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What to know: A youthful perspective of surviving in Nazi Germany.
Recommended age 12-18
131 minutes
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BOOK THIEF, THE cover image Click to play video trailer
I bet you have seen many movies that have narration but I bet you haven't seen one like this. In this movie, the narrator is Death.

The Book Thief is about a young girl whose brother dies and her mother abandons her - all at the age of 11. She's adopted by an older couple in Nazi Germany. Her foster father teaches her how to read which lights a fire inside of her to read and read and read. Again, since this is Nazi Germany, books are very hard to find. The only way she can get more books is to "borrow" them. Also, her family agrees to hide a young Jewish man in their basement which puts the young girl's family at great risk. But, the young girl and the young man become very good friends, helping each other through hard times. During this time, there are many people dying so Death is very nearby and has a lot to say. The Book Thief is all told from Death's perspective.

The lead characters are the young girl, Liesel Meminger played by up-and-coming actress Sophie Nelisse and her foster father and mother played by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. These characters try to live a normal life while fighting for it.

One of my favorite scenes is when a friend of Liesel's, Rudy, goes to the running track and covers himself in mud so he can look like Olympic Track Star Jessie Owens. I like this scene because it shows how Rudy didn't believe what Hitler was saying and supported Liesel and her family.

The look and sound of this film helps convey the emotional story of Liesel and her friends and family. The sets and costumes are all beautiful and really portray 1940s Germany. The music is sad but also, hopeful. The cinematography is beautiful and also lets us see the harshness of their lives.

The message of this movie is "to stand up for what you believe and don't let a group of people tell you otherwise."

I recommend this movie to ages 9 and up. Although this is a sweet passionate film it does take place in Nazi Germany which includes violence and death.

I give this movie five out of five stars because the idea of having the narrator be Death really grabbed my attention and held my attention to this unbelievable story to the very end. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Canela R, age 11.

Out of all the movies I've ever seen, this one is the saddest. "The Book Thief" is a fantastic film that would make everyone who sees it cry, laugh, enjoy and be at the edge of their seats.

This movie has so much to watch - a tiny bit of comedy, sadness, history, suspense, thrilling scenes, intense, a bit of violence and, of course, theft.

The story begins when a young girl is on her way with her sick brother to live with a new family. Sadly, the brother dies along the way. The girl is left alone with a new mother, a new father and stuck in Germany during World War II. Her family does a lot of scary things and it's a very sad story as well.

The movie has so much history. I am Jewish so I cried quite a lot when I watched it. The facts are very accurate and very well done. The actors are stupendous. They are sad, happy, scared, brave and a lot more. The special affects and the thrilling way this film is done is amazing. This film is one of those films that made me cry. I wanted to go back in time so I could change Hitler's childhood to convince him to be nicer, kinder and not kill people. This movie is definitely big, intense and memorable.

My favorite scene is a happy one. The family is hiding a Jew in their basement. The father (Geoffrey Rush) is a bit of a goof so he gets a lot of snow and they start a snow fight in the basement. For once, the mother plays along, and the girl builds a snow man. There they are huddled against each other, listening to the father play an accordion and feeling happy despite what is happening in the outside world.

Because the movie is so intense, I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend that everyone watch this film and think about what happened in the past. We all have responsibility to make sure that this history doesn't repeat itself. Reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O, age 11.

This is an incredible film based on the book by the same name. It follows the life of a young girl who is abandoned by her mother and placed in foster care with a couple who also take in a young Jewish man who puts the entire family at risk. It give us a glimpse of what life might have been like for children similar to this during the time the Nazi party controlled Germany. At times terrifying, at times humorous, it will surely give you a full range of emotions.

The production is simply stunning from the first rate performances to the sets that portray a very realistic image of this small German town. Young Sophie Nelisse plays a very believable character as the young girl, Liesel and Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, the adoptive parents, are equally believable.

I know that this book is required reading for many middle schoolers and would highly recommend that they watch this film as well. It portrays so well life in 1938 Germany from the Hitler youth groups to the book burning, the anti-Jewish propaganda, and the brainwashing that ordinary people endured. It certainly opens up for discussion why all of these people bought into the Nazi regime.

Based on the beloved bestselling book, THE BOOK THIEF tells the story of a spirited and courageous young girl who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a foster family in World War II Germany. Starrring Sophie Nelisee, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson.
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