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Although Zusak imagined this masterpiece as young adult literature and it is taught in many high schools, the book is still very much worth the read for those of us who came of age well before 2005. Also striking is that there are a handful of references in The Book Thief about Hitler’s own book, Mein Kampf. As I saw how life-changing books were for each of the characters, I thought about the books that have changed my own life. Most of us won’t have our lives saved by a book, and most of us won’t have a book as our one and only reminder of a loved one. Laura Baum is a co-founder and rabbi of and a rabbi at Congregation Beth Adam in Loveland, Ohio.
Rachel Tzvia Back Holocaust poetry Tuvia Ruebner JSTOR Hebrew Union College Annual HUCA History backlist journals bilingual edition Literature Medieval Judaism Solomon Freehof Marc Saperstein Textbooks Jews and Christians Arthur Green news reprints Joan Friedman Women of Reform Judaism American Jewish life translation David B. There have been many books written about the horrors of WWII, but every once in a while, a new story is told which gives us a new perspective on life during the war.
The Book Thief describes that while being subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is about a girl named Hazel who is living with cancer. At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow.
Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including The Messenger and the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which is translated into more than forty languages. Ben Schnetzer and Sophie Nelisse star in a scene from the movie "The Book Thief." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents.
Director Brian Percival and screenwriter Michael Petroni have squeezed all the nuance and moral ambiguity out of their adaptation of Markus Zusak’s much-lauded young-adult novel of 2005. Sophie Nelisse plays Liesel, adopted by Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson) Huberman because her communist mother is on the run. She somehow understands that books hold power, beginning with the one she pilfers from one of the men who dug her brother’s grave. Because she’s such an avid reader, she even grabs a smoldering book when a pile of them are burned in the town square by the bergmeister, Hermann (Rainer Bock). Liesel’s love of literature combined with the compassion of her adoptive parents, who hide their Jewish family friend, Max (Ben Schnetzer), in their basement, somehow combine to make her immune from the corrupting influence of the Hitler Youth. First, the film is narrated by Death (voice of Roger Allam), who occasionally comments on the purity of someone’s soul. Second, the screenplay omits the pro-Nazi grown son of the Hubermans, who could have created some balance to the Disneyfied goings-on. Just recently Empire Online released 2 new, stunning movies stills from the movie, featuring Sophie Nelisse as the lead character Liesel Meminger.
Check out these new movie still from The Book Thief movie adaptation, starring Sophie Nelisse.

While subjected to the horrors of WWII Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Early in the story and upon the death of Liesel’s younger brother, she found and stole a copy of The Grave Digger’s Handbook. And it never really bothered me that she stole; in fact, I found myself more worried about what might be taken from her, rather than what she might take.
Early in the book we also met Liesel’s loving foster father who taught and inspired her to read. Certainly, the Nazis used words—and more specifically propaganda—to stay in power, spread their message, and fulfill their goal of murder. An expert on social media and the changing needs of the Jewish community, she has created an award-winning model for engaging those seeking new ways to connect to Judaism. Founded in 1875, HUC-JIR is the intellectual center of Reform Judaism, a religious and scholarly learning community devoted to advancing the critical study of Jewish culture with the highest standards of modern academic scholarship. It’s told through the eyes of Mia, who watches herself being treated in the hospital as her loved ones surround her. She attends a support group and meet Augustus Waters, and attractive kid who takes an interest in her.
But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting— he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time. Her younger brother has died en route, leaving her a solitary orphan who, at around age 10, cannot read or write. Hans spurs her hunger for reading by constructing a dictionary on a basement wall, and she finds a stalwart friend in classmate Rudy (Nico Liersch). Rudy is such a good kid that he happily darkens himself with dirt to imitate his favorite track star, Jesse Owens.
His character shows that hatred and bigotry are always among us, inside our walls — not merely outside.
Every time the studio releases some marketing materials, it inspires me to read to the book before it will be released in cinemas -- I regretted skipping this book years ago after knowing it touched on a war story. The stills narrate how she was able to find the book that will become the central topic of the movie and how she had grown to love it.
Originally published in 2005, The Book Thief has been on The New York Times bestseller list for years and has recently been released as a movie. Max Vandenburg, a man whose very life was saved by a book (with the help of Liesel’s foster family), read with Liesel and wrote books for her. More than that, books also kept Liesel safe; she hid in the basement reading as bombs were potentially headed toward her home. That Leisel used words to stay safe and to give her a different kind of power than the Nazis had was quite lovely.

Her work has been featured in dozens of major news stories, including in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Hazel constantly worries about her parents’s lives and the lives of her friends, while also struggling each day to just live. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. But in the scene in which Jews are shown being led at gunpoint to a concentration camp, Death, who’s been quite chatty up until then, is oddly silent.
The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned.
As each of Liesel’s family members—her mother, brother, and father—had been stolen from her, it felt only fitting that she would be someone who would take. Ilsa Hermann, the mayor’s wife, gave Liesel access to books in her library—and with that a sense of power. Still, the real power of books might have been that they helped keep Liesel grounded and comforted during her very challenging childhood set in a time and place of war.
And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance.” Death is profound: “You want to know what I truly look like?
Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found. It was also not lost on me that difficult days in Nazi Germany could make even the least likely thief a thief. While books may simply be ink on pages (or dots on an e-reader!), they are not simply objects.
The Grave Digger’s Handbook was the first of fourteen books that entered Liesel’s life, ten of which played a significant role and six of which were stolen.
When Liesel's foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down. You really get to understand a person during a time of crisis, and the nuanced existence of each character was itself like a book, full of insights about the possibilities and complexities of being human. He asks for more.” These attributes that struck me about Death—ability to communicate directly and to elicit sympathy, humor, profundity—are among the attributes that books have as well. As I read this book, I not only connected to the characters but to their struggles as well. Having Death narrate certainly transcends the ordinary, just as many books transport us into another mindset. Just as books connected Leisel to her family, because the story was set during the Holocaust, it connected me even more to my ancestors and to my Jewish heritage. Maybe I'll try reading it another time.I totally loved the movie but found the book hard to read.

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