Markus Zusak Books In Order

Publication Order of Wolfe Brothers/Underdogs Books

The Underdog (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fighting Ruben Wolfe (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Getting the Girl (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

I Am the Messenger (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Book Thief (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
When Dogs Cry (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

About Markus Zusak:

Markus Zusak is an award winning Australian author of German descent. During his writing career, Markus has written five novels with a sixth book in the works. Critics around the globe have named Markus a “literary phenomenon.” Markus Zusak was born on June 23, 1975 in Sydney Australia, where he currently still resides. Two of his five novels have been international bestsellers, being translated in to multiple languages and released in several countries. His mother was from Germany, and Markus was always fascinated with the history of World War II. He often read and listened to stories about the Nazis treatment of the Jews in his mother’s hometown. In an interview with a local newspaper, Markus explained that he feels there is a strong misconception about the Germans during World War II, in that not every German supported the Nazi regime. There were many who rebelled against the ideology of the Nazis. His father was a painter, and a young Markus wanted to follow in his footsteps. Markus was very clumsy, often causing more trouble for his father when he went to work with him. He finally realized that a life of painting just wasn’t for him. During his teenage years he began to pick up and read more and more books. It was during this time that he decided that he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life, and that was to write. Some of his early inspirations were What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Rumble Fish, and some of S.E. Hinton’s works. After writing his first novel, which was still unpublished, Markus spent 7 years submitting his work to publishers in hopes of getting his first break. After seven years and rejection letter after rejection letter, his first novel was finally published. Markus describes his daily routine as very planned and thought out. He knows when his day will start, and when he will be finished with his work each day. Markus says that he gets his ideas for writing from the past twenty years that he spent thinking about it.

Markus’ first novel, The Underdog was released in 1999. It was the first installment in what became a trilogy. In The Underdog, Cameron Wolfe, the story’s protagonist is a fifteen-year-old underdog. In the book, Cameron and his brother Ruben are coming up with half thought out schemes, are failing to ever “get the girl,” and get in to plenty of fights. Cameron starts to take interest in his brother’s girlfriend, putting a strain on their relationship. The book is about the characters being true underdogs and attempting to break free of the situation.

The sequel to The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe published in 2000, is about brothers Cameron and Ruben Wolfe and their continuing string of bad luck. Again hard times befall on the family as their father loses his job. Due to his abundant pride, he refuses to accept or apply for any government assistance that would greatly help his family’s situation. In order to help the family out, the brothers become involved in underground illegal boxing matches. The winnings from the fights help the family, but the brothers find that they are enjoying the success and soon start to realize this could be their chance to no longer be the underdogs. They have something more than toughness to prove. The third and final installment in the Wolfe family series is When Dogs Cry, published in 2001. This book is also known by another title, depending on the country as Getting the Girl. In this last chapter of the series, Cameron is tired of being second to his brother. He’s fed up with all the girls liking Ruben. He’s tired of always being passed over for his older brother. It’s in this novel where Cameron is finally sick of being the underdog. Ruben’s new girlfriend Octavia draws Cameron’s interest. Cameron decides that Octavia may just be the girl who finally takes an interest in him.

Markus Zusak is probably best known for a book titled The Book Thief. The Book Thief was published in 2005, and is what really solidified Markus as a favorite among international fans and critics. It has already been translated in to over 30 languages, published in several countries, with plans to publish it in several more. The Book Thief takes readers back to 1939 Nazi Germany. This book is different from many others in that it is not told from the point of view of the main character, a young foster girl named Liesel Meminger, but instead it is narrated by Death. At her foster home, Liesel is taught to read and write by Hans, the house painter. At a young age, Liesel steals her first book. At a rally for Adolph Hitler’s birthday in 1940, she steals her second book and is seen by the wife of the town’s mayor. Her foster parents have children of their own. Their son tries to gain membership in the Nazi party but is rejected. He then suggests that Liesel begin to read books like Mein Kampfinstead of the titles she has been reading. Liesel earns a title of book thief when she begins to steal books from the mayor’s wife’s library, which was actually allowed by her. The story tells of a young Jewish boy that the family hides in their basement, and the struggles to maintain the secrets of their actions. Liesel faces a tragedy she never saw coming, one that will leave readers shocked at what they just read. The novel is being adapted in to a feature film. Canadian child actress Sophie Nelisse will star as Liesel Meminger, Geoffrey Rush as her foster father Hans, and Emily Watson as Rosa, her foster mother. It has been directed by Brian Percival and has a scheduled release date of November 15, 2013.

Markus’ next scheduled book will be titled Bridge of Clay. Markus states that he has spent ten years planning the story for Bridge of Clay. It is about a boy who is determined to build a bridge over a river before the impending flood. The boy is determined to make sure this bridge survives the flood; he strives to achieve greatness. Markus has won 12 different awards for four of his novels. When he’s not at the beach with his children or pets, he can often be found reading, as he says that’s what inspired him to become a writer in the first place.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Markus Zusak