All member reviews for The Book Thief

Teen, 14 years old Written byLisa88 June 16, 2011
 

A breathtaking, one of a kind novel

This is a stunningly beautiful novel of a girl living in Germany during the holocaust, suitable for both teenagers and adults to read. Zusak left me breathless with his descriptions and I always felt connected to the characters in some way or another. It is educational but does not lack strong characters with which you can connect with emotionally. You are taken on a heartbreaking journey through the lives of several characters, many of which you grow to love and feel for. Several times in the book I was bawling my eyes out or crying for pure joy, it really gets to you on an emotional level. It has holocaust themes (obviously) but I would say that they are quite mild. People who are sensitive to these themes can quite easily skip over the details and continue reading on as the book will still make total sense. The way in which Zusak writes is quite inspiring and just reading the descriptions with no storyline or plot would be enough for me! This is one of my favourite books.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byheyjessie March 13, 2010
 

A bit intense for preteens

I read this when I was eleven on a cruiseship, and it was seriously awesome. I loved it. Still do. In fact, I have the book next to me right now. It's one of my favorite books of all time, and even though there's a lot of things that I shouldn't know about, well, most people these days are more mature than they used to be. I did flinch at a few words, however.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bybookkeeper September 3, 2010
 

Beautiful and sad

Markus Zusak has a way with words, and it shines in The Book Thief. At once hopeful and devastating, it's an observation of humanity from an outsider who sees it all; Death says things bluntly, and at one point spoils a bit of the plot early, because he doesn't see the point in keeping anything a secret. A real tear-jerker, The Book Thief keeps a steady pace to the end, if not with plot, then with words. I've read it many times, and each time I notice something new and amazing.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bykungfuflypig April 9, 2008
 

{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
 

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
Written byAnonymous March 25, 2014
 

Wow...

When I finished reading this book, I was utterly blown away. First of all, while there is dark humor, I think that it was best told from the point of view of death (him?her?) self. The characters were very, VERY, well put together. The plot/storyline is splendous. The ending is well done, but sad. This book ALMOST made me cry, but not quite, as I must preserve my manlyness. Not that Nazi Germany was funny, as it was horrific, but there were also some very funny moments in it as well. This may be my all time favorite book, and it will stay with me for the rest of my life. I recommend this to anyone 13 and older, or 10 and older if your child can handle the emotional toll.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byjohn@mobile-oil.com May 14, 2009
 

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
 

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
Teen, 15 years old Written byswimgirl815 January 4, 2011
 

An awesome book...up to Harry Potter standards.

I seriously loved this book. I first read this book as summer reading for my frosh year lit class, and I fell in love with it. Nazi Germany and the Holocaust is one of my favorite topics of literature, and I feel that Markus Zusak does a fantastic job creating a story. Although it is about a dark theme, choosing tired and sarcastic Death to be the narrator adds a whole new dimension to the book by making it darkly humorous. All the characters stand out, and for me, my favorites, by far, were Hans Hubermann and Rudy Steiner. (SPOILER) I cry EVERY time I read when Rudy and Hans are found dead after the bombing, and I have read this book about 5 times now. It contains some language, but teens like me would think that it adds to the dark humor of the book. A must read, should be classic.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written bybricehager10 September 13, 2010
 

Amazing. Absolutely Amazing.

This book is so amazing. I thought this was the best book i've ever read in my entire life, and I've read a lot of books. It's dark, cruel, powerful messages changed my life.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bystork13 April 9, 2014
 

One of my Favorite Books!

The Book Thief is a really great book for teens and even adults. It definitely captures the struggles of the characters in the book. Yet it also has good role models who later become heroes. What really stands out about this book is the fact that the main characters will fight to do what's right even if it means risking their lives. The book has some language here and there (sh*t, a**hole, pig, etc.) yet its mostly said in German language. The Book Thief is a very educational book and its also very interesting. It's a little slow at the beginning, but IT GET'S BETTER!!! Trust me :)
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byelreader46 August 4, 2010
 

powerful book about ww2 for teens.

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! it is a powerful statement about how foster children were treated in WW2.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byMzrokks August 21, 2011
 

Magnificent, melancholy, a classic

This is not a happy book. But it is an absolutely brilliant one. The reader lives through the Second World War with a young girl in Nazi Germany, told exceptionally well by Death Himself. There is some language, but nothing a mature 12-year old couldn't take. If you remember this is a sad book, then you'll realize this for the classic it is. A testament to humanity.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 13 and 16 year old Written bygabajoran January 18, 2011
 
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
 

A powerful story of life under the Nazis

What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old June 4, 2010
 

Loved it!

This book was hard to get into I admit, but once I started reading it, I could not stop! I would recommend this book to people who know that something like this wouldn't happen to them.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value
Adult Written byswimgirl1995 February 17, 2009
 

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 byShoshanna Friedman June 28, 2012
 

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
Teen, 15 years old Written byKass April 9, 2008
 

Astonishing

The Book Thief is by and large the greatest, most profound book I've read in the past year, one that I will cherish for its mesmerizing prose and haunting tale. Narrated by Death, who is at once compassionate, bitter, and matter-of-fact, the tale follows the coming of age of a young German girl. Left in the care of Munich family during the duration of the second world war, Liesel's encounters with love, prejudice, thievery, music, and the staggering power of words are traced over the course of four years until the story culminates in a series of events as tragic as they are hopeful. You will not be disappointed.
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byltorgerson October 20, 2013
 

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

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