All parent member reviews for The Book Thief

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parents say

(out of 21 reviews)
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Adult Written bykungfuflypig April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

{GRADE A} Purely Amazing (THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ)--magical

Wow. All the reviewers that liked it said a lot of the stuff that I noticed while I was reading this book too, but a lot said that there is many to say about this book. But let me tell you, if I were to choose only one book that I can call 5 stars--i would choose this "Young Adult" novel. It is a masterpiece, this book should be read by all, grandparents, adults, and young adults. And the book may look dense, but trust me--even though the book is slow paced, you will find yourself enchanted by the dark humor, brutality, and just plain magic. After u read this your views of WWII will completely change--as this is not an Anne Frank but a dark portrayal of the poor Germans, u will find yourself thinking a different of life in WWII. And after u read this--well, i could just say this book can be life changing. The book has a unique narrative style. By death. Yes that is true, death does narrate--but the style is not exactly a narrative nor a poetic style. The genre is hard to point out here, and the story is quite simple: Leisel, a German girl is being adopted by a crazy woman and sweet man in Munich--as she steals books to read them to everyone. But soon you will find yourself intrigued by the complexity of this epic. A Jewish man starts living in there basement. Air raids are everywhere. Leisel has a best friend named Rudy. The Jewish man and Leisel have much in common. And many more happens in this story. But the story is not the main thing, yes, Zusak does try to make sense of the horrors of WWII--but the main thing is... the amazing writing and meaning. This book is some way you can poetic, and in many ways brutal. Sometimes the book can be dark, but at many moments you will hear yourself crying out loud in laughter. Parents need to know that this book is quite dense at a whopping 576 pages. Also your child may have trouble reading this book--figuring out its style can be confusing. The swearing is mainly in German, but there are some infrequent uses of s--t. The violence is surprisingly almost never occurring, but there are two moderately graphic beatings and air raids(nothing detailed). I have explained about 0.1% of how wonderful this book is. Trust me. Buy the book. You will feel the same way as me--really wanting to say how great it is, but finding it hard to explain. Overall this book is highly recommended for teens, adults, and anyone else above the age of a teen.
Adult Written byKateD August 6, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Language is inappropriate for middle school

The language is inappropriate for middle school. It has very powerful themes, so encourage it to your high school students!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value
Adult Written byjohn@mobile-oil.com May 14, 2009
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Stunning, will be a classic.

At age 63 I am no doubt older than the average reader of this book. Having spent time listening to older family members describe what they saw in WWII Germany, I have to say that the author's description of conditions is spot on. The story is wonderful. Having death narrate the story is pure genius, an approach I have never encountered before and I have read a lot of books in my lifetime. My daughter gave my copy to me as a birthday gift and it will remain in my library as a cherished book to be read many times. Mr. Zuzak should take heart that he has developed a writing style that is unique and mature well beyond his years. This book should be included in every high school lexicon.
Parent of a 3 year old Written bymessenger December 13, 2008
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

this story is powerful

i this story is about a girl whose brother dies and mom abandons her the story is a book written by death the story is just fantastic the story is dense for young readers but for those who can understand it give it to them age is not a factor only the ability to understand the book is needed so dont worry about your kid being taught to do bad things
Parent of a 13 and 16 year old Written bygabajoran January 18, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
I bought this book as an ebook after both my 13 year old daughter and I got Nook ereaders. Finding books that are appropriate for her to read that I will also enjoy has been a challenge. This book met all my expectations. It is a bit odd in the beginning, but the characters are unforgettable. The story line is dark but not totally depressing. It is excellent historic fiction. Even the language that I would object to adds to the book.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byTeacher and lov... October 30, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

A powerful story of life under the Nazis

What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Adult Written byswimgirl1995 February 17, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

i cried and laughed throughout this exciting book

i really loved this book and hope that all parents will let their 10 year old read it.Sure there are a few curse words,but its still amazing and there isn't really any mature content other than that and some nazis whipping jews.i hope everyone can read this book.it was both amazing and surprising. the end was kinda weird but it was good other than that. the beginning was slow though.
Parent Written byRespectforchildren December 22, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

10-years old is just fine!

