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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2006 Markus Zusak; (P)2006 Random House Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award, Children's Literature, 2007

"The astonishing characters, drawn without sentimentality, will grab readers." (Booklist)
"Zusak has created a work that deserves the attention of sophisticated teen and adult readers....An extraordinary narrative." (School Library Journal)
"The Book Thief will appeal both to sophisticated teens and adults with its engaging characters and heartbreaking story." (Bookmarks Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    12,125
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    3,762
  • 3 Stars
    1,243
  • 2 Stars
    330
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    303

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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    2,562
  • 3 Stars
    683
  • 2 Stars
    170
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    196

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    10,579
  • 4 Stars
    2,913
  • 3 Stars
    1,032
  • 2 Stars
    279
  • 1 Stars
    233
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Disappointed !!

This book wasn't as good as I thought it would be according to the reviews I read. I was hesitant to read it from the beginning anyway because death is talking to me. Slow moving at times.

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Fabulous storytelling, timeless story

In a world of uncertainty and change, The Book Thief contains an important message. There are many truths and only humanness connects us. Friends and enemies, conquerer and conquered, we all meet death eventually. This is a beautifully told story of how to live so as not to be afraid at its coming.

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Devastating and Beautiful Storytelling

This text completely destroyed me. I had an inkling that it would be sad, and gathered hints throughout the story that enforced that belief, but you don't really understand the full weight of the emotions you will feel until you get to it in the book.

The narration was done wonderfully; Corduner did a splendid job performing the voices of the characters, and immersing the listener in the world of Liesel and her life on Himmel Street, not to mention the pronunciation of German was done well.

The book itself was words and colors combined into a beautiful array of language, and it moved me to the point of ugly crying, and I love it for that.

I highly recommend listening to this, and maybe even getting a physical copy of the book to accompany it.

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Absolutely loved it!

Markus Zusak wrote the words that literally painted a picture to this story. The narration was spot on making me care so much for each character.

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wonderful

Such a beautifully written (and performed) story. Absolutely worth the read or listen. Loved it.

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What a great book! I really enjoyed hearing it.

I really enjoyed hearing the book. now to see the movie. hope it does justice

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"The sky was the color of breakfast"

I love writing like that. This is a very good book. The narrator did an excellent job. If you like historical fiction about WWIi you will not be disappointed.

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a literary listen

Great book. Great narration. Elaborate use of adjectives requires concentration to get the most out of the story.

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well read, well written

What did you love best about The Book Thief?

The reader did a marvelous job capturing the essence of both the narrator and characters

What did you like best about this story?

the poetic, vivid language

What does Allan Corduner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He brought the characters to life, German pronunciations were spot on.

If you could take any character from The Book Thief out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Rudy - he's a great kid and he's always hungry

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend

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  • Performance
  • Story

Captivating

If you love WWII era stories (historical fiction), then this is for you! Emotionally riveting, this story will transport you back to the early 1940s as you learn about the struggle head and heart for a young girl and her family during the Nazi reign in Germany.