The Book Thief

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak The Book Thief is a story narrated by Death and is about a young girl by the name of Liesel Meminger in Nazi Germany whose mother planned to drop her and her brother off with foster parents in the fictional town of Molching, Germany. She could no longer take care of them, and on the train ride there, her brother died. That’s when Liesel stole her first book, The Grave Digger’s Handbook. She went on to meet her foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann and Rudy Steiner, her best friend. Hans and Rosa began to hide a Jewish man, Max Vandenburg, in their basement until Hans made a mistake that forced Max to leave before the authorities came and found him. Alex Steiner, Rudy’s father, also made a mistake that threatened the authority of the Nazi party and he and Hans were drafted into the military. Hans broke his leg and was allowed to come back home to Molching. Late one night, while Liesel was in their basement writing an autobiography, the poorer part of Molching was bombed, where she happened to live and everyone was killed, except Liesel. First of all, the book provided me with many, somewhat random out of context, but interesting facts about what went on outside of the fictional story of Liesel Meminger. In chronological order, the facts are as follows— 1899: Adolf Hitler was born, 1933: 90% of Germans supported Hitler, 1936: Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the Summer Olympics, 1942: Around 500 people were killed as a result of a bombing in Cologne, Germany, 1942-1943: Stalingrad, Russia was a huge target, 1943: Another bomb killed around 45,000 people in Hamburg, Germany, and a few German translations, like Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, means My Struggle, “Verzeihung” means forgiveness, “Himmel” means heaven and “Zufreidenheit” means happiness, which brings me to my next point, the vocabulary in this story.

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