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The Book Thief Paperback – Sep 11 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (Sept. 11 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375842209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375842207
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3 x 20.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on Nov. 29 2007
Format: Paperback
THE BOOK THIEF is on of the most memorable books I've read in a long time. It takes place during World War II in Molching, Germany. It's the writing, the unusual narrator (death), and the characters sketched in vivid colors that make this novel so difficult to put down.

Meet Leisel, the book thief, whose first encounter with death occurs on a train with her mama and brother - on their way to meet her foster parents.

Meet Rosa Hubermann, Leisel's new mama, whose rough, crude exterior can't hide the heart inside.

Meet Hans Hubermann, Leisel's firm foundation. The man who stays up with her after her nightmares, who teaches her to read her first stolen book, who finds empathy in a slice of stale bread.

Meet Max, a Jew, the shadow in the basement, a skeleton later seen marching, or more aptly, stumbling, down the road.

Meet Rudy, the lemon-haired Jesse Owens, Leisel's partner in crime and best friend, the one who yearns for Leisel's kiss.

Meet the Führer, the invisible, potent master of words.

Meet death, in a metal cockpit, on a snow-covered field mottled in red, hanging from a rafter at the end of a rope, sitting at a simple kitchen table, under a pile of rubble that used to be a home.

Markus Zusak fills the reader with vivid images of humans at war, humans led to the unthinkable by a force they cannot control. Some go willingly, others have no choice. Those left behind are merely attempting to survive each day as life crumbles around them. Leisel survives by stealing books.

As I read the final chapters of THE BOOK THIEF, I literally had to close the book to get my emotions under control before reading on to meet death. It was inevitable -- he would meet me at the end of the book.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By R. Nicholson TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 12 2006
Format: Hardcover
An incredibly beautiful book!

This is a story of a young German girl abandoned in the late 1930's and her ordeal of survival over the war years in Nazi Germany.

The story is told by the personified spirit of Death; a sympathetic Death who is so worn out and so tired from the countless millenniums of collecting souls. A Death so discouraged by man's inhumanity to man that when is sees something special in our heroine (the book thief) he decides to follow her story over the next few years.

Deeply, deeply moving, insightful and, as is often the case in periods of dire circumstance, occasionally humorous. There were moments of profound revelation, moments of quiet discovery that took my breath away; moments when it was difficult not to stop reading and reflect on what one has just read.

Reading this book reminded me somewhat of "The Diary of Anne Franck" and although the stories were completely different there was a connection because of the era involved and the wonderful, emotional impact of the written word on the page.

All in all, a beautiful, compelling story. Highly recommended! 5 Stars, more if I could.

P.S. surprisingly enough this book is found in the young adult section of most book stores; this I feel is a inappropriate classification. This novel really is an adult book and should be placed as such.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Dave and Joe TOP 100 REVIEWER on Nov. 3 2007
Format: Paperback
I am 54 years old by my figuring I haven't been a teen for 35 years. Ouch. I picked this book up and almost didn't buy it because of it's designation that it was for young readers. But something about it interested me and it ended up in my shopping cart. An incredible read from start to finish. I like historical fiction, I like having other times and other places illuminated for me - put into a context that I can understand. This book does that for me, it allows me to hold souls in my hands. I never felt manipulated by the author, never felt that cheap tricks were used, instead I had the sense of having my hand taken by a gentle guide who walked me down Himmel Street during the time of war.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Snowbrocade on June 28 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the poignant tale of four years in the life of Liesel, a 10-year-old when she arrives to live with a foster family in Germany during WWII. Liesel's story is told from the viewpoint of Death who complains of overwork during this time period. Liesel is fortunate to experience love intensely in many different forms--from a young boy her own age, her foster father and mother, and from a young Jewish man hidden in her family's basement.

Liesel also discovers the power of words both to cause harm, as in third Reich propaganda, and to heal, as when she reads to heal the pain of her brother dying in her arms.

This a very appealing and human story. Well written and humorous, this author manages to portray the horror and tragedy of war and Holocaust and at the same time show the beauty of humanity. Well worth reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Sept. 6 2008
Format: Paperback
Molching Germany 1939, Liesel Meminger is taken in by a foster family Hans and Rosa Huberman when her mother is forced to abandon her. She arrives with very little possessions; one of them is a book she had stolen from her brother's burial place "The Digger's Handbook".

Hans, a kind man, spends his nights keeping Leisel's nightmares at bay by teaching her to read. She falls in love with words and reading becomes an obsession, books are a luxury for a poor family. During this time, Hitler gains more power and decides that he would rule the world with words, Germany becomes a dangerous place and the people live in constant fear. During a book burning session Liesel rescues a smouldering book from the pile and later on becomes a full-fledge book thief when she steals a book from the library of the mayor.

This is a gripping story told from DEATH'S POINT OF VIEW, a very unique method of storytelling. A book about many things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, Jewish misery and a lot of thievery. I have to share with those saying that the brilliance of this book is not in the plot but in the narrative. Death is personified and narrates the story in a tone mixed with sadness and cynicism involving Nazis and Jews. The tale is surprisingly gentle while effectively portraying the atrocities and the horrors of World War11.

Regrettably some adults may miss the experience of this book, as it is marketed for young adults and teenagers. Some passages are profound and the subtle nuances could be missed by younger teens. It is a fantastic read with an emotional impact.
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