The Book Thief
Age 12-14: Concept 2 - Semester 2: Unit 3

In this unit, you will read The Book Thief, a historical novel by Markus Zusak. The novel follows Liesel, a young girl living in World War II Germany. You will learn about World War II and the influence of Nazi propaganda. This will help you better understand the character motivation of Liesel and her father. You will learn about literary devices and logical fallacies as you explore the relationship between the author, narrator, and reader. For your final project, you will complete three mini projects as part of a Think-Tac-Toe board.


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at an 8th or 9th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Can write a five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the eighth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: The Author and Narrator (2 Days)
  • Lesson 2: Similes and Metaphors
  • Lesson 3: Burning Books
  • Lesson 4: The Value of Books
  • Lesson 5: The Accordion Player
  • Lesson 6: The Standover Man
  • Lesson 7: The Seven-Sided Die
  • Lesson 8: The Thief Strikes Again
  • Lesson 9: Close Calls
  • Lesson 10: The Trilogy of Happiness
  • Lesson 11: The Word Shaker
  • Lesson 12: The Teddy Bear
  • Final Project: Think-Tac-Toe (3 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze idioms, analogies, metaphors, and similes to infer the literal and figurative meanings of phrases. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation. (Language Arts)
  • Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. (Language Arts)
  • Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style. (Language Arts)
  • Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced. Evaluate the credibility of a speaker (e.g., hidden agendas, slanted or biased material). (Language Arts)
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings. (Language Arts)
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts. (Language Arts)
  • Develop a topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. (Language Arts)
  • Explore and evaluate argumentative works that are read, heard and/or viewed by identifying the social context of the argument, recognizing the effects of bias, emotional factors, and/or semantic slanting, comparing the argument and counter-argument presented. (Language Arts)
  • Identify/evaluate the effectiveness of tone, style, and use of language. (Language Arts)
  • Interpret and evaluate the various ways in which visual image makers (e.g., graphic artists, illustrators, news photographers) communicate information and affect impressions and opinions. (Language Arts)
  • Read and comprehend works of exposition, argument, and functional text in the form of personal essays, speeches, opinion pieces, essays about art or literature, biographies, memoirs, journalism, and historical, scientific, technical, or economic accounts (including digital sources) written for a broad audience. (Language Arts)
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