The Book Thief

Better Essays
Mickey Sweet
Period 1
May 23rd, 2013

The Book Thief
By Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is a novel written by Australian author Markus Zusak. Narrated by Death, the book is set in Nazi Germany, a place and time when Death explains that he was extremely busy. It follows the life of a young girl, her relationship with her foster parents, the other residents of their neighborhood on Himmel Street, and a Jewish fist-fighter who hides in her home during the escalation of World War II.
Death describes his first encounter with nine-year-old Liesel Meminger as she attends the funeral of her brother in the late 1930s. The brother, Werner, died on a train as their mother was taking them to Molching, Germany. They were to be left with a foster family in order to distance them from their parents' past communist sympathies. It is just after the funeral that Liesel steals her first book, after it is dropped in the snow by a gravedigger's apprentice. Despite being under-educated, knowing only the three German words for “the”, and unable to read the book, she keeps it as a final memento of her brother.
Upon arriving at the home of her foster parents, Liesel refuses to leave the car. She goes so far as to scream when Rosa, her foster mother, attempts to remove her. It isn’t until Hans, her foster father, comes to her and soothes her. This, I suppose, foreshadows her bond with Hans, and her angst towards Rosa, who insists on being called “mamma”.
Liesel is haunted by nightmares about her mother and dead brother every night, screaming and wetting the bed. She becomes very embarrassed that she wet the bed, but Hans reassures her that everything is okay. She eventually develops a bond with Hans, who comes to her every night, without fail, and stays with her until she is able to go to sleep again. This bond enables her to find normalcy and peace in her new home. A few nights after the first bed wetting, Hans notices The Grave Digger’s Handbook, and upon Liesel’s request starts

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