Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Release Date: March 14, 2006


It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-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 superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.


I’ve heard great things about this book, and I was afraid of reading this at first. I knew that it was going to be a sad read but I wasn’t prepared for it.

I loved that the narrator, Death, displayed different emotions. Liesel, is the main character in this book. She’s actually the book thief, which started when she saw a book beside her brother’s dead body. She was fortunate enough to have foster parents like the Hubbermans.

My fave characters were actually Hans and Rudy, and that actually explains why this book was such a heartbreaking one. Be sure to prepare tissues towards that last few chapters of this book! This was my first historical fiction read and I’d gladly read more of this genre.

Favorite Quotes:

“Even death has a heart.”

“I have to say that although it broke my heart, I was, and still am, glad I was there.”

“Can a person steal happiness? Or is just another internal, infernal human trick?”

Soundtrack: Hold My Heart by Sara Bareilles

Rating: Purple-FullPurple-FullPurple-FullPurple-FullNo-Star

Buy Links: Goodreads || Amazon || Kobo || Book Depository

Version 3About the Author:

Website || Facebook || Instagram

Markus Zusak is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which spent more than a decade on the New York Timesbestseller list, and is translated into more than forty languages – establishing Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia.

To date, Zusak has held the number one position at,, the New York Timesbestseller list, as well as in countries across South America, Europe and Asia.

His books, The UnderdogFighting Ruben WolfeWhen Dogs Cry (also titled Getting the Girl), The Messenger (or I am the Messengerand The Book Thief have been awarded numerous honours ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers.

In 2013, The Book Thief was adapted to film, directed by Emmy Award-winning Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) and shot in Berlin by Twentieth Century Fox. The cast was headlined by Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush and Academy Award nominee Emily Watson, and Sophie Nelisse (as Liesel Meminger).

In 2014, Zusak received the American Library Association’s Margaret Edwards Award, for his body of work ranging from The Underdog up to The Book Thief.

Zusak’s much-anticipated new novel, Bridge of Clay, is set for release in October 2018 in the USA, the UK and Australia, with foreign translations to follow.

In a statement about the novel, Zusak said: “Clay Dunbar builds a bridge for a multitude of reasons: for his brothers and to honour his parents…but it’s also an attempt at greatness. He builds a bridge to save himself, and to make a single, beautiful moment: a miracle and nothing less.”

Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.



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