Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 222–233

“Into Eternity’s Certain Breadth”: Ambivalent Escapes in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10583-010-9111-2

Cite this article as:
Adams, J. Child Lit Educ (2010) 41: 222. doi:10.1007/s10583-010-9111-2


This article examines the consolatory possibilities presented by Markus Zusak’s recent crossover novel The Book Thief, investigating the degree to which the novel delivers the simultaneous consolation and confrontation identified with children’s and young adults’ Holocaust texts by such critics as Adrienne Kertzer and Lawrence Baron. Contending that the supernatural nature of the novel’s redemptive imagery ultimately undermines its apparently consolatory purpose, the article concludes with an analysis of the extent to which such a reading is complicated by the novel’s status as crossover text, and the triangular gaze that might subsequently be attributed to its adult readers.


Holocaust literature Crossover fiction Consolation Death 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English LiteratureUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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