Review: ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak

Review: ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus ZusakThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on March 14th, 2006
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Pages: 552
Format: Hardcover
Source: bought online
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.

So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

The Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


Written in the viewpoint of Death, we follow The Book Thief‘s life namely Liesel. She ends up being an orphan after her little brother dies and her mom leaves her at a foster parents home. Her new father is kind and considerate while her new mom is strict but fair. Her life turns as soon as a young man appears on their doorstep. He’s a Jew and needs their help.

The Book Thief slayed my heart.. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful writing. The perspective is from Death’s point of view as he’s telling the story from Liesel’s life, a little girl who lives in Germany who becomes orphaned.

Oh so many feels with this one. Can you imagine being a German who hates Hitler and what he stands for. Seeing how the Jews are treated and know that they won’t be alive? It’s a terrible feeling. Liesel doesn’t know that the people are being murdered just because they’re different. She doesn’t know the true horror of the German army, can only recognize bits and pieces. I love that she ended up visiting the library and reading all the wonderful books. It must have been such a great escape for her.

The Book Thief will bring you to tears and if you manage to watch the movie, you’ll be happy to know that it stays true to the book. I pretty much cried at the end sighs you’ve got a fan in me Mr. Zusak!

reading progress




She was the book thief without the words. (80)
It’s pathetic—how a man can stand by and do nothing as a whole nation cleans out the garbage and makes itself great. (105)
When death captures me, he will feel my fist on his face. (189)
That death waits for no man—and if he does, he doesn’t usually wait very long. (350)
A human doesn’t have a heart like mine. The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequences of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both. (491)
There would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too. That was writing. (525)
I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. (528)





  1. Daniela Plume

    January 22, 2016 at 10:10 PM

    The Book Thief is one of my most favourite books of all time

    • giselle

      January 27, 2016 at 4:13 AM

      So so good! Have you seen the movie? I teared 🙁

  2. Bee

    January 30, 2015 at 8:02 PM

    This is on my list both to read and to watch. Which should I do first in your opinion? – Bee

  3. Kelsey

    January 30, 2015 at 11:55 AM

    I have this on my bookshelf but I haven’t read it yet, or seen the movie. I plan on it someday though, and I’m glad you liked it 🙂

    • giselle

      January 30, 2015 at 5:58 PM

      Both were excellent..Definitely a favourite!

  4. Zed Whisper

    January 29, 2015 at 3:04 PM

    I have this on my bookshelf! Really need to read this asap

    • giselle

      January 29, 2015 at 7:58 PM

      It’s excellent!

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