Parents' Guide to

The Book Thief

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Powerful, moving tale of book-loving girl in Nazi Germany.

The Book Thief Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 28 parent reviews

age 12+

Great book, A few draw backs

I thought that this book was great. I read it and my kids read it. The only thing that bothers me is the swearing and romance. There is a whole chapter called, “The thought of Rudy naked” let’s just say that chapter is a little inappropriate. There is also frequent cussing so if your kid haven't been exposed to that, i wouldn’t recommend this book. Overall, this is one of my favorite books and i definitely recommend it.
2 people found this helpful.
age 11+

Very good book.

I have a few points to make about this book. Violence: There is violence in this book but it's World War 2 there was violence and people did die in real life and children/teenagers should know that. I know there is a lot of adults who won't like this book because there is, "Too much swearing". My kid (who is in middle school) tells me kids curse all the time, but I've taught him well enough to make sure that this vocabulary in the book will stay in the book and will not be mentioned out loud. This does briefly talk about how Hitler wrote his book in jail ( My Struggle ) and how people with blue eyes, white skin, and blond hair was the most respected race in Germany.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (28 ):
Kids say (234 ):

This is a devastatingly powerful book that bears several rereadings, and should become a staple of literature discussion groups for sophisticated teen and adult readers. The Book Thief has won many awards, including the ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and the School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of the Year. It will educate readers about living under Nazi rule and inspire them to think about human nature and why some heroic people are able to put their lives on the line to do what they know is right. Set against the brutality of the Nazis, the book's violence is critical to the story's emotional impact.

The participation of Death as a character and narrator is presented matter-of-factly from the start, and Death continues to figure in the plot. Death changes emotionally over the course of the novel, haunted by the humans who have died. And there's a powerful payoff in the Shakespearean ending, when author Markus Zusak wallops you again and again with the fates of these people, good and bad, whom you've come to care about. These are deeply mined characters acting in response to deeply dramatic circumstances.

Book Details

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