The Book Thief Movie Review

The Book Thief Movie Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Nov 08, 2013
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Kidzworld reviews the inspiring, well-acted film “The Book Thief” based upon the popular novel. A young girl reinforces the belief that the power of words can transform even the most awful of times.

By: Lynn Barker

In the late 1930’s when Hitler’s Nazi’s were taking control of the German people, a young foster child is so obsessed with her newfound ability to read that she steals/borrows books from a rich neighbor. The stories help Liesel to mentally escape the horrors of war and she inspires others to keep fighting for personal freedom. That is a true hero!

A New Home

As the Nazis spread their hate throughout Germany, 11-year-old Liesel (Sophie Nelisse) and her younger brother are given up by their mother to a foster home when she can no longer care for them. On the long journey, the brother dies. As he is buried, a gravedigger drops a book. Liesel picks it up and steals it even though she can’t read.

Liesel in the rich neighbor's library
Liesel in the rich neighbor's library

New Parents

Friendly housepainter Hans Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush) and his seemingly mean wife Rosa (Emily Watson) have evidently only become foster parents for the money in tough times but Hans, seeing that Liesel can’t read, teaches her and they both start to read the book she stole “The Gravedigger’s Handbook”. Not the greatest first read for a tween!

Liesel reading on her steps
Liesel reading on her steps

Fitting In 

Liesel likes her foster dad who calls her “Your Majesty” but, at school the kids call her dummy because she is still struggling to read. Cute next door neighbor boy Rudy (Nico Liersch) is friendly and also has a big crush on her. They become buddies. Papa Hans creates a dictionary for Liesel by writing words on the basement walls as she learns them. Liesel starts to feel that she is at home. Even Rosa warms up a bit. Her bad nature is just a mask.

Rudy tells Liesel he likes her
Rudy tells Liesel he likes her

The Visitor

Max (Ben Schnetzer) a young Jewish man comes to the house for refuge. Since Hans owes the boy’s father for his life due to a wartime experience, the family hides Max in their basement, risking their lives if the Nazis find him. Max shares Liesel’s passion for books, however, so now she has someone new to talk to about this shared secret.

Writing a journal
Writing a journal

The Burning and the Bombs

The Nazis start burning books in the town square. Liesel meets the local mayor’s wife IIsa when she delivers the clothes Rosa has washed to earn money. Ilsa lets her borrow books from her vast library. When Liesel no longer has an excuse to go to the house, she sneaks in the window and “borrows” them. Living under threats of Nazi terror, Liesel and Rudy survive various trials, including Hans being drafted into the war and the intention to send Rudy to a training camp for elite young Nazi soldiers.

Liesel hides a book from the Nazis
Liesel hides a book from the Nazis

As Bombs fall all around, a now teen Liesel keeps the locals calm by telling her own stories in the village bomb shelter. She begins writing as well as reading and, despite tragedy, continues this her entire lifetime.  

Wrapping Up

If the history books teach that all German people were evil Nazis during World War 2, The Book Thief shows you that the majority were not. Many, like Liesel and her foster family, were ordinary, poor struggling people who did the best they could to survive a horrible government. 

Young people can especially be inspired by Liesel’s story. 13-year-old Sophie Nelisse plays her with honesty and optimism in the face of terror. All actors in the film do a great job. There are funny moments in the movie as well but be ready for some sadness.

Liesel with Max and Rosa in the shelter
Liesel with Max and Rosa in the shelter

We hope you have discovered the wonder of reading (maybe you started with the “Harry Potter” books?) and are still into fun and entertaining and even educational books whether you read on a Kindle/tablet or a book on paper. The Book Thief is a tribute to the courage of a young girl and the power of words and storytelling that can make tolerable the worst of evils.

Hiding in the basement
Hiding in the basement

What came from the novel and is kind of weird is that the story is narrated here and there by the voice of Death who is “very busy” in time of war. Death was really fascinated and touched by Liesel’s strength and determination and followed her story. Okay, weird but it works.

The film is kind of long so not for the very young but older tweens up through teens, especially those who love books, will enjoy and be touched by the story. We go 4 stars.

The Book Thief Movie Rating: 4

The Book Thief Poster
The Book Thief Poster




readers voted!



Froak wrote:

Wunna See This >>>
commented: Tue Nov 19, 2013


Abbynader wrote:

Do you know what is funny i'm my language arts we were to pick which book we wanted to ...
commented: Tue Nov 12, 2013


Leedan wrote:

I agree. The book was great but the characters in the movie don't even look the part
commented: Tue Nov 12, 2013

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Best Time to Read a Book?

  • In the summer when I'm not in school.
  • Only when my teacher assigns a book report.
  • Any time's a good time to read.
  • When all my fave shows are re-runs.

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ValenciaRose posted in Movies:
"Crazyoscar" wrote:I know! I can't wait to see it!!Yeah.. Harry Osbourne will probably be big in it.. He looks so different from the original!Yeah, I like both, really. I guess it was because I wasn't a big of a fan of the Original Trilogy as I am of the  The Amazing Spiderman. I also prefer the Amazing Spiderman because he actually made the web-shooters, and it really showed how smart he was. I mean, no offence, but in the first films everyone said he was really smart but we never got to see him do something genuis.I'm scared too! I don't want her to die either!Electro seems like sorta a drama queen. I mean, have you seen the trailer where he got all mad because Spiderman didn't remember him? :confused Bit of an over-reaction! He's a changed man :) And by change, I mean way more evil :| I suppose so. But, not trying to sound offense, I think Spiderman is quite old so I think that maybe that's why I prefer the Amazing Spiderman. BUT I still love the original movies. Also I think it's because Spiderman showed a lot of romance compared to the amazing spiderman. Yeah I know, the web shooters are awesome! MY GWEN BABY! *dramatically, and hysterically sobs* I know right? He goes all ninja-style and it's funny when he's like, "YOU LIED TO ME!" in a overly dramatic way. The best moments in the trailer is when Peter's aunt complains about the laundry and he says he was washing the American flag. lol xD
reply 13 minutes
erm....was I? XD
reply 23 minutes
"Boysrock50" wrote: "MermaidMagic33" wrote: "Boysrock50" wrote: "MermaidMagic33" wrote: Yo mama has good logic that Einstein were less smart. says the person with terrible grammar XD Thanks for the insult -_-  sorrryyyyy :S Nah it's ok. I know you were joking.
reply 23 minutes
"MermaidMagic33" wrote: "Boysrock50" wrote: "MermaidMagic33" wrote: Yo mama has good logic that Einstein were less smart. says the person with terrible grammar XD Thanks for the insult -_- sorrryyyyy :S
reply 24 minutes
"Boysrock50" wrote: "MermaidMagic33" wrote: Yo mama has good logic that Einstein were less smart. says the person with terrible grammar XD Thanks for the insult -_- 
reply 26 minutes

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