The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a novel of cruelty, poverty, and hope. Liesel Meminger is a young girl who has been placed in foster care by her mother. Liesel learns to turn to books for comfort.
Plot[ edit ] After the death of Liesel's younger brother on a train to Molching, Liesel arrives at the home of her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, distraught and withdrawn. During her time there, she is exposed to the horrors of the Nazi regimecaught between the innocence of childhood and the maturity demanded by her destructive surroundings.
As the political situation in Germany deteriorates, her foster parents conceal a Jewish fist fighter named Max Vandenburg. Hans, who has developed a close relationship with Liesel, teaches her to read, first in her bedroom, then in the basement. Recognizing the power of writing and sharing the written word, Liesel not only begins to steal books that the Nazi party is looking to destroy, but also writes her own story, and shares the power of language with Max.
Liesel Meminger[ edit ] The protagonist of the story is an adopted girl on the verge of adolescence, with blonde hair that is "a close enough brand of German blonde" and a "smile that is starving" when she shows it. Her eyes, however, are brown. She is fostered by the Hubermanns after her biological father "abandons" their family, her brother dies, and her mother is forced to send her to a foster home due to her belief communismwhich is forbidden at the time.
Liesel is the "book thief" referred to in the title. Liesel is fascinated by the power of words, as shown in the quotation, "I have hated the words and I have loved them. He develops a close and loving relationship with Liesel, and becomes a main source of strength and support for her throughout the novel.
He, like Liesel, doesn't have much experience with reading. Together, the two help each other with reading and write all the words they learn on a wall in the basement with his cans of white paint.
Rosa Hubermann Mama [ edit ] Liesel's sharp-tongued, often abrasive, foster mother, she has a "wardrobe" build and a displeased face, brown-grey tightly-cinched hair often tied up in a bun, and "chlorinated" eyes. Despite her temper, she is a loving wife to Hans and mother to Liesel.
To supplement the household income, she does washing and ironing for five of the wealthier households in Molching. Rudy Steiner[ edit ] Liesel's neighbor, Rudy, has bony legs, blue eyes, lemon-colored hair and a penchant for getting in the middle of situations when he shouldn't.
Despite having the appearance of an archetypal German, he does not directly support the Nazis. As a member of a relatively poor household with six children, Rudy is habitually hungry.
He is known throughout the neighborhood because of the " Jesse Owens incident", in which he colored himself black with coal one night and ran one hundred meters at the local sports field.
He is academically and athletically gifted, which attracts the attention of Nazi Party officials, leading to an attempted recruitment. His lack of support for the Nazi party becomes problematic as the story progresses. Rudy becomes Liesel's best friend, and eventually falls in love with her, always trying to get a kiss out of her.
Max Vandenburg[ edit ] A Jewish fist-fighter who takes refuge from the Nazi regime in the Hubermann's basement.
He is the son of a WWI German soldier who fought alongside Hans Hubermann, and the two developed a close friendship during the war.
He has brown, feather-like hair and swampy brown eyes.
Based on its title, you might think that The Book Thief is a spy thriller or a Holmes-style detective story. But really, this is the emotional story of a young girl living in Germany during the Holocaust. Yep, a ten-year-old girl is the title's thief. And the books she's stealing aren't top. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a novel of cruelty, poverty, and hope. Liesel Meminger is a young girl who has been placed in foster care by her mother. Liesel's brother dies en route to their new home and this leaves Liesel traumatized, causing her to have terrible nightmares in the middle of the. "The Book Thief is unsettling and unsentimental, yet ultimately poetic. Its grimness and tragedy run through the reader's mind like a black-and-white movie, bereft of the colors of life. Its grimness and tragedy run through the reader's mind like a black-and-white movie, bereft of the colors of life/5.
During the Nazi reign of terror, Hans agrees to shelter Max and hide him from the Nazi party. During his stay at the Hubermanns' house, Max befriends Liesel, because of their shared affinity for words.
He writes two books for her and presents her with a sketchbook that contains his life story, which helps Liesel to develop as a writer and reader, which, in turn, saves her life from the bombs. She entered depression after the death of her only son in the Great War. Ilsa allows Liesel to visit and read books in her personal library.
She also gives Liesel a little black book, which leads Liesel to write her own story, "The Book Thief". Paula Meminger Liesel's Mother [ edit ] Liesel's mother is only mentioned in the story a few times. Liesel's mother met the same fate as her father, but Liesel eventually realizes her mother gave her away to protect her.
Throughout the novel, the deaths of prominent characters reaffirm the presence of mortality. Because the novel takes place during World War II, death and genocide are nearly omnipresent in the novel.
Death is presented in a manner that is less distant and threatening. Because Death narrates and explains the reasons behind each character's destruction, as well as explains how he feels that he must take the life of each character, Death is given a sense of care rather than fear.
At one point, Death states "even death has a heart," which reaffirms that there is a care present in the concept of death and dying.She was the book thief without the words.
Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.”. For those who, like me, have come to the Book Thief party late, here's what B.o.B says - the scope of life beyond the understanding of young Liesel, through the unique perspective that is Death's.
The other thing that is so brilliant about this book is the imagery Zusak uses. The Book Thief is framed by Death's contemplation of the worth of humanity, and Death's inability to reconcile the remarkable cruelty and the remarkable compassion of which human beings are simultaneously capable.
Liesel's life story contains elements of both, and by the end of the novel, Death appears to be no more capable of judging humanity. A Thief in the Night: Life and Death in the Vatican by John Cornwell in EPUB, RTF, TXT download e-book.
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Mar 27, · The book thief of the title is a schoolgirl named Liesel Meminger, and the meaning of her stealing is not left unexplained. She has been robbed of a brother, who dies at the start of the book.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.