Study Guide

The Book Thief Genre

By Markus Zusak


Young Adult Literature, Coming of Age, War Drama, Historical Fiction

The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young German girl coming of age in Nazi Germany. The novel focuses on the joys and sorrows of Liesel, her foster family, and the Jewish man they hide from the Nazis.

While it's set during a historical time period, The Book Thief doesn't give us a dry, fact-based history lesson. We have to go outside the novel to get details on many of the complex events discussed. Rather, the novel is more concerned with looking at the Holocaust and Word War II from a particular point-of-view—the point-of-view of Liesel Meminger, as told by Death, the narrator.

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