The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

Written by Markus Zusak

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A 2012 World Book Night selection.

Shortlisted for the Newcomer of the Year Award at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2008.

This is the story of a street of ordinary German people living in the horrors of the Nazi regime. Interestingly it is narrated by Death but the central character is an 11-year old girl who steals a gravedigger’s handbook and gets hooked on reading. It’s grim yet uplifting, immensely sad yet light in style and touch. A very interesting view of World War II and an unforgettable book, it’s aimed at both children and adults and should be read by both.

Larry Finlay, Managing Director of the Publisher of The Book Thief said:

“It is a great, great book, one that calls out to your head and your heart whatever your age. Its success is due almost entirely to word-of-mouth for unlike many bestsellers it has not been made into a film (yet), nor was it picked by a Book Club such as Richard and Judy.”

A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher...

The Book Thief is one of those word-of-mouth bestsellers that has made its way into reader’s hearts entirely on its own merits. When this book came to me by way of the Children’s Division, my heart took that legendary leap. I met for the first time the delightful Liesel, Rudy and of course Death, the narrator, all of whom have joined the galaxy of best-loved characters in world literature. Rare is the reader who doesn’t close this book with a tear in their eye.' Jane Lawson, Editorial Director at Transworld


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street.

The film of The Book Thief is due for release inthe UK 31 Jan 2014. See a trailer below.

Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH. It's a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES

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Extraordinary, resonant and relevant, beautiful and angry. -- Lisa Hilton Sunday Telegraph

..a beautifully balanced piece of storytelling...Unsettling, thought-provoking, life affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told. It is an important piece of work, but also a wonderful page-turner. Guardian

A moving work which will make many eyes brim. -- Marianne Brace Independent on Sunday

This is a weighty novel worthy of universal acclaim. A sense of dread prevades this beautifully written novel. As The Book Thief draws to a close, Death says: There's a multitude of stories that i allow to distract me as I work. The story of the Book Thief, who tried to change the world in her own small way, proves one formidable and inspiring distraction. -- Lianne Kolirin The Daily Express

Brilliant and hugely ambitious ... the kind of book that could be life-changing New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Markus Zusak

Australian author Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich and about Jews being marched through his mother’s small German town. He always knew it was a story he wanted to tell.

At the age of 30, Zusak has already asserted himself as one of today’s most innovative and poetic novelists. With the publication of The Book Thief, he is now being dubbed a 'literary phenomenon' by Australian and U.S. critics. Zusak is the award-winning recipient of a 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature. He lives in Sydney with his wife and new baby.

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Markus Zusak
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Black Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd

Publication date

8th September 2007




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