Books at the Box Office: The Book Thief

Everyone loves a good Holocaust novel…right? Yea…not me. Never been my thing. Being depressed sucks, but I have enjoyed reading Holocaust-adjacent books, and seeing those movies, and The Book Thief fits the bill. First, we’ll look at the book, then the movie,but I would be remiss to not mention that one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult, is on the team adapting this story to the stage!

Okay, first the book, which was published in 2005.

When Death has a story to tell, you listen.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

I don’t remember this book being under 200 pages, but there are the facts. It’s moving, it’s haunting, it is a good book. There’s a reason it is a beloved book, tops all those “best of” lists and is on the “must read” PBS list.

Now, the movie, which released in 2013.


For some reason, this movie and Inkheart kind of blend in my mind. Very different, obviously, but the cast kind of mixes about in my brain. Sophie Nélisse plays the main girl, Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson are her parents, and John freaking Williams, did the score–so there’s that. This is pretty true to the book, in my opinion,not a perfect adaptation, but it really captures the message of the book, which I think is more important than landing every detail.

It has a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t bad. It’s not on any streaming channels for free, but you can rent it on Amazon Prime.


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