Zusak, Markus. 2006. The Book Thief.
Markus Zusak’s novel, The Book Thief has already been recognized as one of the best young adult books of 2006. It was nominated for the 2006 Quill Awards in the Young Adult category (along with Dairy Queen, Elsewhere, King Dork, and Eldest) although it didn’t win that particlar prize. It has won the Kathleen Mitchell award--an award given for literary merit by a writer aged thirty or under at the time of publication. Also Zusak was chosen as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Young Writers of the year for The Book Thief. (In case you didn’t know, he is Australian.)
What is it about?
In the author’s own words “It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.” Narrated by Death--yes, the grim reaper finally gets a voice--it tells the story of a young girl, Leisel Meminger, growing up in Munich, Germany, in the late thirties and early forties. Practically abandoned by her mother, she is sent into a foster home where she meets a harsh but loving mother and a friendly accordian-playing father who teach her a lot of important life-lessons."
Although it is quite a long book--or perhaps just its subject matter makes it seem so long--I do recommend it to others. Particularly those interested in this time period.
These are the honors that I am aware of for The Book Thief
- Librarians’ Choices 2006,
- BCCB 2006 Blue Ribbons,
- SLJ Best Books of 2006,
- Kirkus Reviews Best Books 2006,
- Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year,
- Horn Book Fanfare 2006,
- Amazon’s Best Books of 2006,
- 2006 Quill Book Awards Finalist,
- Cybils Finalist in YA Fiction,
- Booklist Editors’ Choice 2006,
- Michael L. Printz Honor Book 2007,
- BBYA Top Ten,
- BBYA 2007,
- the Association of Jewish Libraries inaugural Teen Book Award
- Jewish National Book Award (in the Young Adult \ Childrens’ division)
- Tayshas Reading List 2007-2008
His first novel, I Am The Messenger has won several awards including:
WINNER 2006 - Michael L. Printz Honor
WINNER 2006 - Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
WINNER 2005 - Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year - Children
Winner 2003 - Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia
Since reading this book in November 2006, I have since had the wonderful pleasure of listening to THE BOOK THIEF on audio book. It is read by Allan Corduner and produced by Listening Library. I have only this to say: Death has never sounded so good. Everything seemed to work better for me. My interest was more focused than when I was reading it--which is extremely unusual for me when it comes to audio books. It seemed more beautiful, more haunting. And I loved the occasional accordion. Overall, I thought it was beautifully done. One of the best books I've ever listened to quite honestly.
And further searching reveals he also narrates the KEYS TO THE KINGDOM series by Garth Nix and the SEPTIMUS HEAP series by Angie Sage.