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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
    12,134
  • 4 Stars
    3,767
  • 3 Stars
    1,245
  • 2 Stars
    331
  • 1 Stars
    302

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    11,386
  • 4 Stars
    2,564
  • 3 Stars
    683
  • 2 Stars
    171
  • 1 Stars
    197

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    10,587
  • 4 Stars
    2,916
  • 3 Stars
    1,033
  • 2 Stars
    279
  • 1 Stars
    234
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good book but not epic.

Enjoyed the story but I wasn't able to feel it and have an emotional connection.

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Love and Hate

if you read it you understand what I mean by my headline. This is one of the most moving stories I have ever read. Keep some tissues nearby and prepare for heartache.

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Wow! Loved this book!

I think we are all familiar with the story of Ann Frank or similar stories of what it was like to be a Jew in hiding. If your from the U.S. you grew up hearing stories of the Veterans who risked their own lives to stop the Nazi . This book tells many tales but it also puts you in the eyes of German civilians living everyday life from the beginning to the end of the war. You'll see it through the eyes of children. You'll meet a young Jewish man in hiding. You'll fall in love with Papa and Mamas generosity during hard times. And even though it is narrated by an anthropomorphized version of death, it isn't
as morose as it sounds.
This isn't a story about war as much it is a story about the people. I especially enjoyed learning a few fun German words. The narrator does a great job as well!

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  • Performance
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Wonderful!!

What a beautifully written book about love and loss, and the most base characteristics of human nature

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  • Story
  • Laurie
  • Sea Girt, NJ United States
  • 10-20-16

Great story

Well narrated. Interesting. I love historical fiction. A great read! It's long but worth it!

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  • Performance
  • Story

A beautiful story

It's fascinating to imagine who death would see the world. The people, the emotions and the colors

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful

Easily the best narration ever done with any book. Death as the narrator of the story was supreme excellence... The voice actor was superb, his performance was flawless. 11/10

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Susan
  • levant, ME, US
  • 10-11-16

Wow!

Quite possibly the best book I've ever heard. Very well written with a unique twist.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

What an awesome book

Definitely a good use of a credit! The Story and the Performance were both excellent.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Death Has a Heart

What a fabulous listen! I was mesmerized from the beginning, though it was sometimes painful to listen to because of the subject. Allan Corduner is a gifted reader and Markus Zudak a wordsmith extraordinaire!