Discussion- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A Historical Fiction Best-Seller Written in 2007 by Markus Zusak.

A Historical Fiction Best-Seller Written in 2007 by Markus Zusak.

So, I would like to have a real discussion about this book instead of spoil it for those that are too lazy to read.

I did not know until after I read it that it is a movie now. This leads me to my first question:

1. Is this book comparable to the movie? Does it leave out a lot? Does it do it honor?

2. Did you enjoy how Death was the narrator or was this depressing? I found it quite interesting and unique. It seemed to answer a lot of unanswered questions regarding the plot for me.

3. What would you have done if you were Liesel or her father when they marched the Jews through the town? Would you have acted out in the same manner or would you stand by and watch like most of the crowd did?

4. What did you think of the ending? Too many people dying? I thought this was a refreshing change from normal… not your regular happy ending but still a realistic and somewhat happy finale.

Please feel free to start discussion on any other questions you found throughout the book or that seemed to activate something in you by the end. Thank you so much for your participation and I hope we have a meaningful discussion!





  1. Hi!
    1- I loved the book I loved the movie it was brilliant yeah there were somethings different but it was amazing anyway. The only thing I wasn’t expecting was Rudy’s death like I said in my review it was WAY worse than in the book so it made cry even harder.
    2- At first it was weird reading a book where the narrator is Death but then I got used to it and it was really interesting to see the story from Death’s POV how Liesel really marked her/him/it.
    3- I would have done the same thing!!!! I wouldn’t be able to stand there and watch innocent people passing through me that look like skeletons because they don’t eat. I would probably attack the guards.
    4- I was really surprised with the ending!! Before I started the book I knew that Rudy was going to die but all her other friends and family?! That I wasn’t expecting!!! But it was really well done and I liked that she stayed with Ilsa Hermann.

  2. I haven’t read this book in years so it’s not very fresh in my brain but I can honestly say I love the book. One of the better ones I’ve read.
    1. I haven’t seem the movie because I’m worried I’ll be very disappointed so I’m staying away until I hear good things.
    2. I found it interesting that death was the narrator. I found it refreshing to have something different. It was a break from what I had been so use to in other books so I enjoyed it, and thought it helped explain thing a as well.
    3. I would love to think that I would be able to stand up and act out in a situation like that. Unfortunately I don’t know how I would act in such a violent and terrifying situation that people went through. I just cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to see people in that condition and be in that kind of environment.
    4. So much death in a book can definitely bring you down, but I think the ending was very realistic. I mean not everything can be a happy ending and in the setting this book is in, there weren’t many happy endings. I liked the ending it was a break from the norm. I really just think this book overall was so different that that is what makes me like it so much.
    Great choice for a read even if it has been out for awhile.

    • Sarah, I think you and I have a lot in common. Maybe we should both step out of our comfort zone and watch the movie! Then, maybe we should take courage pills and stand up for something we believe in… okay maybe not. But at least watching the film is still a possibility.
      Thanks for your response!

  3. I read this book a long while back, but I do remember that I thought using death as a narrator was an interesting and unique twist for Holocaust literature. I, like other commentors, would like to think I’d stand up and do something in such a situation as Liesel and her father were in, but I know that it can be very, very difficult to stand up to a crowd, so I’m not sure what I’d do. I’m pretty outspoken, so I might be able to do the right thing. I know my heart would be pounding in any case. I haven’t seen the movie – I’m a little afraid to because the movie generally just doesn’t stand up. Having read it a while back might make it easier to watch, however, because I wouldn’t notice small detail that were changed.

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