What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Book Thief is a historical drama set in WWII Germany based on the bestselling young-adult novel by Australian author Markus Zusak. There are many scenes of violence, from the way the Nazis treat Jews, to schoolyard fights, to recurring bomb threats. There are many character deaths and near-deaths that will affect even the most jaded of viewers, though there's almost no blood and zero gore. Language includes German insults that translate to "a--hole" and "dirty swine" as well as "stupid" and "idiot."
- Families can talk about the importance of literacy and books. How does learning to read change Liesel's life? Why does she "steal" books? How can books make an impact on even a horrible situation?
- What makes a movie or a book "young adult" -- the age of the protagonist, the intended audience, or something else?
- How is this movie different from others about WWII? Do you believe there were Germans who weren't fond of the Nazi regime or of Hitler's anti-semitic laws?
- In the movie, like the book, Death is the narrator, but he doesn't reveal things the same way. What did you think of the narrator in the movie? For those who've read the book, did you like and understand the changes between the page and screen versions?