The Book Thief
Series that include this title
From Library Staff
1939 Nazi Germany. All the world is holding its breath. Liesel is a girl living there who steals books. Where ever she can find them.
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
Join the discussion on Nov. 11, 2014. This novel tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster child living outside Munich during WWII. Liesel scratches out a meager existence by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist: books.
Join the discussion on Dec. 8, 2014. This novel tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster child living outside Munich during WWII. Liesel scratches out a meager existence by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist: books.
Join the discussion on Nov. 21, 2014. This novel tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster child living outside Munich during WWII. Liesel scratches out a meager existence by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist: books.
From the critics
AgeAdd Age Suitability
navy_ladybug_23 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 99
lula_18 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99
blue_panther_205 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 1 and 2
princessgracetan thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
blue_weasel_36 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over
geniusgirl613 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 15 and 99
cheddarinorawr thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 17
22950008513780 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99
violet_coyote_92 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over
QuotesAdd a Quote
There are so many amazing quotes, I'm just going to make a list (in no real order.
1: I am haunted by humans.
2: "Is it off your cheek that I took the seed?"
3: The laundry was warm, the rafters were firm, and Michael Holtzpfafel jumped from the chair as if it were a cliff.... He killed himself for wanting to live.
4: Here is a small fact: You are going to die.
5: "Can I?" The two words stood across acres and acres of vacant, wooden-floored land. The books were miles away.
6: Two giant words: I'm sorry.
*****FROM THE MOVIE*****:
(knock knock knock)
Rosa: *whisper* who is that? *shouts* WHO IS IT?
Rudy: Rudy Steiner!
Rosa: What do you want?
Rudy: My Mama told me you have a new daughter.
Rosa: And what business is it of yours?
Rudy: I'm going to take her to school!
Rosa: And what makes you think you are good enough for my daughter
Rudy: I'm almost 12.
Rosa: Liesel, eat your soup.
Rudy: *tries to see what she looks like*
Rosa: Stay outside you filthy Saukerl.
" There were stars" he said. "They burned my eyes"-Max Vandenburg
"The sky is blue today Max, and there is a big cloud, and it's stretched out, like a rope. At the end of it, the sun is like a yellow hole"
NoticesAdd a Notice
Other: Not enough violence to put under violence. But some.
Frightening or Intense Scenes: The book talks about some very disturbing topics, like the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany. Younger readers might not be ready to read about that type of stuff yet
Violence: There is some bombing and whipping and fist fighting but none is very graphic.
Coarse Language: There is some English and German swearing but not too bad
Other: Film is released in New Zealand 9th January.
Frightening or Intense Scenes: They get bombed several times. You can't see alot, but it may frighten younger children. And like i stated above, some fist fights.
Violence: Just alot of fighting. There are some fist fights and Germans beating people. There are also dead bodies shown.
Coarse Language: german and english swearing but not to bad.
SummaryAdd a Summary
The story of a young girl under Nazi Germany. When her family hides a Jew in the basement, her life changes forever. Her thirst for books begins when she was illiterate. Slowly, books play an enormous part in her story.
About a Germany girl during WWII who is living with a foster family hiding a Jew.
Liesel Meminger, an illiterate girl in Nazi Germany loves books. At her brothers funeral she finds her first book, the Grave Diggers Handbook. With the help of her foster father, Hans Hubermann she learns to read and desires more books. However with World War 2 her family is sinking deeper into poverty and cannot afford to buy her books. So she resorts to stealing them. She takes them wherever she can find them, but only what she needs never more. But Liesel's life gets even more dangerous when her foster father repays a debt by taking in a Jew on the run. Liesel then realizes some unsettling facts about Nazi Germany and Hitler. This book is Liesel Meminger's story, told by Death.
