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Cover for "The Book Thief"

The Book Thief

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List Price: $14.99

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Book Overview

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 100 BEST YA BOOKS OF ALL TIME The extraordinary, beloved novel about the ability of books to feed the soul even in the darkest of times. When Death has a story to tell, you listen. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence...

Customer Reviews

33 ratings

poor condition

This book was described as good condition however it was in poor condition , cover was frayed and worn, book was very soiled , we were hesitant to even touch it it was so misused. I will not use this seller again. I had read the book and the story is excellent , I purchased this as a gift but had to dispose of it it was in such poor condition.


I loved this book in high school and wanted another for my library. I got it in “very good” condition so that it would look really nice but unfortunately the front is scratched and the corners are curled, the bottom of the book has water damage, and the pages were actually bent on the inside. I ordered another book in the same condition and it looked brand new! This was something I wasn’t expecting from something so highly recommended among my peers and even there were shocked.


good book

I purchased a hardcover book. I received a paperback book. I paid the higher price and received a bo

I haven’t read it yet. Not sure I can. The font in the paperback version of this book is too small. Very disappointed.

Phenomenal book!!

You should Definitely read this book! It’s phenomenal! Even though it’s fictional it gives you a very good insight on what it was like in Germany during WW2!! And the way It’s written is extremely creative!!

Not Very Good Condition!

This DID NOT arrive in “very good condition” The cover had bent edges, missing bits, and the sides where very worn. Not only that, but the pages are extremely yellowed! The only reason I won’t be returning it is because I don’t mind a worn book but this is NOT in “very good” condition.

Great book

Love this book. So sad.

Top 5 Books of All Time

I've read a LOT of books, and this one makes my top 5. Emotional, devastating, and really looks at both the innocence and cruelty of human nature. The narration by Death is such a genius choice, and the writing is beautiful. It may be marketed as a children's book in some places, but I think anyone could read it and be ugly crying by the end. 100/10 recommend.


Not sure what the fuss is about. Boring and didn’t care for the writing style. I donated it after reading, hoping someone else will appreciate it.

Edge of my seat

The narrator tells you in the beginning how it ends but I was still on edge the whole time. Such a beautiful story about such a dark time.

Words that drip like golden honey

This story is incredible to say the very least. The innocence of a child brought into a strange and terrifying world full of hatred is a hard concept to tackle and portray correctly, but Zusak does it with grace and poise I've never before seen in words. The style of writing alone makes me come back to this book over and over again through the years- it's like the author reached into the corners of my soul and put the words he found down on paper in the most comprehensive and descriptive way I've ever seen. A beautiful and poignant piece that deserves to be read, because though the world it encompasses is scary, there is love at its very core, down to the ink marking the pages.

It said good condition...

It said good condition but this is not very good :/ However, I like the look of used books. I’m excited to read it!


This book was not my cup of tea. It was an interesting take on a ww2 however it felt slow pace at the beginning.

bad condition

i haven’t read the book yet so idk if it’s good but if you’re going to order it try to order it in good+ condition i ordered it in acceptable and it came all ripped up and it was already annotated

written beautifully, great condition

I couldn't put this book down and it came it better condition that I thought it would!

First Book that Made Me Cry

This book is written in the perspective of Death and their brushes with the protagonist. It made me love historical fiction and I cried at the ending, which turns out to make finishing the story difficult. A great YA or adult book, looks into the youth's perspective of a Nazi-occupied country and how they coped with it.

For Book Condition Only

I ordered this book under "acceptable" condition. I won't mind some notes/lines on the pages from previous owners. But this one has notes/lines on ALL PAGES. I was very disappointed. Threw the book in the trash can!!!

The Book Thief

This book was really good, it brought tears to my eyes!

Don't miss this gem!

So well written. Very creative narrator. The way it's written you are able to dive into an emotional subject without being overwhelmed. A unique exploration of a subject not often written from this perspective.

