All member reviews for The Book Thief

Common Sense Media says

Powerful testament to humanity in Nazi Germany.

Users say

(out of 146 reviews)
age 12+
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Kid, 12 years old February 19, 2014

Best book I have ever read.

This book is thought-provoking and very realistic. It's an insight into Nazi Germany, through the eyes of a young german girl, a Jew and the Nazi party. It is written with great descriptive passages and emotional text; the sad but slightly happy ending almost made me cry. However, I would recommend that parents read this book before giving it to their children so that they can decide whether it is suitable for them.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written byCeci Joe February 14, 2014

Stunning Read… Never Read Anything Like it Before

This was an absolutely amazing book. Though it is one of the best compositions I've ever read, not all may like it. Foul language plays an ironically charming part in the romance of The Book Thief. It is slow paced and detailed with a gloomy setting that surprisingly keeps you reading. The style of writing is very figurative and often dry, but the story and the message that the book produces and ultimately engraves in the reader's mind will forever change their perspective on the world. Characters are artfully molded to the masterpiece of the plot and each word is tied into the (again) totally STUNNING ending. The book also produces a good background summary of the tragic happenings during this time. With death as the narrator, and Zusak as the literary artist, The Book Thief will really leave you stunned; a 100% guarantee. You might want to be careful of who reads this. It is NOT a book for fragile and easily disturbed children. Death, violence, a the aftermath of evil doings are portrayed. You might not like the first 100 or so pages of the book, but just wait till the story REALLY gets started.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bycrael351 February 10, 2014

Very powerful book.

I have always been an avid reader, but even I had difficulty plowing through this book. It's told from an interesting perspective: some parts by Death, and some by Liesel, a brave girl living in Nazi Germany. The book explores the power of friendship, the terror of living during the reign of Hitler and the eternity of love. While I would recommend the book for everyone, use discretion at there is a lot of cursing (mostly in German). It was an eye-opening experience for me as I had never read a book about Nazi Germany written through a young girl's eyes. Do read it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old February 6, 2014
This is one of the best books I have ever read. When I finished it, I cried and thought 'wow'. The Allies weren't the only side of the war.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old January 12, 2014

Powerful- an unforgettable read!

I read this when I was 12 though I now wish I read it when I was a little older. It is extremely powerful and made me cry quite a few times. The Book Thief is one book you will never forget, it's very unique and special. A must read- for 13 and up!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 12 years old January 12, 2014

5 stars

This is an amazing book once you get past the author's odd writing style I'm going to do a book report for school on this. There is some swearing such as sh!t but Nothing too bad. There is also a dark depressing atmosphere and one of the main characters smoke. It provides a view from a german's point of view during WWII.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old December 31, 2013

Different in a good way

This was a really good book. Although it was hard to get into, I was engrossed into the Book Thief's magical pages. A great way to teach kids what it would be like to be living during WWII. Language is a slight problem, but not too noticeable.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old December 29, 2013

The Best Book EVER!

The Book Thief was marvelous. If your wondering about the "sex," it is just kissing. It isn't intense. No worries.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bya1l2l3y4 September 2, 2013

Amazing!!!!!

This book is my favorite.There is some swearing in it but other than that it's fine.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byhoneyliz May 29, 2013

Prepare the tissue box

I read this when I was 12 years old. I was not traumatized. I was pretty mature for my age though, so immature tweens might feel differently. History is one of my favorite things so I really enjoyed this read. The point of view is really interesting and captures your attention quickly. All the characters are really well written and I can just picture myself inside the novel... which was both good and bad at times. I actually cried a little bit when I finished this book. Liesel is amazing and so is Death.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byc12341234 April 24, 2013

Best Book of the Year

This book is one of the most astounding pieces of literature I have ever read. Told by the Angel of Death, the novel is unique and refreshing. I have read a lot of Nazi-Germany books, and I thought I knew everything there was to know. But in The Book Thief, my eyes were opened to the flaws, tenderness, and victories of every character. This is a must-read for anyone.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byBestPicture1996 January 26, 2013

Completely engaging and wonderful!

