The authorAustralian author Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich and about Jews being marched through his mother’s small, German town. He always knew it was a story he wanted to tell.“We have these images of the straight-marching lines of boys and the ‘Heil Hitlers’ and this idea that everyone in Germany was in it together. But there still were rebellious children and people who didn’t follow the rules and people who hid Jews and other people in their houses. So there’s another side to Nazi Germany,” said Zusak in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.At the age of 30, Zusak has already asserted himself as one of today’s most innovative and poetic novelists. With the publication of The Book Thief, he is now being dubbed a ‘literary phenomenon’ by Australian and U.S. critics. Zusak is the award-winning author of four previous books for young adults: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger, recipient of a 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature. He lives in Sydney.The synopsisIt’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel 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 before he is marched to Dachau.This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.The above information is taken from http://www.randomhouse.com/features/markuszusak/index.htmlThe reviewDeath has a heart, maybe not quite the same as ours but according to Zusak a pretty caring and round one. This book is written from Deaths point of view which is an interesting choice and I am not sure if I understand why. The reason Zusak gives is that Death found a book with the story of Liesel and remembers her from various encounters throughout her live. Despite the fact that it is a bit confusing it does not make the story less good.The story is good, there is room for sadness, loneliness, happiness, anger, love and growing up. The fact that some chapters already tell who will die eventually is not even disturbing.The character descriptions are well done too. They leave some space for imagination but it is not hard to see the people.If you pick up this book there are two ways to read it I think. There is the this is a good story I will read trough it and enjoy it, or you can choose to pay a bit more attention to the details. There are some really good jokes hidden in the story which makes it a good book to read again after a few years.