Informational texts and literature to accompany Markus Zusak's The Book Thief
Liesel is a nine-year old girl living in Germany in the midst of the Nazi regime during World War II. Alone and distraught after her brother's death, Liesel now lives with foster parents, Hans and Rosa. Hans teaches Liesel to read and write during her time with them and Liesel begins to find strength and solace in the written word. As a result she steals books that the Nazis set out to destroy. She shares these stories, and her own, with a Jewish man, hidden within Hans and Rosa's home. The Book Thief explores coming of age in the time of conflict, community and familial relationships, and risk and gain.
Additional Reading Practice
- TED Talk: The Key to Success? Grit. (Grades 9-10; CCSS.CCRA.R.8)
- Poet Laureate: The Pen ... An Instrument of Discovery (Grades 9-10; CCSS.CCRA.R.1)
- World War I Let Artists Show How It Changed Our Lives (Grades 11-12; CCSS.CCRA.R.1)
Applied Reading and Writing Lessons
- The Teenage Brain (Grade 7; CCSS.RI.7.2; CCSS.W.7.2)
- Poetry: He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven (Grade 8; CCSS.RL.8.4; CCSS.W.8.1)
- Leaving the Nest (Grade 8; CCSS.RI.8.2; CCSS.W.8.2)
- Poetry: Fragment of an Ode (Grade 9; CCSS.RL.9-10.4; CCSS.W.9-10.1)
- Extreme Grief (Grade 11; CCSS.RI.11-12.2; CCSS.W.11-12.2)
- Poetry: This Life Which Seems So Fair (Grade 11; CCSS.RL.11-12.4; CCSS.W.11-12.1)
Differentiated Lesson Sets for Grades 4-12
- Risk-taking: How do you know when a risk is worth taking?
- World War II: How prepared was the United States to fight World War II on two fronts?
- Personal Identity: How is our identity shaped by how others perceive us?
- Communities: How do poets use language to help their communities understand and appreciate their experiences and values in ways no one else can?