Australian author Markus Zusak’s historical novel The Book Thief, set in Nazi Germany, is unquestionably one of the most remarkable historical novels ever written.
Liesel, a little German girl, is brought to live with Hans and Rosa, foster parents, at the beginning of the novel. A Jewish man named Max, who Liesel befriends after she begins stealing books the Nazis had planned to burn, ends up being Liesel’s foster parents. Because Death narrates this novel, it offers an unusual and terrifying perspective on the events taking place on Earth. Because of Zusak’s distinctive writing style, it may be difficult for fans to find additional works like The Book Thief.
If you enjoyed Markus Zusak’s novel or the 2013 film adaptation starring Geoffery Rush, and are now seeking for books that are comparable to The Book Thief, we’ve got some suggestions for you.
Books Like The Book Thief
The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
It’s hard to argue with the fact that Anne Frank’s Diary, also known as The Diary of a Young Girl, is one of the most well-known works of literature produced during Nazi Germany.
While hiding with her family and other Jewish families in an office in Amsterdam, Anne Frank was a teenager. To celebrate her 13th birthday, Otto gave his daughter a blank notebook and over the next two years she filled it with stories about her life in hiding and the difficulties she faced as a teenager. She perished in a concentration camp in 1944 after being taken by the Nazis.
It was only after her father Otto survived the war that the pages of her journal were discovered and delivered to him, who first published them in Dutch, and they were subsequently translated into German and French. If you’re looking for more books like The Book Thief and want to learn about what it was like to grow up as a Jew in Nazi Germany, then read Anne Frank’s Diary.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, by John Boyne
If you’re seeking for more books like The Book Thief, you might want to check out John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Due to this, this narrative examines the effects of Nazi Germany on German children, as well as the effect that building a relationship with Jews had on those youngsters.
When Bruno, a 9-year-old German kid, learns that his father has been promoted to head a concentration camp, he and his family are forced to evacuate. One day, while playing outside, Bruno develops a friendship with a small Jewish child named Shmuel, who is completely unaware of his surroundings. Once their romance is established, the tale concentrates on their frequent encounters on opposing sides of the concentration camp wall.
In 2008, a cinematic adaptation of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was released, following in the footsteps of The Book Thief.
Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
Following World War II, Viktor Frankl penned Man’s Search for Meaning, which examines the psychological effects of imprisonment in a concentration camp.
Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl divides his book into two halves. The initial section of the book is largely devoted to his personal experiences as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, as well as his observations of those around him. From his findings, he formulated psychological hypotheses in the second section of the book.
For those looking for more books like The Book Thief and wanting to learn more about what life was like for prisoners in a concentration camp, the second half of Man’s Search for Meaning might be less compelling.
Night, by Elie Wiesel
Night, by Elie Wiesel, is a must-read if you want to learn more about Holocaust survivors’ experiences.
For most of his memoirs, Wiesel recounts the horrors of his time in Auschwitz, while he was a youngster. In addition, much of Wiesel’s memoir is devoted to exploring his personal philosophy and how it has been affected by the events of the book.
Elie Wiesel’s wife, Marion, wrote the foreword for the 2006 version, which discusses Wiesel’s lifelong efforts to bring the Holocaust and other genocides to the notice of new generations.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris, chronicles the account of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who was taken to Auschwitz and was assigned the task of tattooing other prisoners entering the camp.
He meets Gita, a fellow prisoner at Auschwitz, and the two fall in love and work together to survive the camp. Australia became Lale and Gita’s new home shortly after World War II ended. Gita released her memoirs of Lale’s life there in 2003.
Some reviewers have questioned the historical veracity of Morris’ debut work. As for The Tattooist of Auschwitz, if you’re seeking for more works like The Book Thief, this is a must-read.
Is this book already finished for you? Find more books like The Tattooist of Auschwitz on our list of recommended reads!
First They Killed My Father, by Loung Ung
During the Khmer Rouge’s rule in Cambodia, Loung Ung was just five years old, and her book, First They Killed My Father, chronicles her traumatic experiences as a little girl.
Ung and her family had to frequently move from village to village under the Khmer Rouge’s rule of Cambodia in order to survive and hide their former wealth from the new regime. She spends a large amount of time training as a young soldier during the course of her book.
As in The Book Thief, First They Killed My Father tells the story of a child’s perspective on horrors. In 2017, Angelina Jolie directed and produced a film adaptation of her life story.
Girl at War, by Sara Novic
Sara Novic’s debut novel, Girl at War, chronicles the narrative of Ana, a ten-year-old girl growing up in Zagreb during the outbreak of the Yugoslav Wars and a university student who later relocated to the United States.
Throughout the book, Novic focuses on the Balkan wars and how they affect Ana, a carefree girl who is abruptly pushed into this world and eventually tries to get to the United States. Girl at War then focuses on returning to Croatia a decade after the war.
The Book Thief fans will enjoy Girl at War, which is a riveting sequel to the bestselling novel.