In brief, I will say a few things about this book (I am on my mothers library page) 1. It is amazing
2. Always look at the pictures they feature very intensely in the story.
The Book Thief
the book thief is about young girl, living in Nazi Germany, who, as the title suggests, is a book thief. Or a collector of second hand books, however you wish to put it. Narrated by death, it will guide you through great joys and great sorrows. (A note, death loves colours, Also, I have noticed the colour patterns in a few other books) Liesel steals her first book at her brothers funeral. That was the last time she ever saw her mother. Along her "illustrious career" her foster parents take an old, dead, acordian playing, jewish friends son into the custody of their basement. A basement that will save her alone, well, along with a story. The basement doesn't save her best friend, Rudy Stiener. I'm not telling any more, otherwise I'll spoil it for you.
"It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
By her brother's graveside, Liesel Meminger's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up and closed down.
In a superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time." -from the back cover
"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. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel 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 before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul."
Introduction: During WWII in 1939, Liesel and her brother are being taken to Molching, Germany with her mother, to live with foster parents. Sadly, her little brother dies on the train and is buried along the way there. This is when Liesel steals her first book, (Gravedigger’s Handbook- marks brother’s death). Entering her new home, Liesel finds most comfort and love with her new father- Hans Hubermann. Stealing books becomes somewhat of a hobby now, as it motivates her to learn to read and write. An important aspect of the introduction is the hint at Liesel’s background. She learns more about why, how, and what actually happened to her real parents. As of right now, all we know is that Hans is gentle/welcoming, and that Rosa may need anger-management classes.
Rising Action: After the book-burning celebration for Hitler’s birthday, Liesel realizes that the Nazis are responsible for all of her losses. At this point, she steals another book (the Shoulder Shrug- marks hatred for Hitler). Along with her friendship with Rudy Steiner, good friend from school, she forms a relationship with the mayor’s wife, who lets Liesel in her library every time she comes by for laundry (as she saw Liesel’s interest in stealing the Shoulder Shrug). But when the wife, Ilsa, ends the laundry service, Liesel is infuriated and begins stealing her books. Eventually though, forgiveness awakes due to a complicated friendship that was always present. Back to Rudy, he’s a fearless boy with lemon hair, and he wants Liesel’s lips. Remember that. Meanwhile, there’s the story of Hans Hubermann and his great friend during WWI who saved Hans’s life and died in consequence. This friend happens to be a Jew, and his son is now seeking help with Hans, in hiding from the Nazis. Expectedly, the family is worried about the potential situation, since the act of housing a Jew in WWII was life-jeopardising. But they do, and Max turns out to be very friendly. So does Rosa. Especially Hans.
Climax: A series of little events tagged along for the journey to the climax. But, everything explodes when Max leaves for safety. Liesel is…she’s devastated. But, there is worse to come. He’s seen in a hoard of Jews on their way to Dachau, and this just tears the girl apart. Soon after, Ilsa gave Liesel a blank book. This saves the girl’s life, keeping her busy writing in the basement in an unexpected bombing. Sadly, all of Liesel’s loved ones die in their sleep. Death takes his time picking up Rosa, Hans, Kurt... Oh yeah, Rudy dies too, but at least he gets his long-awaited kiss from Liesel. Too bad it happens like this.
Falling Action: Well, the climax occurs late in the book, and in consequence, there’s not much to be said in this section. But, it is notable that Liesel drops her book in shock of everybody’s death (book = her life-story painted on the beloved blank pages from Ilsa). Death picks it up. The book is to be remembered. The mayor’s wife takes her in. Liesel talks with Alex Steiner. About Rudy. I’m sorry, am I being too specific?
It’s...well...just that......I love this part.
Resolution: In the epilogue, Liesel dies. But, she has lived a happy life with a husband and offspring. We also see Liesel being reunited with Max, having miraculously survived his sentence at Dachau. The book ends under a fulfilling atmosphere as Death gives back her book and takes her soul away. “I am haunted by humans.”
I started this book and it just didn't keep my attention, so gave it up, for a time. It had been so highly recommended I knew it would come back on my list. When next I picked it up I was ready for it and absolutely loved it. An engrossing, warm, and thoughtful read about a very difficult time.