The Book Thief: A Book Review



The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Summary: {Please forgive me, everyone. I’m feeling a *bit* lazy this evening, so we are just going to use the standard summary this time around. Yay for Goodreads!}

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . . Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist– books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster-father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul. {click here to see more.}

My Thoughts: *Need I say this? Spoilers ahead! :) This was a summer reading choice book. {we are required to read The Pearl and then we have to read another book from a set list.} I often don’t like the books we can choose from. They are either bad books, or we do so much on them that I then begin to hate the book. And, now to my next statement…

I LOVED The Book Thief :) It was so good! I sometimes have my doubts about popular, bestselling books, coughTwilightcough, but this was one I adored. Liesel was amazing. I really don’t know what to say about her. She was pretty developed, she had the personality I need in a main character, and she carried the story as the center of attention well. I did think that her growth was bit too fast for me because some ages were a few chapters, while another year could take a good hundred pages. {fyi, she was nine when the story started, and then the “real” story ended when she was fourteen. The book ends when she is in her old age.} I would also like to have known more about how she ended up. We were left with that she moved in with Ilsa, and then we rushed right to her death! What’s up with that?! Finally, did she really deserve the title of The Book Thief? I felt that the thievery wasn’t prominent enough that it was deserving of the title. Gosh, I adored Hans :) He was a wonderful father to Liesel, and just a nice person in general. I cried at the bombing scene. I saw it coming, but I definitely was NOT prepared for him to go. I think Rosa had a very thick guard up. She rarely let the people she loved in ,and, when she did, it came if like she was angry with them. I was reading a few other reviews, and they said she was “the evil stepmother,” and I would have to disagree. She was a little tough on Liesel, but every time I think of that, I remember the chapter when she just sat on the bed and stroked her husband’s accordion. I think that was the real Rosa, the one that the reader never really saw. Rudy was a goof, but I loved him all the same ;) Please tell me that I’m not the only one who thought that he and Liesel were going to grow up and perhaps marry each other. It was so perfect, and then Death had to ruin it. *sniffle* Speaking of which, I thought the idea of having Death narrate the story was interesting. The author most definitely picked the right time period to do this, but I did think that e could have gone back and polished up a few chapters. Don’t get me wrong, the book was beautifully written, but I think that Death needed more of a role. The bold type and drawings were a nice break in the middle of reading {it is a loooong book!} et they added to the story. So, in all, I thought this was a heart-wrenching book that I’m sure will stay on my favorites list for a long time. Let’s just hope that when September comes around that they don’t ruin the story.

Pros: Developed characters, well-written, and a thought-out plot.

Cons: The book was a little long, and there were a few tweaks I would have made here and there.

Heads Up: Violence is heavy, the swearing, however, is in another language, so it didn’t bother me too much. Just wanted to throw that out there!

Overall: I would love to give it 5 stars, but based on what I wrote, I think it deserves 4 1/2. So, I’m going to give it 4 3/4 stars {**** 3/4} and I recommend it for ages mature 13 year olds, otherwise 14-15 and up.

Hope you all had a lovely day!

B :)

*Psst… No review of The Pearl, unfortunately. You can check out books I have read, but haven’t reviewed on my “Reads” page! I try my best to mention them when I can.


4 thoughts on “The Book Thief: A Book Review

  1. Hi Bella, I am your grandmother’s friend in Williamsville. I have read the Book Thief twice with two different book clubs and gotten so much out of it each time. It is a book that resonates with the best and worst of human nature. This fall we will travel to Germany and once again confront the reality of ‘the camps’. It is chilling but is a part of our histoy we must face.

    We have given this book to two of our grandchildren and will give it again as the others mature, I’m sure. I am glad you chose to read it and appreciate it. And I am so glad you share your wisdom!

    Karen Synor


    • Thank you so much for taking the time to right such a thoughtful comment! :) It means so much to me.

      That aside, The Book Thief is unfortunately, so very realistic. It haunts me that this stuff actually happened, but as you said, its history that we must face. However, I’m so very jealous that you will be traveling to Germany!

      I’m sure that your grandchildren will love the book. Thanks for saying hello!
      Bella :)


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