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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
    12,130
  • 4 Stars
    3,765
  • 3 Stars
    1,245
  • 2 Stars
    331
  • 1 Stars
    302

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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    11,382
  • 4 Stars
    2,563
  • 3 Stars
    683
  • 2 Stars
    171
  • 1 Stars
    197

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    10,583
  • 4 Stars
    2,915
  • 3 Stars
    1,033
  • 2 Stars
    279
  • 1 Stars
    234
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  • Story

Great narrator!

The narrator did a wonderful job portraying this story! Going to use in classroom for a read aloud. Thank you

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Painfully drawn out

I really wanted to love this book, but I found myself drifting a lot. Not a good sign. It was a very good story, but it is "told" in the most drawn out for effect way that got old fast.

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A classic comes alive

This classic book gives new life and insight into Germany and World War 2. Written from the perspective of a child, this story gives you pause to understand the tragedy from yet another perspective.

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Loved this book

Awesome piece of historical fiction based on life if a little German girl during Heitler's reign. Wonderfully written. Uniquely written through the eyes of death, or the soul collector.

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Fan - Tas - Tic!

What did you love best about The Book Thief?

I love death as a narrator! This book is sweet and endearing and vastly moving and sad. It should be read by every teen!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

There is a movie and it is fairly good. But the book is SO MUCH MORE POWERFUL!

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Funny, Haunting, Incredible

Never has a book narrated by Death and wholly encompassing WWII and the holocaust been such a joy and heartache to read. Surprising prose, moments of childish purity, and intense pangs of drama and sadness. Amazing book.

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best book

I've read this book half a dozen times, and it is, without a doubt, the best book I've ever read! I was able to convince some of my favorite people to listen to the audio book, as they aren't big into reading, and had them in tears. Absolutely amazing.

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Highly Recommend

Beautiful book about a horrible time. I would highly recommend. The narrator was very good.

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beautiful, heartbreaking, ordinary story

What I loved most about this story was so much or the ordinariness of life was intertwined with the heartbreak of war. The language was beautiful and also the narrator did such a great job I was completely lost in the story. Even the occasional German word was said with an accent appropriate to southern Germany. Which was another thing I loved - the inclusion of German slang and idioms but with very unobtrusive translations. I have listened to many books and this is one of my top 10, maybe even top 5.

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A million times better than the movie!

Fantastic narration. Masterfully written. Couldn't wait to get back to listening; couldn't hardly stop listening!