The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that will be in movie theaters on November 15, 2013, 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.
Showing 1-10 of the 15 most recent reviews
1 . My Favorite Book
Posted November 14, 2013 by Linda , PerkasieI read this book shortly after it was released. It was and still is one of my favorites. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it should almost be required reading because of the content. It talks to what can happen when censorship and book-burning occurs, and the lengths people will go to save and read books.
2 . beautiful
Posted September 30, 2013 by MOSED , Cle ElumLoved this book. From the begining I was in.
3 . took my breath away
Posted January 22, 2012 by Ariel , nycmy sister read it last year and recently i just picked it up on a boring saturaday night and i couldent take my eyes off the page!!!!!!!! Very moving, emotional and beautiful. i love this book!
4 . Tear Tear Cry Cry
Posted January 20, 2011 by Brooke , MontgomeryI absolutely adored this book. The only thing I would change if I could was Rudy *bursts into tears* Anyways, it also taught me to tell other poeple off in German.
5 . Awesome!
Posted October 22, 2010 by rca , chattanoogaNice to see a story about ww II and the holocaust from a little german girl's view!
6 . AMAZING, Each page a gasp of surprise
Posted September 20, 2010 by tia , englandAmazing, brung tears to my eyes and simply took my breath away! The intro was intriging but puzzling, however once i got into the heart of the book i was simply enchanted and could set the book down. Loved the characters, the setting and the mood. A book every child should read at least once :)
Another story would be philip pullmans- the northern lights.
7 . Amazing!
Posted March 19, 2010 by Katelyn O. , Marietta, GaThis was an amazing story. The ending will take your breath away. I loved how this story was told not by the author or one of his characters, but by death himself. He was afraid and yet awed by humans and their ability to show true beauty even in the most heart breaking times. I highly recomend this book for teens and adults. Please read it and see for yourself.
8 . A Fantastic Read
Posted February 17, 2010 by Aiden's Mom , CroydonThis book is great from it's characters to it's narrator. You learn about some history and how being kind and good is not always a safe way to be. It's a book you definitely can't put down once you start reading it. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading and enjoys a little history.
9 . Unique perspective
Posted February 02, 2010 by LDev , FargoI am somewhat obsessed with reading historical fiction set during WWII, and while this is not my favorite in this genre (that would be Sophie's choice) the perspective here is something that I had never read before. The story is complex and simple. It is difficult to put down. It is unique in both perspective and writing style. It's interesting to me that it was in the section (at the book store) for young adults (high school age). I would have been disappointed to have read this in high school just because I would have missed so much of the complexity (I read it after 3 years of grad school in literature). I recommend this for almost anyone.
10 . Excellent
Posted October 16, 2009 by Nancy , West Chester, PAI loved this book, the best I've read in a long time. I will not rehash the story details, but what made this book so great is the masterful way Zusak tells the story. It is great for teens and adults. Excellent!
Knopf Books for Young Readers
August 30, 2007
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
DEATH AND CHOCOLATE
First the colors.
Then the humans.
That's usually how I see things.
Or at least, how I try.
***HERE IS A SMALL FACT ***
You are going to die.
I am in all truthfulness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestations. Please, trust me. I most definitely can be cheerful. I can be amiable. Agreeable. Affable. And that's only the A's. Just don't ask me to be nice. Nice has nothing to do with me.
***Reaction to the ***
Does this worry you?
I urge you--don't be afraid.
I'm nothing if not fair.
--Of course, an introduction.
Where are my manners?
I could introduce myself properly, but it's not really necessary. You will know me well enough and soon enough, depending on a diverse range of variables. It suffices to say that at some point in time, I will be standing over you, as genially as possible. Your soul will be in my arms. A color will be perched on my shoulder. I will carry you gently away.
At that moment, you will be lying there (I rarely find people standing up). You will be caked in your own body. There might be a discovery; a scream will dribble down the air. The only sound I'll hear after that will be my own breathing, and the sound of the smell, of my footsteps.
The question is, what color will everything be at that moment when I come for you? What will the sky be saying?
Personally, I like a chocolate-colored sky. Dark, dark chocolate. People say it suits me. I do, however, try to enjoy every color I see--the whole spectrum. A billion or so flavors, none of them quite the same, and a sky to slowly suck on. It takes the edge off the stress. It helps me relax.
***A SMALL THEORY ***
People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it's quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations, with each passing moment.
A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors.
Waxy yellows, cloud-spat blues. Murky darknesses.
In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.
As I've been alluding to, my one saving grace is distraction. It keeps me sane. It helps me cope, considering the length of time I've been performing this job. The trouble is, who could ever replace me? Who could step in while I take a break in your stock-standard resort-style vacation destination, whether it be tropical or of the ski trip variety? The answer, of course, is nobody, which has prompted me to make a conscious, deliberate decision--to make distraction my vacation. Needless to say, I vacation in increments. In colors.
Still, it's possible that you might be asking, why does he even need a vacation? What does he need distraction from?
Which brings me to my next point.
It's the leftover humans.
They're the ones I can't stand to look at, although on many occasions I still fail. I deliberately seek out the colors to keep my mind off them, but now and then, I witness the ones who are left behind, crumbling among the jigsaw puzzle of realization, despair, and surprise. They have punctured hearts. They have beaten lungs.
Which in turn brings me to the subject I am telling you about tonight, or today, or whatever the hour and color. It's the story of one of those perpetual survivors--an expert at being left behind.
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 saw the book thief three times.
BESIDE THE RAILWAY LINE
First up is something white. Of the blinding kind.
Some of you are most likely thinking that white is not really a color and all of that tired sort of nonsense. Well, I'm here to tell you that it is. White is without question a color, and personally, I don't think you want to argue with me.
***A REASSURING ANNOUNCEMENT ***
Please, be calm, despite that previous threat.
I am all bluster--
I am not violent.
I am not malicious.
I am a result.
Yes, it was white.
It felt as though the whole globe was dressed in snow. Like it had pulled it on, the way you pull on a sweater. Next to the train line, footprints were sunken to their shins. Trees wore blankets of ice.
As you might expect, someone had died.
They couldn't just leave him on the ground. For now, it wasn't such a problem, but very soon, the track ahead would be cleared and the train would need to move on.
There were two guards.
There was one mother and her daughter.