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1001 Stories Collection

The Book Thief

1001 The Book Theif
Added on 03rd September 2020

Author Markus Zusak
First published 2005
Publisher Picador Books, Sydney, Australia

A powerful story of survival with a most unusual narrator.

Story

Death himself narrates this story - but he is not as scary as you might think. He tells the tale of Liesel, a young girl living in Nazi Germany who begins stealing books after her brother’s death. After being adopted by foster parents she discovers a passion for reading, and as she shares her books with her friends and family, she discovers the power that words can have, for both good and bad.

Why we chose it

A beautifully written, powerful novel with unique narrator. A story with many strands – a story of survival in the face of horrific events, a story of the power of stories and the power of words, a story which makes the reader look at death in a different way.

Where it came from

Markus Zusak (1975-present) is an Australian author with German and Austrian parents. Zusak always loved reading and has wanted to be a writer since he was sixteen. The Book Thief was inspired by two stories that his parents told him. The first was the bombing of Munich during the Second World War, and the second was about a teenage boy who offered bread to a Jewish man who was being treated cruelly by the Nazis. The boy was punished for helping the man, he still gave him the bread, an act of kindness and bravery.

Where it went next

The Book Thief has been a hit since its first publication and remained on the New York Times Children’s Bestseller lists for over one hundred weeks. It has won multiple awards, including the American Library Association’s Best Book for Young Adults (2007).

A film adaptation of the book was released in November 2013, directed by Brian Percival and starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson.

Associated stories

Markus Zusak’s other books for young adults include I Am the Messenger (2001) and the Wolfe Brothers trilogy (1999-2003).

Added on 03rd September 2020

Author Markus Zusak
First published 2005
Publisher Picador Books, Sydney, Australia