Told from the perspective of death, The Book Thief follows a young German girl during World War II whose family conceals a Jewish man in their basement. The touching story uses elegant language to have the reader fall in love with each character they meet, including the narrator-death himself. A thoughtful perspective on the human experience of war.
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller about the ability of books to feed the soul even in the darkest of times.
Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
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 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.
“The kind of book that can be life-changing.” —The New York Times
“Deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.” —USA Today
DON’T MISS BRIDGE OF CLAY, MARKUS ZUSAK’S FIRST NOVEL SINCE THE BOOK THIEF.
About the Author
Markus Zusak is the internationally bestselling author of six novels, including The Book Thief and most recently, Bridge of Clay. His work is translated into more than forty languages, and has spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, establishing Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia.
All of Zusak’s books – including earlier titles, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, When Dogs Cry (also titled Getting the Girl), and The Messenger (or I am the Messenger) – have been awarded numerous honors around the world, ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers.
In 2013, The Book Thief was made into a major motion picture, and in 2018 was voted one of America’s all-time favorite books, achieving the 14th position on the PBS Great American Read. Also in 2018, Bridge of Clay was selected as a best book of the year in publications ranging from Entertainment Weekly to the Wall Street Journal.
Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.
“Brilliant and hugely ambitious…Some will argue that a book so difficult and sad may not be appropriate for teenage readers…Adults will probably like it (this one did), but it’s a great young-adult novel…It’s the kind of book that can be life-changing, because without ever denying the essential amorality and randomness of the natural order, The Book Thief offers us a believable hard-won hope…The hope we see in Liesel is unassailable, the kind you can hang on to in the midst of poverty and war and violence. Young readers need such alternatives to ideological rigidity, and such explorations of how stories matter. And so, come to think of it, do adults.”-New York Times, May 14, 2006
"The Book Thiefis unsettling and unsentimental, yet ultimately poetic. Its grimness and tragedy run through the reader's mind like a black-and-white movie, bereft of the colors of life. Zusak may not have lived under Nazi domination, but The Book Thief deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel's Night. It seems poised to become a classic." - USA Today
"Zusak doesn’t sugarcoat anything, but he makes his ostensibly gloomy subject bearable the same way Kurt Vonnegut did in Slaughterhouse-Five: with grim, darkly consoling humor.” - Time Magazine
"Elegant, philosophical and moving...Beautiful and important." - Kirkus Reviews, Starred "This hefty volume is an achievement...a challenging book in both length and subject..." - Publisher's Weekly, Starred
"One of the most highly anticipated young-adult books in years." - The Wall Street Journal
"Exquisitely written and memorably populated, Zusak's poignant tribute to words, survival, and their curiously inevitable entwinement is a tour de force to be not just read but inhabited." - The Horn Book Magazine, Starred
"An extraordinary narrative." - School Library Journal, Starred
"The Book Thief will be appreciated for Mr. Zusak's audacity, also on display in his earlier I Am the Messenger. It will be widely read and admired because it tells a story in which books become treasures. And because there's no arguing with a sentiment like that." - New York Times
How to Use Your Gift Cards Online
Hello! If you have a Flying Pig gift card (the cute plastic one with the pig and clouds), here's how to use it online:
Select the books you'd like to order. During the checkout process, you'll see a menu of options. Click on the little black arrow next to Store Gift Card pane:
Once you've expanded that menu item, you'll see a box to check Yes:
Once you click the checkbox Yes, you'll be asked to enter your gift card number. That's the number under the barcode on the back of your gift card. It might be a short or long number:
Enter it into the box below the words Enter Your Gift Card Number:
That's it! You will have to add a credit card as a backup in case your gift card doesn't cover the full amount of your purchase. **Because the website doesn't 'know' what amount is on your store gift card — the website and store system are separate entities — you will not see your gift card applied until your order leaves its Pending status and is Processing or Completed.**
If you received an Online Gift Code (NOT a physical card, but a string of numbers and letters emailed to you), please refer to your emailed gift to redeem those! They are applied instantly when you visit the website via the gift code email.
If you have further questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!