The Book Thief centers around the life of Liesel Meminger, a nine-year-old girl living in Germany during World War II. Liesel's experiences are narrated by Death, who describes both the beauty and destruction of life in this era.
After her brother's death, Liesel arrives in a distraught state at the home of her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. During her time there, she is exposed to the horror of the Nazi regime and struggles to find a way to preserve the innocence of her childhood in the midst of her destructive surroundings. As the political situation in Germany deteriorates, her foster parents hide a Jewish man named Max, putting the family in danger. Hans, who has developed a close relationship with Liesel, teaches her to read in secret. Recognizing the power of writing and sharing the written word, Liesel begins to not only steal books the Nazi party is looking to destroy, but also write her own stories and share the power of language with Max. As Liesel copes with the trauma of her past and the violent horrors of the war-torn world around her, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, the formation of a new family, and mostly, her life as a book thief.
Born sometime in February 1929, the protagonist of the story, she is an adopted girl on the verge of adolescence, with blonde hair that "was a close enough brand of German blonde" and a "smile that was starving" when she very rarely showed it. She is fostered by the Hubermanns after her father "abandons" their family, her brother dies, and her mother is forced to send her to a foster home owing to her political belief-communism, which is forbidden then. Liesel is the "book thief" referred to in the title. Liesel loves books and ends up stealing them from bonfires, mansions, and snow. Relizes that she loves Rudy after it is to late. Kisses Rudy after he dies. She starts working with Rudy's father after the bombing. Reunties with Max
Hans Hubermann (Papa)
Liesel's foster father and husband of Rosa, Hans was a World War I fighter, accordion player, and handyman. 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. Dies in the bombing.
Rosa Hubermann (Mama)Edit
Liesel's sharp-tongued, often abrasive, foster mother, she is 5'1" and has a "wardrobe" build, with a displeased face, brown-grey tightly-cinched hair often tied up in a bun, and "chlorinated" eyes. To supplement the household income, she does washing and ironing for five of the wealthier households in Molching. She has a quick temper, dictates to the household, and is known for straightening out previous foster children. Though she often swears at Liesel, she cares very much for her. She has two children of her own, Trudy and Hans Jr. Dies in the bombing.
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