It isnt' realistic and it undermines childlren to think they have to be 13 to see this movie. They know more about everything than we think. In our private school, children study Nazi Germany and WWII when they are 10! And they watch movies about it. So to take children ages 10 and up to this beutiful movie, followed by a discussion about man's inhumanity toward man, is an educational and trusting experience.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byltorgerson October 20, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Brilliant story about the Holocaust but heavy subject matter for kids

Marcus Zusak is an incredible writer who describes the life of a boy and girl in Poland during WWII. It is heart-wrenching and beyond comprehension but may give readers a glimpse of life during that time. It is heavy subject matter for adults so especially so for young teens. I would recommend for older teens studying the Holocaust.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byShoshanna Friedman June 28, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Fantastic piece of literature

One of the best young adult books I've read in years that incorporates a great plot, realistic characters genuinely engaged in inner conflict and strikingly good literary technique. As I read it I felt it was the "new" classic of our age and should be on everyone's reading list. My 14 yr old daughter loved it and was able to appreciate its literary value as well as its general meaningfulness. What's also significant and different is that this is a "Holocaust" story that's told from a German perspective...very unusual and almost a Sophie's Choice (for kids) twist in perspective on a very tragic time in history. (Yes, if you're wondering, I'm Jewish and the child of Holocaust survivors, and no I didn't find the German perspective offensive at all) -the book is great.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byAnia December 26, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Beautiful writing

A wonderful book, content/theme/characters, etc. As a writer, Markus Zusak is in the top tier of contemporary writers.
Parent of a 7, 10, and 12 year old Written byWordGirlTN February 14, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

One of the Best Books Ever Written

While I'm a big reader, I'm not a big re-reader. Even some of my favorite books are favorites based on a one-time reading. So it's highly unusual for me to re-read a book that I read less than a year ago. I did so for two main reasons: to see if I still liked it as much the second time around and to pay closer attention to Zusak's writing style since when I read it last June it left me aching to write. I did like it as much the second time around. I simply love Liesel Meminger. She is brave, loving and kind in the worst circumstances imaginable. I want to know someone like her. I want to be like her - without all of the tragedy surrounding her. (Although even as I type that, I wonder if Liesel would be Liesel without the tragedy surrounding her.) I tried to pay close attention to the writing and while I can't write like Zusak, I did learn some things. I think his use of Death as the narrator gives this book an emotional distance it needs. If the book is heartbreaking as it is, it would be devastating (or impossible) to read it first-person from Liesel's point of view. I also find myself pondering how Zusak gives words themselves weight, life and three-dimensionality. Words and books are a characters in The Book Thief, not just delivery vehicles. This book is not a light read. With 50 pages left, I was crying so hard this morning that one daughter brought me kleenex while another hugged me and comforted me. But if you can stand to read Liesel's story about Nazi Germany and how words made it all possible, it is well worth it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bymemni April 14, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

A book for those who would enjoy it most

Personally i think if you cna understand what the book says and realtes itself to your in good shape. I have to agree there is some language that may not be apropreiate for younger children, but that can be lived with since it's not extensive. I enjoyed some of the narrator's phrases such as "I am haunted by humans." I highly recamend to all who have yet to read this that they should purchase it immediatly or whenever they see fit. This tells of WWII that was indeed a bloody war, but it is good to know what happened there and to be educated on how life was for those living in Germany at the time, this book portreys this eccelently.
Parent of a 8, 14, and 14 year old Written byNGogel December 9, 2009
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Excellent for older teens - not for younger children

Great book for older teens and young adults.
Adult Written byKatster July 10, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value
Adult Written byaramartin April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Educator Written byLibrarian Lynne April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Adult Written bykeiko April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A different WWII book

This is a WWII story set in Germany. The main character is a young girl named Liesel who goes to live with a foster family. She finds comfort/peace (in the mist of war, lost of her own family, risking their lives to help a Jew, and all) in books. Since there is barely enough money for pea soup, she finds books or steal them. Books become her life line! The writing of this book is very interesting, written in the 3rd person of Death. It really gives the reader an idea what a child life was like during the war. Just trying to be a child, riding bikes, stealing apples, playing soccer while keeping a huge secret and hiding in basements when there was an air raid.
Adult Written bydragon ball April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

a must read

thats all there is too it. I would have your kid read it before they enter High School.