Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

893136"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."

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: 2005
Pages: 554 (paperback)

Oh oh, how I fell in love with this story is a whole other story to tell. I had always been avoiding reading this book and sometimes I even told people that I had read this book just because they had expected me to. In my eyes, it's a modern classic. One that every living soul should read. Not just because everyone loves it, but because it tells a story of this little girl who has to endure death and loss and danger at a very young age. She has a beautiful personality and Markus Zusak has treated her like his own daughter, it so seems.
Anyway, I decided to order this book from amazon and boy, I have no regrets whatsoever.

The Book Thief follows the story of little Liesel, who lives and grows up in Germany during the Second World War. The beginning of the book pulls you in directly, as the story is narrated by Death.
How scary it may seem that Death tells you a story, I don't think that there could have been any other character who would have done a better job at telling Liesel's story. It's so creative and unique and Death simply pulls you in from the very first word that he tells us.

As for the circumstances Liesel finds herself in, it's both reassuring and frightning. Knowing that her story is told by Death and that it's war time, you keep preparing yourself, while reading, for the worst case scenario. Liesel goes from living with her little brother and mother to living with complete strangers, aka her foster family.
The two that play the role of her new mom and dad are absolutely genius. Take for example her fostermom, who has an odd way of showing that she loves Liesel. She takes perfect care of her, but her way of showing that she cares is by calling her a 'Schaumensch'. Look it up if you don't know the meaning, that will make the story only better.
Her fosterdad is an accordionist and just so loveable. Liesel steals books, hence the title, and her father is determined to keep Liesel reading, for her own sake and his. The reading of Liesel is a constant factor, one that lasts throughout the entire book, and it's something comforting. She reads to herself when she's scared, she reads to their secret Jew, who lies hidden in their basement and she hides to the residents in her street when they have to find shelter when the bombs are falling once again.

This book has so many special, emotional and wonderful aspects to it that it almost makes it impossible to tell the story the way it should be told. All I can say is that if you are still doubting about whether you should pick it up or not or if you have never heard of this beauty before, please do put it on your wishlist and grab the first chance you get to buy it.
All I have left to say is that this book left me in awe and that I will be enthusiastically recommending it to everyone who wants to read a beautiful story about a little girl who reads to save her own life.


  1. It has been sooooo long since I read The Book Thief, I remember how amazing it was and the feeling it left me with, but not many of the details. Your review makes me want to read it again soon. :)

  2. It's definitely amazing and I'm glad it did! Maybe it's time for a reread? :-)


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