Book Review: The Book Thief By Markus Zusak


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 Jew 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.


Where do I begin? There is far too much ground to cover. Like really, there must be another type of a 5 star rating because this is it.

It does not feel like a YA novel. It seems much more mature in a way that everyone can read it.

Words cannot describe how much I loved this novel. This is also the first novel I annotated.

One of the main themes would be that books were a source of comfort to Liesel and later Max. It is another major symbol in The Book Thief and it was the source of Liesel’s transformation from a weak girl to an empowered young woman. She developed a great relationship over books when she learned how to read and write and thus got the power she needed from the books. This power helped her to develop a strong character, mature emotionally and became kinder and more understanding to those around her.

There is no real plot with this novel, you are enjoying the writing style and the journey whilst being prepared for death thanks to the narrator. So it can be overwhelming therefore you are simply enjoying the journey.

I didn’t hate death but I didn’t love him as a narrator either.

As I said earlier this is a novel where there are not enough stars to do it justice. This novel has an authentic touch to it. With the ability to affect the reader in a profound way that satisfies both.

5/5 Stars


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