Markus Zusak

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Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak in 2013
Markus Zusak in 2013
Born Markus Frank Zusak
(1975-06-23) 23 June 1975 (age 43)
Sydney, Australia
Occupation Writer
Alma mater University of New South Wales
Period 1999–present
Notable awards Margaret A. Edwards Award
Spouse Mika Zusak
Children 2

Markus Frank Zusak (born 23 June 1975) is an Australian writer. He is best known for The Book Thief and The Messenger (US title, I Am the Messenger), two novels for young adults which became international bestsellers. He won the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2014 for his contributions to young-adult literature published in the United States.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Zusak was born in Sydney, Australia. His mother Lisa is originally from Germany and his father Helmut is from Austria. They emigrated to Australia in the late 1950s.[2][3] Markus is the youngest of four children and has two sisters and one brother. He attended Engadine High School and briefly returned there to teach English while writing. He studied English and history at the University of New South Wales, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education.

Zusak is the author of six books. His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and When Dogs Cry, released between 1999 and 2001, were all published internationally. The Messenger, published in 2002, won the 2003 CBC Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) and the 2003 NSW Premier's Literary Award (Ethel Turner Prize) in Australia and was a runner-up for the Printz Award in America.

The Book Thief was published in 2005 and has since been translated into more than 30 languages. The Book Thief was adapted as a film of the same name in 2013.

The Messenger (I Am the Messenger in the United States) was published in 2002 and was one of Zusak's first novels. This novel has won awards such as the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards: Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature.[4]

In March 2016 Zusak talked about his unfinished novel Bridge of Clay. He stated that the book was 90% finished but that, "... I’m a completely different person than the person who wrote The Book Thief. And this is also the scary thing—I’m a different person to the one who started Bridge of Clay eight, nine years ago ... I’ve got to get it done this year, or else I’ll probably finally have to set it aside."[5]


  • The Underdog (1999) ISBN 978-3-473-35234-0
  • Fighting Ruben Wolfe (2000), sequel to The Underdog ISBN 978-0-439-24187-8
  • When Dogs Cry (2001), a.k.a. Getting the Girl; sequel to Fighting Ruben Wolfe ISBN 978-0-330-36309-9
  • The Messenger (2002); US title, I Am the Messenger ISBN 978-0-375-83099-0
  • The Book Thief (2005) ISBN 978-0-375-83100-3
  • Bridge of Clay (October 2018), Pan Macmillan Australia, ISBN 9781743534816


In 2014, Zusak won the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association (ALA), which annually recognises an author and "a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature".[1]

In 2006, Zusak was also the recipient of the Sydney Morning Herald's Young Australian Novelist of the Year Award.

2009 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis
2008 Ena Noel Award – the IBBY Australia Ena Noël Encouragement Award for Children's Literature[6]
2007 Michael L. Printz Award runner-up (Honor Book) from the US Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)[7]
2006 Kathleen Mitchell Award 2006 (literature)[8]
2007 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis
2006 Printz Award Honor Book[7]
2006 Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
2005 Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year-Children
2003 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award
2003 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature
2002 Honour Book, CBCA Children's Book of the Year Award: Older Readers[9]
2001 Honour Book, CBCA Children's Book of the Year Award: Older Readers[9]
shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature


  1. ^ a b "Edwards Award 2014". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). American Library Association (ALA).
      "Edwards Award". YALSA. ALA. Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  2. ^ "The Angel of Death Narrates a New Tale for Young Readers –". Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Biography of Markus Zusak | List of Works, Study Guides & Essays". GradeSaver. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  4. ^ wiki
  5. ^ "The Book Thief 10 Years Later: Markus Zusak Reflects on His Iconic Novel 14 March 2016". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  6. ^ IBBY Australia Archived 22 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine. at Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
  7. ^ a b "Michael L. Printz Winners and Honor Books". YALSA. ALA.
      "The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature". YALSA. ALA. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  8. ^ "Kathleen Mitchell Award 2006 (literature)". Cauz Group Pty Limited ( Archived from the original on 19 May 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
  9. ^ a b "Winners 2000–2006 CBCA". Children's Book Council of Australia. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010.

External links[edit]