'The Book Thief' movie adaptation gets a director

'Downton Abbey' director Brian Percival will helm the film version of the popular World War II young adult novel 'The Book Thief.'

'The Book Thief' tells the story of a young girl named Liesel who begins stealing books in Munich during World War II.

The popular 2007 young adult novel “The Book Thief” has gotten a director for its movie adaptation – the film will be helmed by “Downton Abbey” director Brian Percival, who directed the recent Christmas-special episode (the second-season finale for American viewers) and the series pilot.

“The Book Thief,” which was written by author Marcus Zusak, tells the story of a young girl living in Germany during World War II who survives through thievery and soon begins stealing books, bringing them back to her foster father and others. The novel, which is narrated by Death, was released in 2007 but continues to sell well, holding the number two spot on The New York Times' best seller list for Children's Paperback Books for March 4 and coming in at No. 4 on the Children's Interest IndieBound list for March 1.

Screenwriter Michael Petroni, who penned the script for the 2011 Anthony Hopkins film “The Rite,” will be adapting the book for the cinema.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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