Well I've learned about the history of that time before, but I've never had such a strong feeling until I've read this book. One of the scenes that haunts me the most is the parade of Jews, how Liesel and Hans try to help them, but they can do nothing and get punished afterwards. This contrasts with the idea of discrimination against the Jews at that time strongly. I hate the ending though, I'm that kind of person who goes for a happy ending. Is it necessary that nearly all the good people have to die? I doubt that. But their deaths get me feel that life is really hard in Nazi Germany and not many people are as lucky as Liesel and Max. I think this further conveys the unfortunate in that period of time and what war really does is just damages.show more
by The Bookish Girl
really great book, loved it.show more
by booklover
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