The Book Thief by Markus Zusak #Review

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover, 550 pages

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 14th 2006

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel Meminger finds her life changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger’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 library, wherever there are books to be found. 

But these are dangerous time. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jewish man 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. 


As I sit here and reflect on this book, I’m not even sure where to begin. The Book Thief is such an amazing read and there are so many feelings that will surface as you read it. There are books out there that just grab your soul and hold on and for me, this is definitely one of those books. 

I fell in love with the characters. Liesel has already been through a traumatic experience when she is sent to live with the Hubermanns. Her younger brother died on the trip there and her book thieving begins when she finds The Grave Digger’s Handbook in the snow. Hans Hubermann was such a kind man and every time he suffered, I wanted to cry. I’ll admit that I didn’t care for Rosa Hubermann at first, but when Max shows up in their kitchen half-dead from starvation and she just feeds him and accepts him into her home, I instantly realized I had misjudged her character. 

Death is the narrator of this book and it’s such a unique story that takes place in Germany during the Holocaust. I think it’s so good because there are several different sides shown. We see Liesel go through the different stages of life while also struggling with knowing what is right. The moment she realizes she hates Hitler and how he is making them live was heartbreaking and relieving at the same time. 

If you are looking for a quick read, this is not the book for you. If you don’t like intense situations where the outcome will break your heart, this book is also not for you. However, if you are looking for a fantastic read that will play with your emotions so to speak, this is the book for you. 

Rating: 5 stars