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The Book Thief

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The Book Thief

Current Status:
In Season
Marcus Zusak
Kids and Family

We gave it a B-

Based on Marcus Zusak’s 2006 novel, The Book Thief is an unusual kids’ story about a girl in Nazi Germany named Liesl who steals to support her family. It’s also narrated by Death — not a sickle-wielding grim reaper but a ”wry, likable, and witty” figure, according to director Brian Percival (Downton Abbey). Percival hasn’t cast the voice of Death yet, but after seeing more than a thousand hopefuls throughout Europe, Australia, and North America, he chose 13-year-old Canadian actress Sophie Nélisse — a gymnast who had been training for the 2016 Olympics — to play Liesl. ”In Sophie, you’ve found someone you want to put your arms around and protect from this dreadful world,” says Percival, ”but at the same time, you expect a knee in the groin at any moment.”