In the text, ‘The Book Thief’ Written by Markus Zusak. This book is portrayed by death and represents the life of Liesel Meminger and her love of books. Death portrays to us the story of Liesel a 9-year-old girl living in the era of world war 2.  He talks about her life after her mother gave her up and the death of her brother and now what it’s like living with her new foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann and living next door to her new best friend Rudy Steiner. Death talks about how they influence affected her life. This book shows the reader to appreciate the small things that you have.

The Text is about Liesel Meminger a 9-year-old girl who lived in the era of world war 2.  She had lived a hard life like many other children living in that era. The book starts off when her mom has to give her and her brother up and they are forced into foster care. Which I couldn’t imagine what she felt like knowing she probably wouldn’t see her mum again. But the loss didn’t stop there on her train ride with her mother and brother to Molching, Germany to see her new foster parents he brother passed away. Which would have been a hard time for her knowing that she is starting her new chapter in her life alone and grieving. I know how hard it is to lose a loved one but losing your brother or in my case my sister it would be a hard time for me. Liesel was attending the burying of her brother when one of the gravediggers dropped a book called the ‘Gravediggers handbook’ which she stole and will be a big part of her life. But by saying this Liesel Meminger is not a girl who is seen as a book thief but a girl who is passionate about reading. Well, Liesel was living with her foster family she tried to read the book but did not know how to. One night papa came into her room to say goodnight and saw her with a book. “Then they discovered that she could not read or write.”  So the kind man he was took Liesel under his wing and taught her how to read the ‘ Gravediggers handbook.’ Together they spent most nights reading the book, but one day Hans who was a painter painted the basement wall with the ABC’s. So every time Liesel learned a new word she could put it on the wall to see how much she has learnt it over time. By Hans doing this it shows to the reader how he is a good man and will do anything to help Liesel shrive. It also to me it represents the connection that Liesel and Hans will have over bonding and teaching over their love of books. From This book this made me think about how Liesel is quite a symbolic girl as she took the book as something to always remind her of her brother. This book also made me think of how lucky and how sometimes I take for granted the ability to be able to read and write from a young age and not having to learn now as would have been very hard for me to do. It shows that she so determined to be able to read and write.

Another Book that stands out to me is the ‘Shoulder shrug’ which Liesel took out of the fire at the burning of the books. To me, this part of the text represents her connection to Hans and, Frau Hermann the mayor’s wife as they all share Liesel’s secret as she took the book from the fire. When she got the book from the fire Frau Hermann saw but do anything about it. To me, it felt like she just shrugged her shoulders and moved on like she saw what she did but she was going to ignore it because Liesel reminded her of her son. But Liesel did not know at this time if Frau would I told her husband and she would have got into serious trouble or she would do nothing about it. But if I were Liesel I would have been so scared of the consequences if she would have told on me I would not be able to not think about it.  Soon after Frau saw her take the book, Hans noticed that Liesel was hiding something in her coat the book. He looked through it and became concerned because of all the political content but didn’t do anything about it. He saw what was in it was concerned about what they might to so it was like he shrugged his shoulder and said to her. “This is our secret, this book. We will read it at night or in the basement, just like the others- but you have to promise me something.”  Liesel said ” Anything papa.” Then Papa said, “If I ever ask you to keep a secret for me, you will do it.” Which was fair because by taking that book she would now have serious consequences. By here taking that book it makes me think again how lucky we are to be able to have access to books anywhere we have houses with them we have our school and libraries full of them. But for Liesel to have access to books she either had to be rich or could only get one them on rare occasions.  Because books are a passion for Liesel it would be hard for her to have access to them so she finds it easier to steal them. I feel like the burning of the books scene would have been hard for her because she could see all those books burning and she would of love to have them.

Another character in the book Rudy Steiner who was Liesel’s neighbor and best friend. But before Liesel arrived there Rudy had a so-called ‘incident.’ Where he ran around a  field covered in black charcoal pretending he was Jesse Owens. It said in the text that “ He smeared the charcoal on, nice and thick, till he was covered in black. Even his hair received a once-over.”  This showed how much he wanted to be like Jesse Owens he even brought spare charcoal in case some come off. But at that time Jesse Owens was the fastest man alive but he was black and nazi didn’t like black people but they consisted better than jews. But Rudy was quite innocent and it didn’t matter to him that he was black just that he was the fastest man alive. But when Rudy’s Papa saw him running around the field covered in black charcoal he was ashamed to see his son doing this as it was wrong to do so. So when he said, “ I just wish I was like Jesse Owens, Papa.” It must have made is father very disappointed in his son knowing that by having 6 kids he must have had one bad egg. This part of the book shows how much a culture has changed and how if our child were to do that it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing to do and you wouldn’t be frond a pond for doing so. When his father caught him he dragged him by his ear. But he got black charcoal on his hands and rubbed it off like being black was a contagious disease, not a race. Which shows how much it has changed. Rudy was considered to be lucky because he had blonde hair and blues eyes. And to want to be black showed to his father that he was the bad egg. But today that wouldn’t be the case. Rudy Steiner was innocent not knowing that what doing was consisted wrong. But even though it was considered wrong it did in a way show a side to rudy which is very similar to Liesel as they were both courageous.

Both Liesel and Rudy are very similar as they both went for things the love Liesel stealing books because of her love of them and Rudy running around the field because of his love of running and his admiration to be like Jesse Owens. When they both have a goal they go for it they have the determination and courage to do so. The similarities make their friendship so strong right to the end of the book. I would recommend this book because it is not only great for young adults but adults as well. The book has a great meaning and is one that will let you engage with the characters letting you get to know who they are.

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  1. Heidi, I have read through this response and I have a few suggestions that may assist to strengthen these ideas:
    1) You need to focus on individual points in this response. For example, if you are going to discuss Liesel Meminger as an important character that teaches you about certain things, then you need to focus an entire point on details about Liesel and what they teach you 🙂 In this point, you would also include specific evidence (quotations) from the text to support your ideas.
    2) It would also be beneficial for you to choose an entirely new aspect of the text to discuss. This could be another influential character (like Rudy, as you mention above) or an event etc.
    * Please speak with me or send me a comment through your blog if you have any questions.


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