Course Hero Logo

The Book Thief | Study Guide

Marcus Zusak

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Book Thief Study Guide." Course Hero. 23 June 2017. Web. 29 May 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, June 23). The Book Thief Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "The Book Thief Study Guide." June 23, 2017. Accessed May 29, 2023.


Course Hero, "The Book Thief Study Guide," June 23, 2017, accessed May 29, 2023,


The Book Thief infographic thumbnail


Marcus Zusak

Year Published





Drama, Historical Fiction

Perspective and Narrator

The Book Thief is written from both first-person and third-person perspectives. The first-person narrator is Death, who frequently addresses readers directly. When telling the story of the book thief, Liesel, Death becomes the third-person narrator.


The Book Thief alternates between present tense and past tense. The narrator uses present tense to express his point of view and address readers and uses past tense to narrate events in the book thief's life.

About the Title

Liesel Meminger, the main character, steals books, proudly earning the title "the book thief." However, there are other thieves of books in the text, as well. Rudy helps Liesel steal a book; Death steals Liesel's book; Max Vandenburg paints over the pages of Hitler's book; and even Hitler steals books by burning them. As Hitler tries to steal the words and pages of people's stories through his actions in Nazi Germany, it becomes imperative that the characters employ any means necessary to protect these stories.


This study guide and infographic for Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

Buy this book from
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Book Thief? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!