I came in late to the hype of this book, but just it's cover of dominoes, a symbol of death, being knocked over made me want to read it. I couldn't put it down before going to bed, I needed to know what became of Liesel! It's a great look into history,and filled with courageous characters who come together through the power of reading and humanity.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byamewaalk October 10, 2012

The Book Thief

This is one of the best books I have ever read! I love reading historical fiction about WW2 and this book is way better than any of the other ones I have read. The Book Thief is about a girl living in Nazi Germany during the time of WW2. He brother is dead & her mother is in a concentration camp. Liesel's new papa teaches her how to read and write at "midnight school" after her nightmares. She learns that words have the incredible power to break you or build you up. She finds her power in words and uses them to help people. I would recommend this to anyone who loves historical fiction :) *note to parents: this is a great book full of role models but has occasional violence, swearing, and smoking... but nothing that a mature kid couldn't handle ;)
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byArtichokes-United August 20, 2012

This Book is Honestly Life Changing

From a young age students have been told about the Holocaust and WWII. So much, in fact, that many times we tend to lose feeling in regard to the painful truth. We begin to feel numb and the monsterous events of the past begin to fade away into just another history lesson. Out of sight out of mind. This is not one of those books. This book changed the way that I see the world. No other novel has done that to me. This book uses eloquent writting to describe the complexities of war and the choices we all must make between standing up for what is right or hiding in the shadows of hatred and ignorance. The characters are so fleshed out in such an expert fashion that you will laugh along with their happiness and feel pround in their triumph and cry with them in their times of despair. You may not wish to read this book because it is "sad," but let me tell you something. This book is more of a book about hope than it is about sadness. I find hope in this book because after I read it I felt that I was a better person and that the world is a better place because of it. That is the highest compliment that I have ever given a novel and this book deserves it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byandantandie July 7, 2012

Historical fiction CAN be interesting (and AMAZING)

This book was AMAZING. The best historical fiction I've ever read. I cried, I laughed, and I sobbed (in that order). The ending was horribly and perfectly sad. I feel like I really did KNOW the characters who died, and it's almost as though their death was a loss in my life as well as Liesel's. This book could easily be read and loved by 12 year olds, as long as they are mature and devoted readers.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byfluffy1234567890 May 14, 2012

MY REVIEW ABOUT THE THIEF LORD

this is a really nice book but i think only 8 year olds and up should read this book because it is not really appropriate for little kids. so readers out there if you have a younger family member please tell them to read this book when they are old enough to read this book. THANK YOU
What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 12 years old May 13, 2012

Book Theif

This is an amazing book. I will say it has quite a bit of objectionable language, but it actually made me laugh! Read it.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written bycaptaingabs April 5, 2012

Hey, Hollywood? Here's a book to be made into a movie.

This book is probably one of my absolute favorites, right up there with "Sarah's Key" and "The Devil's Arithmetic". Liesel is an extremely strong character, even though she is a character that very few of us will be able to relate to. With her determination, love for her best friend and foster parents, and her love of stealing books, everything she does gives you a thrill of excitement that will make you want to keep reading. There is a fair amount of swearing, in both German and English, but this is a book for adults, even though I think kids who will understand the mature content will enjoy it. There is no sexual content: The worst of it is Liesel's best friend, Rudy, wanting a kiss from her, which she refuses. "The Book Thief" should definitely be on your list of books to read before you die.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byHugeReader123 December 14, 2011

A TIMELESS CLASSIC....

First off, this is an amazing book. It's the best I've read, and I've read a LOT. It shows how it was like living in Communistic Germany during the second world war. It's from death's point of view, so it's different. In a good way. It's got a bit of cursing. For the sexual contnet, Liesel kisses a dead body. I won't tell who, just in case you're going to read this book. Rudy and Liesel steal food, books, money, because they are starving. Liesel smokes. The mother calls her some dirty names out of love. There's a suicide, but it's not very graphic. Like I said before, this is a wonderful book. It's a timeless classic. It's beautifully written. I recomend this book to EVERYONE.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Teen, 13 years old Written byBroadwayBaby33 August 6, 2011

Amazing.

This book is amazing, heartbreaking, and emotional. The writing is amazing, and though the story is spoiled early on, it doesn't stop the ending from being less tragic. There is quite a bit of violence. The whole story is told from the perspective of Death, who is very matter-of-fact about death, and life. **Spoilers** All of Liesel's family and friends die in a horrific bombing at the end of the book. **End of spoilers** The whole thing is wrought with an underlying message of terror and despair, but in the end, hope shines through. There is quite a bit of language. Every chapter has at least 3 uses of a**, a**hole, s***, and other foul language. Some of it is in German, but the author isn't afraid to swear in English, also. Nudity is talked of in detail, and though it is slightly disturbing, it isn't sexualized. This book is very, very good, and I highly recommend it to anyone over the age of 11. It's a powerful read, and sometimes you just have to stop reading and let it sink in.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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