The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism, including blackface, and antiziganism (g slur)
  • Anti-semitism and Nazism (theme)
  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Parental abandonment & verbal abuse
  • PTSD & nightmares
  • Recreational drug use (smoking)
  • Emesis
  • Starvation
  • Gore depiction (dead bodies)
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a father & uncle mentioned
  • Murder
  • Explosions, including air raids, and fire
  • Death by exposure to the cold
  • War themes* and battle scenes
  • Poverty themes
  • Bullying

*Set during WWII and discussed the Holocaust.

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