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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

The author wrote this for his children so they might better understand the horror of the Nazification of Germany. Written in a light, simplistic style, narrated by Death and centred on an 11-year old girl who steals books, it is one of those novels that will remain with you for the whole of your life. You may forget the detail but you will never forget the sensation of reading it. It has now been filmed but I urge you to read this masterpiece before you see the film for then you too can fall in love with it. It is amazing.

The film version of The Book Thief is released in UK cinemas on Friday 14 February 2014. Click below to view the trailer.

Larry Finlay, Managing Director of the Publisher of The Book Thief said:

“It is a great, great book, one that calls out to your head and your heart whatever your age. Its success is due almost entirely to word-of-mouth for unlike many bestsellers it has not been made into a film (yet), nor was it picked by a Book Club such as Richard and Judy.”

A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher...

The Book Thief is one of those word-of-mouth bestsellers that has made its way into reader’s hearts entirely on its own merits. When this book came to me by way of the Children’s Division, my heart took that legendary leap. I met for the first time the delightful Liesel, Rudy and of course Death, the narrator, all of whom have joined the galaxy of best-loved characters in world literature. Rare is the reader who doesn’t close this book with a tear in their eye.' Jane Lawson, Editorial Director at Transworld

If you like Markus Zusak you might also like to read books by Morris Gleitzman, Meg Rosoff and Khaled Hosseini.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Here is a small fact - You are going to die 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street.

Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. Some Important Information - This novel is narrated by Death. It's a small story, about: a girl an accordionist some fanatical Germans a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery. Another thing you should know - death will visit the book thief three times.

Browse inside this book


'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.' Guardian

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

'This is a weighty novel worthy of universal acclaim. A sense of dread prevades this beautifully written novel. As The Book Thief draws to a close, Death says: There's a multitude of stories that i allow to distract me as I work. The story of the Book Thief, who tried to change the world in her own small way, proves one formidable and inspiring distraction.' The Daily Express

About the Author

Markus Zusak

Australian author Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich and about Jews being marched through his mother’s small, German town. He always knew it was a story he wanted to tell.

'We have these images of the straight-marching lines of boys and the 'Heil Hitlers' and this idea that everyone in Germany was in it together. But there still were rebellious children and people who didn’t follow the rules and people who hid Jews and other people in their houses.'

Markus Zusak is the award-winning recipient of a 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature. He lives in Sydney with his wife and two children.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th January 2014


Markus Zusak

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Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd


560 pages


Literary Fiction
NewGen - YA Fiction
Historical Fiction
Books Behind TV & Film
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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