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Advanced English Reading: The Book Thief

Kerin English Teacher
Lesson by Kerin

Love books? Want to improve your advanced English reading skills? Dive into some real English and brush up your advanced English reading skills! #lovereading

  • Language level: higher levels (B2, C1, C2)
  • Skills: Listening and reading
  • Time needed:10-20 mins
  • Focus: Understanding and enjoying authentic English

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

How to use this lesson:

There are two ways to use this advanced English lesson. That’s to say, either:

> Simply listen and enjoy! Make yourself a cup of tea, find a cosy space and spend some time with yourself.

> Or you can study a bit! Practise your listening skills and grow your vocabulary.

Free advanced English lesson

Here’s how:

  1. Listen to the audio (without reading)

  2. Listen again and read. The extract is below. (Note down new words and structures that are interesting for you but don’t look them up yet. And don’t highlight every single word you don’t know!)

  3. Listen again (without reading). Compare your comprehension now to the first listening.

  4. Play the vocabulary boost game.

  5. Participate in the discussion.

Vocabulary Boost

Advanced English Reading Discussion

Consider these questions:

  • The narrator here is Death. Some readers love Death as a narrator; others not so much. What do you think?

  • Can Death be a good choice for the role of narrator?

  • What is his tone?

  • Are you curious about the story he has to tell?

Write your thoughts in the comments below


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  1. Hello Kerin,

    I don’t think I love the narrator as a Death. when I first listened to the audio before I reached the discussion,I didn’t know that the narrator was Death. Beside, Reading the pages of the book thief of the narrator makes me so scared and goose flesh. It is because I couldn’t understand and caught the information of listening yet. The lesson was very great and give me wider ideas.
    I don’t know Death can be a good choice for the role of narrator. But I have never seen narrator as Death before. It’s interesting, although i was scared of the notes. It’s like a Death note that talks to me. I can feel the tone of Death frighten of soon. Do you think we can welcome him gladly when we hear his tone like this? I don’t think so.
    While the narrator is Death in the title of the book thief, I am curious about the relevant between this two case. I may be dragged to read ahead by ignoring the Death narrator since books are impressive for me and I want to know the secret of the book.


  2. Hello Angela,
    Thank you for your comments. It’s great to hear what you think about the lesson. I agree, it is a bit unsettling and even creepy to have Death as the narrator, but as you say, it wasn’t immediately obvious that Death was speaking. In my opinion, using Death as the narrator is an extremely interesting mechanism and gives the reader a completely different point of view. If you do decide to read the book, you’ll see that Death is actually quite matter-of-fact and even has a sense of humour. Perhaps the point is that some people can be much more scary than death itself?! If you are interested, this article is really interesting:
    Have a good day,

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