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Book Review The Book Thief

Updated on November 25, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusac

The Book Thief is set in 1939 Nazi Germany, and focuses on the life on a 9 year old girl called Liesel who is fostered by a family in a small village just outside Munich. I particularly wanted to read this book for my book club lens, as I heard that the Downtown Abbey Director has recenty been selected to direct a new movie on this.

The book compliments my own book collection well. I have a personal interest in WW2 and the Holocaust. My book collection includes 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' and 'The Lucky Man'. Based on this, I have been highly recommended the book thief by my collegues and students.

Markus Zusac on The Book Thief

The Book Thief
The Book Thief

Liesel Meminger finds herself living with her foster family just outside Munic, following a traumatic journey and the loss of her parents. She develops a strong relationship with her new 'papa' who plays the accordian and sits with her when she has nightmares at night.

The plot thickens as Liesel sees swarms of Jews been marched through her town, and is instructed to give Nazi salutes to shop in certain shops. She develops a strong friendship with a school friend called Rudy and they go through the trials and tribulations of war time life together, including scrounging for apples!

Liesels foster family come to hide a Jewish man in their basement, and through this, she learns a lot about herself, as well as about her father's past.


My Review

***** 5 Stars

This book, in my opinion, is a literary masterpiece, as Zusac successfully write the book from the perspective of death himself, who has several run-ins with Liesel throughout the years reflected in the story. Gripping and compelling, The Book Thief is suitable for the adult and younger reader alike. Read on to find out more about this amazing piece of WW2 based fiction.

The story combines personal family relationships and friendships with historical ideas. The story of Liesel really moved me - I was rooting for her every time she was going to steal a book, and feeling for her when she went through some awful losses.

What is powerful is her friendship that develops with the Jew that her Mama and Papa have agreed to hide in the basement. For anyone who is interested in WW2 history, this is a must read.

The Book Thief Film Trailer

The Downtown Abby director, Brian Percival has been chosen as the director of the movie production of 'The Book Thief'. This should, no doubt, attract a very high profile and noteworthy cast. The film 'The Book Thief' is coming soon, release date to be confirmed.

If you liked The Book Thief, you will also like...

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The boy in the striped pyjamas tells the moving story of a friendship between in Nazi officers son and a Jew. Their friendship develops through the fence of a concentration camp and illustrates the innocence of childhood.


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    • MariaB LM profile image

      MariaB LM 

      5 years ago

      I loved reading this book. I was rooting for her every time she got away with a book.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This was a difficult book to read... painful... but so well written. I recommend it cautiously (Much like Sarah's Key)


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