A BOOK TO READ: THE BOOK THIEF

The Book Thief is a fictional book written by Australian author Markus Zusak. The book which is the author’s most popular work is written in both English and German Languages. It was published in 2005 by Picador and has 584 pages. The Book Thief became an international bestseller and was translated into several languages.

A film adaptation of the book was released in November 2013. The movie was directed by Brian Percival and starred Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer, Nico Liersch, and Sophie Nelisse. Much of the Book Thief (film) was filmed in Gorlitz, Germany.

CHARACTERS

The characters in the book include Death (narrator), Liesel Meminger (the main character/protagonist; an adopted girl), Hans Hubermann (Liesel’s Foster father), Rosa Hubermann ( Liesel’s Foster mother), Rudy Steiner (Liesel’s neighbor), Werner Meminger (Liesel’s little brother), and Paula Meminger (Liesel’s mother).

SUMMARY

Werner, the little brother of the protagonist dies suddenly on a train to Molching while being transported to the foster parents along with her sister and mother. Liesel Meminger, however, arrives at the home of her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, distraught and withdrawn. During her time with the new parents, she is exposed to the horrors of the Nazi regime (the Nazis took her father away at the beginning of the novel). She was affected by those times. Her foster parents conceal a Jewish fist fighter named Max Vandenburg due to the political situation in Germany.

Hans, who has developed a close relationship with Liesel, teaches her to read. Liesel then recognizes the power of writing and sharing the written word. Liesel not only begins to steal books that the Nazi party is looking to destroy, but also writes her own story, and shares the power of language with Max. 

The book went further to narrate how Max secretly leaves the Hubermann’s home because he thinks he’s trouble for them. He is caught by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp with Liesel watching. The Hubermann’s home was destroyed by bombs falling on Molching. The Hubermanns were killed in this incidence but not Liesel, she was in the basement writing her book. It is later told that Max survived the concentration camp. The personality of death as the narrator was also exposed over the course of the book.