‘The Book Thief’ author Markus Zusak to speak in Cedar Rapids

Marcus Zusak

The Hotel at Kirkwood Center — Sunday, Mar. 13 at 5 p.m.

Markus Zusak at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center
Markus Zusak speaks Mar. 13 for Linn Area Reads

Each year, the Linn Area Reads program of the Metro Library Network (a coalition of the Cedar Rapids, Marion and Hiawatha Libraries) chooses a book for area residents to read and discuss together at a series of free public events. This year’s selection was The Book Thief, an immensely popular 2005 novel that stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 230 weeks.

On Sunday, Mar. 13, the libraries are bringing in the book’s author, Markus Zusak, for a live author event and book signing. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.

The Australian’s novel, which has been translated into over 30 languages, uses Death as a narrator to tell the story of Liesel, a young girl in World War II-era Germany. Liesel’s one weakness is books, and much of the novel centers on her abiding love for them, and for sharing them with, among others, the Jewish refugee hiding in her basement.

The Linn Area Reads program follows up the author’s visit with a showing of the 2013 film adaptation, directed by Brian Percival and starring Sophie Nélisse and Geoffrey Rush. The movie will screen on Tuesday, Mar. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in Whipple Auditorium at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.