Favorite book of all time

This book is absolutely gorgeous. The narration is unique and colorful, the characters are compelling and relatable, the historical context is engrossing and well executed. The story balances the levity of growing up and the blight of the holocaust perfectly, and the startlingly vivid worldviews contrast and combine to miraculous and heartbreaking effect. I read this book first in eight grade at the height of my juvenile cynicism and it brought me to laughter and tears alike. I make a point to re-read it every year or so, the story simply touches my heart in a way few other things have. Cannot recommend highly enough. Plus, the book's narrator is Death, so that's just dope


I was really excited to read it, and then it comes and it has writing in it, and some pages are completely defaced


This book was pure gold. I loved the story line and it was very well written. If you are looking for a great read, I would recommend this book 100%.


FIRST OF ALL, THIS BOOK BROKE ME, ABSOLUTELY BROKE ME. yes, maybe it was a tad bit too long for my liking and could’ve been shortened and still would’ve been would’ve been equally as wonderful, but it BROKE me. it was beautifully saddening. unfortunately, the way it was narrated sometimes changed my judgement of the book, though. the narrator, death, tended to ‘spoil’ future events. i get that it was supposed to happen, but i didn’t necessarily like it.

a masterpiece

this book is the best that I have ever read before. the way that the author describes a feeling or the way a person spoke is so beautiful. it was hard to read another book afterward because none would ever measure up. i highly recommend this too anyone.

No jacket

I love this book, however, tired of getting books with no jacket.

One of my favorite books!

This book is well written. It manages to blend the growing pains of aging and the effects of war seamlessly. I would highly recommend!


I loved this book. The perspective chosen by the author is unique. It promotes alot of thought


story good, condition okay.

i received the book about a week upon ordering. the previous owner annotated it, but i scribbled them out. good as new. would recommend buying.

The Word Shaker

THE BOOK THIEF is a beautiful and carefully worded story, following four years in the life of young Liesel Meminger, a poor German girl who finds herself separated from her six-year-old brother (who dies) and her mother and father (taken away by the Nazi's for being a communist), and fostered to Rosa and Hans Hubermann. Arriving at the Hubermann's, nine-years-old and already burdened with great loss, Liesel forges a deep bond with her Papa, Hans - a man with a many-roomed heart - who sits with her at night when her nightmares force her awake with screams. It is during these nights that Hans teaches her to read, and they begin with the first book she ever "stole": The Grave-Diggers Handbook, a book that fell out of the pocket of a fourteen-year-old grave digger who dug the grave for her brother. Like a kitten who finds comfort at the teat of a sow after losing its mother, Liesel begins to find comfort in words. The story is narrated by no less a personage than Death, although this Death is sans hooded-skull and scythe. Indeed, we learn little more about Death than he is not what we perceive him to be in our Halloween imitations, and very good at his job. Given the setting for this story, we are guaranteed of the chance to evaluate Death's job performance. Zusak writes with a deft, poetic hand, his descriptions unconventional and mesmerizing. Rosa Hubermann is "a small wardrobe with a coat hung over it". A woman's mouth has teeth that elbow each other for room. A boy: "His tie is a pendulum, long dead in its clock." These images jump from the page and give us a clearer picture of what we're seeing than if Zusak had spent hours describing the tiniest detail of Rosa Hubermann's body. Along the way, Liesel shares her interest in words, and in no place is that felt more potently than in her relationship with Max Vandenburg, a Jew who her parents hide in their basement. Max arrives nearly dead, and the much younger Liesel finds herself captivated by him. When the cold in the basement pushes Max to the brink of death, they move him to Liesel's room for (I believe) eight days, where Liesel brings him small mementos and reads to him while he fights for life (and once against Death itself!). In turn, Max writes for her - and these books-within-a-book are more touching and meaningful, more full of love and hope while not betraying the slightest hint of over-dramatization, than anything I've come across in years. Indeed, if this story had been only about Liesel's relationship with Max, it would have been an enormous success. It may also have been more widely read - I suspect that the length of the book and the immediacy present in Max's story but not as equally present in other sections, put some people off. Before I read the book, I looked at the negative reviews (of which there are four). One review commented that the book felt like "work". Reading Hawthorne can be work, too, but I always feel the better for having read him.

