Thursday, August 12, 2010

Covers of The Book Thief - Markus Zusac (35 Editions)


UK Adult

UK Teen hard cover

UK Teen Paperback





Chinese Paperback


Russian Paperback

Russian Hardcover





French Paperback



German #2


The most common cover art themes used around the world:

US Printz Edition
Spanish Paperback
German paperback


Portugese paperback
Not going to comment on them all (it was tiring enough tracking them down and translating the correct book to country)

I have a clear favourite: The Australian edition :)

It's a beautiful cover, the blues and whites are stunning, the black figure of death facing away is somehow evocative. I love the trees and the splatters of blood are startling against the wintery image, but artisticly done. Plus, I kind of like how it is unique to us (aside from a similar French edition). I didn't realise it was an Aussie only cover. I guess looking at it also makes me feel how I felt when I read it (so I'm predisposed to like that one) but I'm still going with it for my favourite.

I'm also fond of the Italian.

And, oddly, the Turkish one moves me.

Um, how freaky are the Russian editions? That teddy bear in the snow gives me chills and Death on the Hardcover, OooOooh...

Ahhh, that German one? You know the one I mean. LOL. But, for real? Hmm...

And, the most common covers used internationally? I don't really like the girl reading on the stage or Death dancing with the girl. Neither of them appeal to me, but obviously publishing houses are into them.

Which Cover is your favourite? 
Any that freak you out? 
Do you have international cover envy?

Oh - and how brilliant is the actual book? 
It transcends what you think a book can be or do.

And, it's not just me who thinks so.

On goodreads there's over 58, 300 ratings (!)
And, the average rating? 4.35
Which is astounding when you think of all those tens of thousands of people all rating it so brillantly. 
Over half of the ratings are 5 stars

On LibraryThing: over 10, 000 ratings and 2/3's give it 5 stars. Averaging 4.42

If you haven't read it yet...


  1. I ADORE the Australian one! So interesting you included a Turkish one too :)

  2. I love all of these, so haunting :)

  3. I love the Chinese one! Very cool. The Russian paperback is intersting, too. It highlights the quick step from childhood (teddy) to the harsh reality of adulthood (war and book burnings. Nice job tracking down all the covers!

  4. I just ADORE the UK Adult cover! So very awesome!

  5. I have the UK adult one but haven't read it yet, I should bump it up the list after all the raves.

  6. I think my favorite is the UK Teen version. I read this a few years ago after my librarian read it for a class and told me I would like it. I immediately got that it was narrated by death, which amazed my librarian because she did catch on right away. It is a very good book and one every book lover should add to their list. Love this post too by the way.

  7. I love the UK Teen too. I also like the German paperback, it's very awesome. Love your blog too!:)

  8. Oh, I love the Australian cover, as well as the UK adult cover. And the Norwegian. And, of course, the book itself, which is hands down one of my favorites of all time.

    Cool post!

  9. Hnnnnnngh The Book Thief. So many covers, although I particularly like the domino one (the one I own!). And the asian ones look pretty classy... I'm not too fond of most of the others, but there's so much variety!

    God, that Russian one...! The teddy bear... It's fascinating to see how different publishers took different parts of the novel and incorporated them.

  10. Wow so many! I think I like the UK teen paperback best, but I also like the US, maybe because it is the one I have.

    And, yes, the book is amazing. I remember I was reading the end on a plane which was landing and had to take back off and I didn't notice. That's how good it was.

  11. Firstly, congrats on an awesome job of tracking down all these covers. I think the thought/artistry that has gone into each is astounding. It would make an interesting work unit at high school to deconstruct these!

    My fave is the Aussie - bright and French - dull, versions best, but I also like the UK Adult which has been picked up by many countries. I think the Russian one is true to the message of the book, but the Chinese paperback doesn't really suit the book I think.

    I had to read this as I was tutoring students who were studying it. At first I hated it, but I warmed to the idea. It'll never be a favourite though, just something about the bleakness and characterisation that disturbs me..:)

  12. thanks for all the comments guys.

    L'Aussie - i know what you mean about it being bleak - i loved all the literary statements and the ambitiousness of it all.

  13. and yay for all the people who love the Australian one :)


  14. Nice collection.
    Here is the hungarian one:


Thanks for the commenty love :)