Book people have a lot to look forward to this fall, including Ender’s Game, the Orson Scott Card story about children used as soldiers against invading aliens, and Catching Fire, the Hunger Games sequel about a young woman in post-apocalyptic America forced to fight to the death — again — by a corrupt government.

Despite how much I loved those books, the one that has me most excited is The Book Thief, a World War II story about Germans during the Nazi era.

Some people are saying this movie’s flown under the radar. It’s a little hard to believe how that could be. The book was on the New York Times bestseller list for 230 weeks after its publication in 2005. (That’s four and a half years, in case you don’t love division.) If this one’s at all under the radar, maybe they don’t make radar equipment like they used to.

But consider this: the book has no vampires, no shades of gray, nothing that would earn it a Comicon appearance — and the main character is a 12-year-old girl. The only thing that explains this incredible run of success is the quality of book, written by the Australian author Markus Zusak.

It’s devastatingly good, and unlike most World War II stories we read, it’s told from the point of view of Germans. And also from Death, which makes for some of the most distinctive narration of any book in the last decade.

If you haven’t read it yet, trust that it will make an amazing movie.

In part, this is because of the cast. Geoffrey Rush, who won an Oscar for Shine, stars as Hans Hubermann, the kindhearted German house painter who takes in an illiterate orphan girl name Liesel.

Oscar nominee Emily Watson plays Hubermann’s foul-mouthed wife Rosa, who calls children the German word for a-hole at the drop of a hat.

The score, an often-underrated performer in a movie, is by John Williams — think Jaws, Star Wars, E.T., Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List … probably every movie theme you know by heart is one of his.

The story, though, is going to be the biggest star. It’s just the sort of thing that does well on the big screen. You know how some movies blow your mind (think Gravity). This one is going to blow your heart. No spoilers, of course, but it’s a deft and complicated tale that shows life from the other side of that terrible war, building sympathy without burnishing excuses.

Zusak, the author, is chatting on Facebook  on Oct. 29 from 1-1:30 p.m. Pacific time. You can drop in that event here.

Meanwhile, check out the trailer here: