The Book Thief

First Edition:

Publication 2005 (Finely Bound by Chelsea Bindery)


Markus Zusak

Book Summary:

The Book Thief is a historical novel set in Nazi Germany during World War II, narrated by Death, who follows the life of a young girl named Liesel Meminger. Liesel is sent to live with foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, who hide a Jewish man, Max Vandenburg, in their basement. Liesel develops a love for books and words, and steals them from various sources, such as book burnings, libraries, and graves. She also writes her own story in a notebook that she calls The Book Thief. Through books, she forms bonds with Max, Hans, her best friend Rudy Steiner, and the mayor's wife Ilsa Hermann. She also witnesses the atrocities of the war and the persecution of Jews and other minorities. When her street is bombed, Liesel loses everyone she loves except Max, who later reunites with her. Death collects her soul many years later in Sydney, Australia, where she has lived a long and happy life. He gives her back her notebook, which he has kept and read. He marvels at the beauty and brutality of human existence.

About the Author:

Markus Zusak is an Australian writer who was born in Sydney in 1975. He is best known for his novel The Book Thief, which was published in 2005 and became an international bestseller and a film adaptation. The Book Thief is a historical fiction novel set in Nazi Germany during World War II, narrated by Death, who follows the life of a young girl named Liesel Meminger who loves books and words. Zusak has also written five other books, including The Messenger (or I Am the Messenger), Bridge of Clay, and the Wolfe Brothers trilogy. His books have won various awards and have been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in Sydney with his wife and children.

Additional infomation:

First edition finely bound by The Chelsea Bindery is a fine book binding service in London, established in 2000 by Peter Harrington Rare Books. It specialises in traditional leather bookbinding, preservation boxes and book restoration, using hand finishing and the finest materials. It also produces first, limited and special illustrated editions, featuring onlay designs. The Chelsea Bindery is one of the few binderies in London that still practise the centuries-old craft of fine leather bookbinding.