The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak

  • Release Date: 2007-11-10
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4.5
From 1,314 Ratings
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The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller. Over eight million copies sold.

"Brilliant and hugely ambitious ... the kind of book that can be life changing" The New York Times


It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath.

Death has never been busier, and will become 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 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 accordion-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.

The Book Thief is a story about the power of words to make worlds. 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 Thief deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel's Night. It seems poised to become a classic." USA Today

"Elegant, philosophical and moving ... Beautiful and important." Kirkus Reviews

"Extraordinary, resonant and relevant, beautiful and angry." Sunday Telegraph

"...a beautifully balanced piece of storytelling...Unsettling, thought-provoking, life affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told. It is an important piece of work, but also a wonderful page-turner." The Guardian

"A moving work which will make many eyes brim." Independent on Sunday


Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book (South East Asia & South Pacific) 2006
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year 2006
Daniel Elliott Peace Award 2006
Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of the Year 2006
National Jewish Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature 2006
Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book 2006
Michael L. Printz Honor Book 2007
Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Children's Literature 2007
Winner of the ALA Youth Medal Awards' Margaret A. Edwards Award 2014


  • An enjoyable read

    By hal47
    Although I enjoyed this book, it was hard going at times, but I am glad that I stuck with the story, I had to know what happened to Leisel.
  • Ratings

    I love the book yet the movie does it proud
  • Book Thief

    By Petals42
    Wonderful book. I r8 10/10
  • Book thief

    By sophie81204
    The book thief is a wonderful story of faith, love and kindness. I would recommend this to anyone in for a great adventure. Sophie aged 12
  • Amazing Book

    By jp7726
    This is hands down one of the best books I have ever had the joy to read. Such a beautifully told story, well researched and written with extraordinary emotion. I enjoyed this from start to finish. I recommend you read it!
  • Amazing book

    By Hazza134
    This book was a experience to read and was a amazing story, i loved every bit of it. Its storyline was perfect and its word choice was excellent. Good Job Marcus!
  • Amazing!

    By karalouise89
    This book is amazing! I watched the movie first…. never had any interest in reading the book after that… glad it crossed my path though. The film does no justice to this beautifully written book. This book will leave you missing the characters once you are done. If I could give it 10/5 I would.
  • The Book Thief

    Great read.
  • Words

    By The great daddy
    This book is the most amazing thing I have ever read, it's so true and the words come right of the page and into my room, swirling around my head every moment of the day. I can never look at life the same way again, thank you.
  • An engaging story

    By Katgnat
    The book explains what it was like to live in the later 1930's. Such an inspirational story as Leisel never gave up. My favourite character is Rudy Steiner, I am sure he would touch your heart too. You need to watch the movie after the book, I recommend it.