I never think of this book’s audience in terms of age. I honestly thought it wouldn’t have any audience at all, and that’s how it became the book it did. I thought, “No one’s going to read this, I might as well do exactly what I want.” I think that’s how I ended up keeping Death on the books, and every other oddity, from incorrect grammar to the small announcements appearing throughout the text. I stopped worrying about the audience and that has to happen with every book, I think. There’s a moment where you realize you’ve cared for the audience all this way, and you get a bit fed up, and finally say: “All right, I’ve helped you out this far, but now you have to come with me”. Ironically enough, I think that’s when your true audience starts to love a book the most—when you trust them enough to come with you anyway.
Markus Zusak taking about The Book Thief in an Interview with Chicago Public Library