Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief — a book that’ll make you laugh, cry and make you throw it across the room all at once. I love this book though because it makes me feel emotions – sad, happy and mad. I also found myself confused at some points because of a character’s mistake or choice of words. I’ve never read a book that has torn my emotions in three parts like this book has. For me, when a storyline evokes so many strong emotions in me, I’m captivated and hooked!

The Book Thief is about a young girl named Liesel who moves to Germany to join her new foster parents. The first chapter in this book is probably one of the best first chapters I’ve ever read. The reader discovers, shockingly, that the book is narrated by Death. This was the first foreshadowing in the book:

“First the colors. Then the humans. That’s usually how I see things. Or at least, how I try. Here is a small fact. You are going to die.”

Death reveals more and more about Liesel in each chapter. The reader learns that Liesel cannot read, although at a funeral within the first few chapters she steals a book from the Grave Digger. She meets her foster parents Rosa and Hans, and Hans immediately takes her under his wing. She also meets Rudy, who is my favorite character, who becomes her Best Friend and partner in crime. She and Rudy begin to steal books from book burnings – shocking, right? Imagine the government controlling what books are permitted to be read; otherwise, they are banned and burned.

Throughout all of the book there is intense suspense as the reader wonders if Rudy and Liesel will get caught. The reader also learns about different complications in Liesel’s family regarding Max, a son of Hans’ life saver from war. Max is Jewish, and during Hitler’s dictatorship, Jewish people were targeted and removed from society.

I think this novel is heart wrenching, and I swear it almost killed me at the end. When I was finished, I began to appreciate this book. Although it is very sad, I recognized that not all stories can have happy endings. It taught me to take each minute and each second to heart because you don’t know what day will be your last. Love your family, friends and even enemies because you only have so much time on this earth. Death may be kind to you like it was to Liesel, but it may catch you by surprise.

This book reminds me that in the past and even today, people have taken and are continuing to take great risks to their own lives to help others whose lives are in danger for no logical or humane reason. I would rate this book a 10/10 – it is one of my all – time favorite books. It really catches the hardships and terrible deeds that took place in WW2.


Abbey Humphreys is in 8th grader at Delta Middle School. In her free time Abbey likes to play saxophone, read and write.

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Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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