At the awards ceremony on 11 March Annie Eaton, Fiction Publisher at Random House Children’s Books, read out this message from Markus Zusak, winner of the TSBA Senior Award 2015 for The Book Thief:
Hi everyone at Trinity, and thanks for giving The Book Thief this award.
I’m surprised and thrilled, and quite amazed.
I thought The Book Thief would be by far my least successful book. I imagined someone reading it and trying to get someone else to read it. The other person would ask, ‘Well, what’s it about?’
Then what do you do?
All you can say is, ‘Well – it’s set in Nazi Germany, it’s narrated by Death, nearly everyone dies – oh, and it’s 580 pages long, you’ll love it!’
So, as you can see, I never had high hopes. I thought this book would sink without a trace, so I’m honoured to receive this award. Despite my low hopes for success, I knew at some point that The Book Thief meant everything to me, and I think it still does. Thank you for allowing a book that means everything to me mean something to you. I couldn’t be happier.
Thank you again, and all my best from down here in Sydney,