Markus Zusak once thought THE BOOK THIEF would be his least successful book. Of course, we now know his story about Liesel Meminger as an international phenomenon—a #1 New York Times bestselling book, a critically acclaimed audiobook, and now, a major motion picture.
We were lucky enough to see THE BOOK THIEF two weeks ago with Markus in the audience, and we were thrilled to be able to enjoy this breathtaking story in yet another new format. THE BOOK THIEF is truly a testament to the power of words and storytelling, especially oral storytelling. It was a deeply personal story for Markus—just as Liesel learns to read by listening to her Papa (a housepainter) read aloud, Markus learned to write by listening to his parents (a housepainter and cleaner) tell stories. Through her lessons with Papa and the stories written by Max, the Jewish man hidden in their basement, Liesel discovers the life-changing and, ultimately, life-saving power of words.
The story also provides a wonderful opportunity to discuss a difficult period in world history with your children. It is full of historical references but is told through the accessible perspective of a relatable young girl. In the same vein of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Watsons Go to Birmingham, THE BOOK THIEF is a powerful coming-of-age story that also tackles tough historical and societal issues. It is quickly becoming a cherished classic that flies off the shelves. If you haven’t heard THE BOOK THIEF on audio yet, we strongly encourage you to take a listen.