TITLE: The Book Thief
AUTHOR: Markus Zusak
NARRATOR: Allan Corduner
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: September 26, 2006
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs and 56 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel 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 before he is marched to Dachau.This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
This was a touching story of one German family who showed kindness to a Jew, at a time when they were being persecuted.
The story takes place in Germany during World War II. A nine-year-old girl named Liesel Meminger is travelling to Munich with her younger brother, Werner, and mother. Unfortunately, her brother dies on the train. When they get off the train to bury her brother, Liesel steals a book. Liesel’s mother is ill and takes her to Hans and Rosa Hubermann, who will be Liesel’s foster parents. Liesel actually does not know how to read, so Hans teaches her and reads the book to her that she stole, which turns out to be a gravedigger’s handbook. Rosa is a very brusque woman who insults everyone by calling them saumensch (pig girl) or saukerl (pig man). However, we later see as the story goes on that she uses these names as terms of endearment. The Hubermanns take in a young Jewish man named Max Vandenburg, and they hide him in their basement. Liesel and Max form a unique bond, and they share that they are both haunted by their dreams. Liesel also makes friends with a local boy named Rudy Steiner, who accompanies Liesel on her book burglaries. When the mayor’s wife cancels her laundry service with Rosa Hubermann, Liesel breaks into her house and steals books from their massive library. When the town’s residents have to seek refuge in bomb shelters, Liesel reads these books to them to pass the time.
This book is filled with examples of kindnesses shown from one to another during a very dark time. On one occasion, Hans Hubermann gives bread to a Jewish prisoner on his way to the concentration camp and Hans gets whipped for it. We also learn that the mayor’s wife was aware that Liesel was stealing her books, and she leaves her a note and invites her to use the door the next time.
Interestingly, this book’s narrator is Death and we are given lots of foreshadowing of what is about to take place. I thought that this gave the book a unique perspective.
Narrator Allan Corduner is new-to-me, and he was amazing! He brought this story to life, and he portrayed each character so well. Here is a sound clip of the narration:
I have requested the DVD from the library and will come back to add my thoughts on the movie.
4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy historical fiction!
This book qualifies as:
#72 for my 2016 You Read How Many Books? Challenge
#72 for my 2016 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
#4 for my European Reading Challenge 2016
#9 for my 2016 Chubby Chunkster Challenge
#26 for my New Author Challenge 2016
#20 for my 2016 New Narrator Reading Challenge
#26 for my 2016 New To You Reading Challenge
#65 for my Backlist Books Reading Challenge
#49 for my 2016 Audiobook Challenge
#34 for my 2016 I Love Libraries Reading Challenge
#9 for my 2016 Eclectic Reader Challenge
#8 for my 2016 Book to Movie Challenge
#18 for my 2016 YA Reading Challenge
#5 for my Winter 2016-17 Bookish Bingo Challenge
Task #15 for my Goodreads Winter Seasonal Scavenger Challenge
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