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Book Thief Personal Response

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Title: The Book Thief Author: Marcus Zusak Text type: Novel
The Book Thief is a book about having the courage to stand up for what you believe in and do what you believe to be the right thing. I was extremely impressed at how the actions of Liesel and her foster parents reflected these themes of bravery and morality. I think these themes are relevant in today's society because people often copy what everyone else is doing even when they know it is not right.
The themes of bravery and morality were displayed in the book by Liesel and her foster parents when they hid a Jewish man from the Nazis by letting him live in their basement. They risked being thrown in concentration camps in doing so, but they did it anyway because they believed that is was the right thing to do. It would have taken a lot of courage to do this, and I admire them for it. They also gave bread to the Jews being paraded through their town on the way to concentration camps on two separate occasions. The first time they did this, Liesel's foster father was caught by a Nazi officer and whipped in front of Liesel and most of the town. Even after witnessing the consequences that helping the Jews could have, Liesel still gave bread to them the next time they came through the town. I was surprised by her actions, because I don't think many people, myself included, would have been brave enough to do what she did.
The narrator, Death, states in the book that "In 1933, 90 percent of Germans showed unflinching support for Adolph Hitler. That leaves 10 percent who didn't. Hans Hubermann belonged to that ten percent.". Hans, Liesel's foster father, is one of the last people in the town he lives in who to join the Nazi party. When he finally does attempt to join, despite still not supporting Hitler, he is turned down due to an earlier incident when he painted over anti-Semitic graffiti on a Jewish shopkeeper's door. I think he was incredibly brave to refuse to join the party for as long as he did, despite the pressure to join from those around him. An example of the themes in The Book Thief being shown in modern society is Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who promoted her views on education for girls by writing a blog for the BBC, while living under Taliban rule. To me this shows that some people can be amazingly brave and stand up for their beliefs, even when doing so can be extremely dangerous.

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