The Book Thief

Editorial Review - - Brian Farrey

"A human doesn't have a heart like mine. The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I'm always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both." So muses the narrator of Markus Zusak's powerful and moving ... Read full review


Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

When Death tells a story, you pay attention. Liesel Meminger is a young girl growing up outside of Munich in Nazi Germany, and Death tells her story as "an attempt—a flying jump of an attempt—to prove to me that you, and your human existence, are worth it." When her foster father helps her learn to read and she discovers the power of words, Liesel begins stealing books from Nazi book burnings ... Read full review

User reviews

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

It may have a few smudges on its resumé, but The Book Thief is probably the most engrossing historical fiction book you'll read, and it's got the action, the drama, the heart, and the surprises to make sure it doesn't go down when you first pick it up.

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This book is simply marvelous. It's beautifully written, incredibly interesting, and all around stunning. Yes, it might take a while to get into, but once you're past the first few pages of sadness, it's really touching and inspiring... Just a warning: you have to like tragedy to like the book. 

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This book is absolutely the most amazing book I have ever read. It is brilliant and will make you laugh and then bring tears to your eyes. I have never read a book so beautifully written in my entire life. It is my favorite book. Simply extraordinary.

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What would you expect from a book that starts with the statement: “You are going to die”?
Not much, unless of course the narrator is ‘Death”.
I first heard about Markus Zusak’s award winning book on a radio interview and thought to myself it sounded like a good read. It wasn’t until a year later that I recalled the interview and bought a copy and kicked myself for missing out on what would probably become one of my favourite books.
The story follows Liesel Meminger as she first buries her six year old brother beside the train tracks on her way to foster parents. She then acquires “The Gravedigger’s Handbook” which earns her title.
The narrator then follows her life as he continues his task of “handling souls to the conveyor belt of eternity” as he gets “very busy” throughout the course of the second world war.
Living with the Hubermanns in a small town of Molching outside Munich, she endures the war with her foster parents Rosa and Hans as she turns to her stolen books for solace. Having lived through a similar experience is probably why I related so much to the character. Liesel uses the stories in the stolen books to distract the people huddled in the Fiedlers’ basement during air raids. Her love of stories also drives Max Vandenburg, a Jew who is hiding in their basement to write “The Standover Man“.
The narrator, Death, while making dry jokes about his profession, tells us of Liesel’s struggle, and her strength and resilience through it all as she almost succumbs to his grasp.
“The Book Thief” is not a standard war story. It is the story of a small family and how they tried to survive as the world began to change around them. I have no doubt that just like the narrator, the reader will not be able to escape the book’s reach.

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This is an amazing book that everyone should read. It is marketed as Young Adult Fiction but I disagree with this classification. I think that it is great for young adults to read but may be too complex for some YA's to appreciate. It is narrated by "death" and tells the story of a young German girl who lives during WWII in Germany. Her mother leaves her with "foster" parents as a way of keeping her safe. The story does not reveal why she is in danger in a straight forward way but presents it as the girl herself figures it out. It is a caring and, I believe, accurate look into how the events of Hitler's campaign of terror affected the German people. It is a very sad book that had me putting it down several times but made me unable to stop myself from picking it up again. It is the type of book that makes you start it over again as soon as you finish the last page. The writing style is somewhat confusing until you figure out that you are not supposed to understand certain events until they are explained later. A definite must read.  

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This is definetly one of if not the best book I have ever read. The story is original and moving and I fell in love with it during the first sentence. The language and unique descriptions in this book draw you in through the pages and show you the most amazing images of the characters and their surroundings; they give you a totally unique perspective on the personalities and proverbial ghosts of the characters and how they deal with the reality of their situations. Overall an incredible book that really opens your eyes and shows you a different perspective on these all to well known events.  

Review: The Book Thief

User Review  - Goodreads

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 I can read pretty much ... Read full review

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