The Book Thief

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 98
  • Published : August 15, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
The Book Thief takes place in Germany before and during World War II. The story is told from the point of view of Death who finds the story of the Book Thief, Liesel Meminger, to be very interesting, as she brushes Death three times in her life. The novel begins when Liesel's mother takes Liesel and her brother Werner to live with foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann in Molching, as she can not provide for them. Werner dies during the journey, and at his graveside funeral, Liesel steals The Grave Digger's Handbook, fallen in the snow after a gravedigger drops it. Though illiterate, Liesel knows that books are precious. Liesel's foster parents, the Hubermanns, treat her well. The stern Rosa often insults Liesel by calling her a "dirty pig" (saumensch in German), but we learn that this is Rosa's prickly way of showing affection. The gentler Hans teaches Liesel how to read The Gravedigger's Handbook. This begins her love for reading and words, as well as keeping the memory of her brother close to her. Liesel also befriends the other children of Himmel Street, including Rudy Steiner, who is in love with her and is also her best friend. She continues stealing books from various sources, but mainly the library of Ilsa Hermann, the mayor's wife. She also steals once from a Nazi book burning. Her foster family helps a Jewish man named Max Vandenburg, whose father saved Hans' life during World War I. The first time she brushes with Death is when she and Rudy come across a crashed plane, with a fighter pilot dying in the wreck. Liesel begins to write her own book, The Book Thief, as the story of her life. When Himmel Street is bombed, she is the only survivor, as she was writing in the Hubermanns' basement at the time. She finds the body of Rudy, then her foster parents. This is Death's second encounter with Liesel. Distraught, she drops the book, which Death finds and keeps. She goes to live with the Hermanns (the mayor and his wife) and when Alex Steiner (Rudy's...
tracking img