Magnificent Story

Liesel Meminger is a Book Thief, living with a foster family in Germany during World War Two. Torn from everything she's known, her foster father shows her the power of words as the two of them share late night reading sessions of The Grave Digger's Handbook. Her love of books ties her to others, including the mayor's wife and Max, the Jew the family hides in the basement. My own words escape me as I try to recount the beauty of this book in a short review. Rarely have I read a book as moving, as profound, as this one. Narrated by Death, this story is one that crawls under your skin and reverberates your soul with its images of Nazi Germany, friendship, and loss. The images stirred through Death's telling are so vivid, so wonderful, so tragic. Zusak has a masterful command of language and I was astounded by the way his words brought Liesel and her world to life. We follow Liesel over the years as she learns the true meaning of family through her caring new Papa and her friendships with Max and Rudy, the boy next door who idolizes Jesse Owens. Just a small list of images that will stay with me forever: +Liesel reading to the neighbors sitting terrified in a basement waiting for the bombs to fall around them +A snowball fight in a basement +Mama arriving at school to "yell" at Liesel +A boy with candlelit hair standing up to a Nazi Youth Leader +Death gathering up the souls of children softly +The story of a Word Shaker +An accordian player accepting a cigarette as payment There are not enough words within me to express the beauty of this book. It will move you to laughter and tears, often at the same time. This one is a keeper that I will revisit frequently in the future. It has changed my soul. Highly, highly, highly recommended.


Very rarely a book comes out that steals my breath away. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak is a revelation. Narrated by Death, this story follows Leisel as she steals books in Nazi Germany while she and her best friend Rudy discover the power of words, language and friendship. Zusak's writing is mesmerizing; it's sarcastic, emotional, sophisticated and wondrous. If you only read one book this year, read this one. Share it with your friends and family. I don't expect to read anything better this year, or next year either.

Powerful, moving, and remarkable

"A human doesn't have a heart like mine. The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I'm always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both." So muses the narrator of Markus Zusak's powerful and moving new novel, THE BOOK THIEF. As you might guess, this is no ordinary narrator. The contemplative first person guiding you through this book is Death, an at-once fitting and ironic vanguard for a tale that both celebrates the power of words and agonizes over the consequences of their use. Set against the tragedy-stained canvas of World War II, Death tells the story of young Liesel Meminger (the eponymous book thief) growing up in Nazi Germany under the watchful eye of a staunch foster mother and kindly foster father who teaches her to read. She attends meetings of the BDM, a youth group aimed at indoctrinating young girls into Hitler's ideology. She plays soccer with the boys on her street, holding her own in any disputes that arise. And all the while, the dreams of her dead brother haunt and goad her into a fascination with reading and words that inevitably leads to her life of crime. It is a meeting with Max Vandenburg, a 24-year-old Jewish man being hidden in Liesel's basement by her compassionate foster parents, that alters the course of Liesel's life. Max, too, is haunted by nightmares of a family he lost in the harrowing aftermath of Kristallnacht. Together, Max and Liesel discover a shared love of words that leads to a decisive understanding about the role words play in both bravery and cowardice. Each, in their own way, sets out to use this knowledge to shape the world around them. While other writers have employed Death as a narrator, Zusak makes his own indelible mark on the technique in the dimensions he gives to the character. Death is simultaneously dispassionate about his work and the impact it can have while striving to understand humanity's resilience. Death boasts an omniscience of what will happen in life but also a naivety about what can happen in the human heart. In the ultimate expression of his dichotomous theme, Zusak creates a touching love letter to books and writing, framed in arguably the most horrific period in human history. But his greatest triumph is delivering a reminder that no writer enters this world quietly. Writers are born of eruptions and detonations, and the truly exceptional ones, like Zusak, continue to channel these explosive energies to craft a truly remarkable book that will be admired for generations. --- Reviewed by Brian Farrey [...]

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