The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

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Book Summary

Based on the events that occurred in Nazi Germany, The Book Thief follows the story of Liesel Meminger as she watches the cruelty of war unfold before her. During the course of the war she experiences tragedy first hand again and again much like those around her. In the midst of this chaos she is able to lose herself in her books, most of which she stole. While living with the Hubermanns, she experiences a sense of purpose and belonging which she wasn't used to. A sad tale with insightful glimpses into this time period, The Book Thief is a wonderful book that makes you think about its hidden meanings and thoughtful passages.


Liesel Meminger- a young girl who is placed into the Hubermann's household when her mother is unable to take care of her. Later in the book, she will become the so-called Book Thief. She faces many tragedies through her life, including the death of her brother, and finds her consolation through words.

Hans Hubermann- after Liesel enters his home, he becomes her father figure and teacher since she cannot read at the beginning of the novel. He is a painter and accordian player with a gentle and calm nature.

Rosa Hubermann- Hans's wife and Liesel's mother figure. She is harsh-spoken and quick to anger, but loves her husband and "daughter" all the same.

Rudy Steiner- Liesel Meminger's best friend and partner in crime. He often helps Liesel steal crops from the farmers and books from the Mayor's wife. A devoted friend, he can be found by Liesel's side throughout most of the story.

The Book Thief Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson Movie HD

Book Reviews

The Book Thief is unsettling and unsentimental, yet ultimately poetic. Its grimness and tragedy run through the reader's mind like a black-and-white movie, bereft of the colors of life. -USA Today

With richly evocative imagery and compelling characters, Zusak explores behind-the-lines life in World War II Germany, showing the day-to-day heroism of ordinary people. -Barbara Wysocki(Library Journal)

The writing is elegant, philosophical and moving. Even at its length, it's a work to read slowly and savor. Beautiful and important. -Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Markus Frank Zusak was born on June 23rd , 1975 and is an Australian writer. One of his notable awards includes the Edwards award in 2014. His works include The Book Thief, The Messenger, When Dogs Cry, and Fighting Ruben Wolfe.
Interview with Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief