The Book Thief is an historical novel by Australian author Markus Zusak. This book is published in 2005 and is one of the international best sellers. The book was also adapted into a movie with the same name.


The narrator of the book thief is death. The death introduce himself and visits a small girl Leisel meminger. The story follows the small girl Leisel meminger, after she attains the age in Nazi Germany during World war II. After her brother’s death her mother deciding to give away her.  There she was exposed as a book thief when she was mourning near her brother’s grave she encountered a gravedigger missing his diary in the ground. Without missing the moment she looted the diary without the man’s knowledge. After She has been adopted by her foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann. She started to get along with the boy named Rudy Steiner. Leisel starts to like the place and the people.Even though the Nazi regime horrors her at some times. Hans Huberman taught Leisel to read and write first in her bedroom and then in the basement. Because he wants her daughter to share her powerful thoughts through words. Beginning to steal books, now she started to write her own story. When she started helping her foster mother by collecting laundry, she developed a friendship with mayor’s wife Ilsa Hermann, who allows her to read books  in her library and later started to steal them.

Then the Hubermann family get visited by a Jewish man named Max Vandenberg. With him Leisel get close by sharing her language and words which she was taught by her father. But few days later max decided to leave Hubermann’s house. He afraid that Hubermann’s activities will draw suspicion. Eventually as a punishment Hans application for to join National Socialist German workers party is approved. A while later Leisel see Max among the Jewish prisoners in the street, she joins him and get kicked away by the soldier.

After Hans returns home, bomb falls on Leisel street in Mulching. Leisel at that  time working on her manuscript was the only survivor. She was rescued by the the workers and collected the ashes of her manuscript. She is taken by Mayor and his wife Ilsa Hermann. A while later she walks into the river where her friend Rudy saved a book that they theft together but dies without saying a good bye. In 1945, Leisel works in the tailor shop owned by Rudy’s father when max invites her and have an emotional reunion.

Many years later, Leisel died of aging in Sydney, Australia. She was happily married and has three children. She has never forgotten Hans, Rosa, Rudy and her brother. The narrator of the book, death collects her soul and gives her the manuscript. She asks the death to read the book, but death is unable to understand. He cant understand the duality of human beings. The final words by death is “I am haunted by humans”.


“The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.”

“Even death has a heart.”

“It kills me sometimes, how people die.”


The Book Thief was my first favourite book since i started reading books. The ending of the book have left me pain and empathy. It hardly take me two days to think other than the book. I was so hard whether to feel happy for Leisel like how she  atleast had Max in her life and her children whom was there for her when she dies or to feel sorrow for her, how traumatic was her childhood. When she was young and fragile she lost her only brother and her mother left her. Still she had her foster parents and Rudy but the chaos happened in her nation had left her alone. Not as a girl in her teen but as a human in that very young age she lost the persons with whom she can call family and felt happiness . I sometimes use to think that how i wold have handled all this pain and loss of my loved ones. The thought itself breaks me. Even though it is a fiction its hard to convince myself. Atleast death itself was with her till her death. Even death has some humanity.

Categories: Book Review, Entertainment

Tagged as: