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Books or movies similar to The Book Thief

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message 1: by Jess (new)

Jess Lee Hello everyone,

For my English class, I am required to write an essay on a two texts, either a book and film or two books. My teacher has not thoroughly explained this essay, however she has mentioned that the two text must have efficient similarities to write about, so basically I will have to compare and contrast the two texts. She also mentioned that the text must not be overly "plot driven" meaning mainstream e.g. Twilight, THG, etc.
So far I have decided to write my essay about a book and a movie relating to WW2.

I haven't read or watched The Book thief yet but I am planning to.
I was wondering if anyone can recommend books or movies that is similar to The Book Thief for my essay?
p.s. Please recommend interesting books or movies, I honestly do not want to waste me time writing and reading about something that I did not enjoy.

Thank you.


Babafaba(Hypnos)((Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore))(((Scuttle)))((((Scar)))) "Life is beautiful" is a really good movie. REALLY good movie.
And "The Book Thief" is a REALLY good book. There's also "The boy in the Striped Pyjamas". That is very good too.


Tiffani I may be the only one who felt this way, but I found myself constantly connecting "the Book Thief" to "To Kill a Mockingbird." Both books have tough young girls as main characters. Both girls are sort of struggling to understand and cope with cruelty and unfairness. Plus...Mockingbird is a movie, too ;)

I also agree with the previous post..."Life is Beautiful," is AMAZING.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Another good book is 'Four Perfect Pebbles' it talks about the Nazi's and about a girl and her family. I read it in 8th grade for a book review while I was reading Night in English class.


message 5: by Dusty Bibliophile (last edited Jul 02, 2014 12:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dusty Bibliophile Jess wrote: "So far I have decided to write my essay about a book and a movie relating to WW2...I was wondering if anyone can recommend books or movies that is similar to The Book Thief for my essay."

If you are trying to match The Book Thief's idea of hiding a Jew in wartime Germany, perhapsThe Diary of a Young Girl in one of its many incarnations will work for you. There's the book, of course, and it was put out as a movie in 1959, 1980, and 2009 plus several made for TV movies/miniseries. There's also a play adaptation. Another movie possibility would be Schindler's List.

A nonfiction account of concentration camp life, what Max was trying to avoid and what he suffered through, is available through Elie Weisel's books,Night particularly.

If you want to take a look at other wartime Germany perspectives, try A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary (also a movie), Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945, or Silent Night.

If you want a more recent book (fictional) that portrays involvement in the war by young women then Code Name Verity may be a useful reference.

If you want to look at things from a Russian viewpoint, try City of Thieves.

Another thread discusses what to read after The Book Thief and there are many suggestions in it referring to other WW2 stories. It's here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

When you ask for a book/movie that is like The Book Thief, what are you looking for? Are you after a Young Adult story? Do you want a story of the everyday German during the war? Are you after a story of dealing with the joys and tragedies of common life during war? Are you looking for more Jewish voices and how they and those around them were impacted by Hitler's Germany? Each different way of looking at The Book Thief can and will provide different paths and different recommendations to investigate.


Lisa I haven't read all of the choices, but I will just echo Life is Beautiful and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas My feelings about both are as follows: swoon.

I have some of these other books on my very tall to-read list.


Lohengrin @Tiffani: I hadn't thought of that connection, but I agree - very different settings, styles and plots, but similar themes about dealing with injustice, and injustice seen through the eyes of a tough girl. There is also a common theme of courage - both Scout's father and Liesel's foster parents (especially the father) aren't immediately obvious as heroic figures, but as the story unfolds their courage becomes clear. Come to think of it, Scout and Liesel are similar in multiple ways - Scout is much more naive, but that's partly her being younger. But both have lost at least one parent, both are tough tomboys, both have a strong innate sense of justice, etc.
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Films I'd recommend on related topics (though not necessarily easy to compare to The Book Thief) are "The Pianist" (about Polish Jews and the Holocaust) and, if you have a strong stomach, "The Damned" (about how the Nazis consolidated power) and "The Serpent's Egg" (about the early stages of Nazism, before they seized power).

Admittedly I've not watched The Boy in Striped Pajamas, but it hardly seems similar to The Book Thief - The Book Thief is more or less based on actual anecdotes about Nazi Germany and, save obviously for the supernatural aspects, is realistic as far as I can tell. However, The Boy in Striped Pajamas has a plot that is, to be blunt, ludicrous. Concentration camps were, in fact, heavily guarded places one couldn't easily just slip in or out of and no, some kid outside striking up a friendship with a kid inside wasn't going to happen, let alone the rest.


Tiffani @Lohengrin - Yes!! Hann's and Scout's dad are very similar. (I should probably start another thread for this but....)I also thought of the mayor's wife as sort of a Boo Radley. The children seem drawn to her, even though she has this sort of mysteriously creepy factor. Her leaving cookies and books for Liesel reminded me of Boo leaving those gifts in the tree. Both Boo and Isla taught the girls valuable lessons, for Liesel, more about the power of words, for Scout, not judging a book by it's cover.


message 9: by Tytti (new)

Tytti Between Shades of Gray is about Lithuanians who, among others, were deported to forced labour camps (Gulag) in Siberia by Stalin in 1941, the main character is a 15-year-old girl. (I don't think it's a particularly good book but others seem to like it.)


message 10: by Bisera (new) - added it

Bisera I agree with the other: Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella) is a wonderful, goosebump-y story about World War II. At moments it's so heartbreaking, those moments are fairly simple and actually funny, but I found myself teary eyed then. Also, there's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, like they've said before.


Kathryn Number the Stars might be an option. However, it might be a bit young.

I agree with The Boy in the Striped Pajamas being impossible. However, that doesn't make it any less of an emotional read.


message 12: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Tiffani wrote: "I may be the only one who felt this way, but I found myself constantly connecting "the Book Thief" to "To Kill a Mockingbird." Both books have tough young girls as main characters. Both girls are..."

I never would have compared the two, but now that you bring it up, I can totally see what you're saying.


message 13: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Kathryn wrote: "Number the Stars might be an option. However, it might be a bit young.

I agree with The Boy in the Striped Pajamas being impossible. However, that doesn't make it any ..."


I have never heard anyone else bring up Number the Stars before. I remember reading it when I was young and absolutely loved it.


Jeanne Moran "The Book Thief" is unique because of the voice - it's narrated by Death. But if you're looking for other novels set in WW II era Germany which have a child protagonist, I've got some suggestions.
"Number the Stars" is a classic. "Someone Named Eva" by Joan Wolf and "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit" by Judith Kerr both fit the bill, as does my own novel "Risking Exposure." Another good one is "The Boy Who Dared" by Susan Campbell Bartoletti which is based on a true story.


Kathryn I have to second Risking Exposure. I've just finished it and it was fantastic.


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