"The Book Thief" is an outstanding young adult novel set in Germany during 1939-1943 and follows the life of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl, as she endures a poverty-ridden existence. Liesel has never known her father and is turned over to a foster family by her mother, along with her young brother. After the death of her brother, she resorts to stealing.
A lover of books, she not only steals them for herself, but she shares them with others while enduring the bombing air raids of World War II. One of the people who read Liesel's stolen books is a Jew who has taken refuge in her basement.
Liesel's brother dies on the train as they head to their new foster parents' home. It is there where Death, the narrator of the novel, initially rubs elbows with Liesel, who is nine years old. Death watches her steal the book lying by her brother's grave, a book entitled "The Gravedigger's Handbook."
The novel presents two viewpoints. One is that of Liesel as she struggles in war-torn Germany, surrounded by maimed humanity, starvation and dying men, women and children. The other viewpoint is that of Death personified, who becomes a unique figure with whom listeners identify in a kind of way that never becomes morbid or depressing.
Award-winning author Markus Zusak is an Australian writer. As a young person, he heard stories about Nazi Germany and the Jews who lived in his mother's home town in Germany.
Inspired to tell the stories and let the world know that not every German boy and girl, man and woman followed the dictates of evil leaders, Zusak has shown another side of Nazi Germany.
Zusak has received many awards such as a 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature and the Book Sense Book of the Year Award in Children's Literature, 2007.
He currently lives in Sydney, where he continues to write.
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.
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 for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. Download and start listening now!