The Book Thief Book Club Discussion Questions

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is available as one of the Gold Coast Libraries’ Book Club kits.

**Please be aware that book discussion questions may contain spoilers**

Synopsis: Set in Germany as Hitler and Nazi power change the landscape and cultural identity of millions. The reader is introduced to Liesel Meminger by he most unlikely of narrators. He is the “ultimate bad-guy”. He is Death. However, throughout the course of this novel the reader is introduced to Death’s softer, more gentle and compassionate side. He is just “a guy with a job to do” and during the reign of Hitler, Death is a VERY busy man. Liesel, the heroine of this story is a nine year old girl who has been taken to live with a foster family, the Hubermanns. During this tragic period of German history, Hitler and the Nazis are busy burning books, trying to eradicate words and history. During this time the Book Thief emerges and attempts to “steal back” stories by pinching books from the private library of Molching’s Mayor and Mayoress. The Book Thief later pens a story which ultimately saves her life. This is an incredible story about words, books and reading and the power they wield. If you haven’t already read this book, read it.

Discussion Questions:

1. What did you think of the books narrator?

2. Would the book have been better/worse if it had been narrated by a different character? e.g. by Liesel or Hans etc.

3. What are Death’s feelings towards Liesel Meminger?

4. What is the symbolism associated with the selection of titles that Liesel Meminger steals?

5. What does the act of book thievery teach Liesel Meminger about life and death?

6. Discuss the importance of the book, The Word Shaker?

7.  Discuss the relationship between the Book Thief and Hans Hubermann ?

8. Which character was most affected by the war?

9.  How is the subject of love handled throughout the story?

10. Are the characters believable or not?

Helpful links:

Review on Good Reads 

Review on Litlovers

Publisher’s website – Random House