March 14, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Pages: 550
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

From 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....

Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.

With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel 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.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

I read The Book Thief for my YA book club.  We've never read historical fiction, so we decided to takle both this and Code Name Verity in the same month.  We're clearly crazy people.  Usually I fly through books, but this one took me two full weeks.  I wanted to take my time with it and got super invested in the characters.

I don't even know how to start reviewing a book like this, so I don't think I will.  Instead I'm going to share some of my favorite non-spoilery quotes with you.

"In the years to come, he would be a giver of bread, not a stealer - proof again of the contradictory human being.  So much good, so much evil.  Just add water." (164)

"For some reason, dying men always ask questions they know the answer to.  Perhaps it's so they can die being right." (469)

"The Book Thief - Last Line
I have hated the words and
I have loved them,
and I hope I have made them right." (528)

"He tasted dusty and sweet.  He tasted like regret in the shadows of trees and in the glow of the anarchists suit collection." (536)

I think The Book Thief is such an important book and it's told in a very interesting way.  I never jump right for historical fiction when I see it on the shelf, but when I hit books like this I know I need to change that.  I really loved The Book Thief and highly recommend you add it to your TBR lists, if you haven't read it already!


  1. been meaning to read this one for sometime and definitely will this year. how did you like code name verity. i have mixed feelings about it and will probably re-read it.

    1. I liked Code Name Verity, I think I'll probably re-read it myself at some point. Now that I know everything I'll think I'll get more out of it the second time!