The Book Thief
The Book Thief is narrated by Death yup, you heard that right who tells us the story of Liesel Meminger. It's January , and ten year old Liesel is traveling by train with her mother and her little brother Werner. Liesel and Werner are being taken to the small town of Molching, just outside of Munich, Germany, to live with foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Werner dies on the train of mysterious causes having to do with poverty, hunger, cold, and lack of medical treatment. Before Liesel arrives in Molching, she attends her brother's burial in a snowy graveyard. She steals The Grave Digger's Handbook from the cemetery after it falls from a young grave digger's coat.
On their way to Molching, Liesel's younger brother Werner dies, and she is traumatized, experiencing nightmares about him for months. Hans is a gentle man who brings her comfort and helps her learn to read, starting with a book Liesel took from the cemetery where her brother was buried. Liesel befriends a neighborhood boy, Rudy Steiner , who falls in love with her. At a book burning, Liesel realizes that her father was persecuted for being a Communist, and that her mother was likely killed by the Nazis for the same crime. She is seen stealing a book from the burning by the mayor's wife Ilsa Hermann , who later invites Liesel to read in her library. Keeping a promise he made to the man who saved his life, Hans agrees to hide a Jew named Max Vandenberg in his basement.
The Book Thief is narrated by Death (yup, you heard that right) who tells us the story of Liesel Meminger. Liesel and Werner are being taken to the small town of Molching, just outside of Munich, Germany, to live with foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Before Liesel arrives in.
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Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides. Zusak was inspired to write The Book Thief by a story his mother told him, which involved a boy giving bread to a starving Jew who was being marched to a concentration camp. A Nazi soldier noticed and whipped both the boy and the Jew. Zusak's favorite character from any of his books is Rudy Steiner, Liesel's best friend. Which guides should we add? Request one! Sign In Sign Up.
The majority of the novel takes place in the fictional town of Molching, Germany, near Munich, between and Death narrates the story of Liesel Meminger, beginning when she is nine years old and suffering from the death of her brother and separation from her mother. When Liesel arrives, she can't read and is made fun of in school. During Liesel's early days with the Hubermanns, she has nightmares and Hans sits with her through the night. With his gentle demeanor and his accordion playing, Hans gains Liesel's trust as she grows close to him and comes to associate his presence with safety. She becomes very good friends with Rudy Steiner, the Hubermanns' neighbor. Rudy is constantly trying to get Liesel to kiss him, but she always refuses.
Death introduces himself as the narrator and describes the three times he saw "the book thief. Werner dies and Liesel and her mother disembark to bury him. At the funeral Liesel finds a book called The Grave Digger's Handbook in the snow, but she doesn't know how to read. Liesel's mother drops her off in Molching, where Liesel moves in with foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Rosa is loud and insulting, but Hans wins Liesel's trust through his gentleness and support. Liesel has nightmares of her dead brother nightly, but Hans sits with her and comforts her.