The Book Theif

by: Markus Zusak

Theme One: Words are Strong and Powerful

Liesel is a nine year-old girl that doesn't know how to read or write when she moves in with Hans and Rosa Hubermann after the death of her brother and being taken from her mother. She gets made fun because of the fact that she can't read and feels weak, so Hans teaches her how to read , The Grave Digger's Handbook, at mid-night lessons in their basement. Her town of Molching, Germany was happy place until the Nazi ideas started to set in. One day the town got together and had a bonfire where they burned books. Liesel found a book that survived the fire, but the mayor's wife saw her sneak the book. She showed Liesel her own library because she also had a huge hunger for reading. While Max, a Jew, is hiding and gets moved to the Hubermann's basement. She get curious about this man living in her basement, and she realized she was a lot like him. So for her birthday he painted over a the cover and the pages of the book, ¨Mein Kampf¨, which was written by Hitler, and wrote the stories of his life called, ¨The Standover Man.¨ All of a sudden Max starts having nightmares about boxing the Fuhrer, but Hitler uses his words and persues the crowd to gang up on Max,

Theme Two: Humans can be Cruel and Kind

There are many kind and cruel things that happen with thing this story. The Hubermann take in this Jewish man that is hiding from the government and trying to protect this man at all cost even if it would costs their lives. Liesel visits Max in her basement when ever should could even with the Nazi impression surrounding her world and knowing he was a Jew, but she didn't care; they built a strong bond that could never be severed. And even the small little actions that showed kindness like Rudy giving Liesel the teddy bear or Ilsa Hermann showing her library to Liesel.

But the cruelty in this book is as strong as ever. Hans tries to help a Jewish man that was weak and hunger, so he gave him bread. A Nazi soldier saw it, and with the swing of his whip. He whips the Jew and Han with no sense of remorse in sight. Liesel is also whipped trying to talk in Max during a parade. She is thrown by a soldier, but she picks her self up and marches back into the parade when she got struck by the whip. But one day in October of 1943, Liesel's world came crashing down literaly! A bomb was dropped on Molching, and it killed all her friends and family, like Hans, Rosa, and Rudy.

How The Themes Relate?

I believe these themes went really well together.. There are cruel things out in the world and what has happened in the past, such as the Jews being discriminated by Hitler. The words that he said about them changed the thought of society to thing that they are useless and trash. But the friendships that Liesel made with Max caused her to not believe what was being said about them.