Story of Foster Girl Who Stole Books in The Book Thief

A foster girl living outside of Munich, Liesel Meminger, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
  In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

Death touches us all, but Liesel Meminger manages to touch Death with her shining humanity and the words of her young life, penned in the basement of a poor home, where she survives a devastating bombing of her neighborhood in Nazi Germany. Death personified holds her luminous grief and happiness in his pocket in the form of a black book containing her young life's autobiography, found by Him, forgotten by her, in the time of her greatest horror and shock.

Her love of books and the words that make them alive starts with the most unlikely sort of origin: The Grave Digger's Handbook, found in the snow after her six-year-old brother's death. At almost ten, Liesel cannot read; but a new foster father finds The Book Thief's first volume and uses it to teach her in the darkest hours of night when her terrors awaken her. Her life with her new papa and her harsh "wardrobe" of a foster mama begins to take a comfortable shape, and she meets her neighbor, Rudy Steiner, one of the poor tailor's children, but the only one to paint himself black with coal to re-enact Jesse Owens' four-medal triumph at the 1936 Munich games. And the only one whose near-constant request for a kiss, Liesel only grants when it's far too late.

The Book come to Liesel, and Liesel helps herself to books-from the remains of a burning pile on the Fuhrer's birthday; from the haunted and ghostly Mayor's wife, for whom Liesel's mama does the washing; and from Hans, the papa who parts with cigarette rations to buy her more to read. Not long after Liesel settles in Molching, on the outskirts of Munich, Hans Hubermann repays a WWI debt to a fallen comrade by taking the Jew's son Max into his basement. Liesel and Max share their struggles to survive and their nightmares: hers of a dead brother and his of family left to Hitler's mercies when he went into hiding. He sends her his regard in her favorite currency: words, stories made on pages of Mein Kampf painted white, his message the antithesis of those words first sowing and later reaping, so mercilessly reaping, hate in the land. Bound in growing love as well as the secrecy and desperation of wartime, the girl and man are separated when an act of kindness by Hans makes Max's hiding unsafe.

When you download or buy The Book Thief kindle ebook this novel contains so many thematic threads that one must be careful not to pin it down as an anti-war story or a condemnation of the Holocaust or a study of how language influences our lives or an extended parable about good and evil or stepchildren or poverty. Markus Zusak takes all these threads and weaves a brilliant tapestry depicting the life of a poor girl who becomes the foster child of a poor German couple struggling to make a living during Hitler's reign of terror. He offers readers a cast of characters who touch us in far-reaching and wide-ranging ways. He offers an edgy narrator, Death himself, who is far from an archetypal Grim-Reaper. This Death is, despite his omnipresence in the world, confused by and fearful of humanity. He is also affable, sardonic, and witty, but he insists, "not nice."

These are deep and complex characters. Not only are Death and Liesel wonderfully drawn but there are a host of other characters worth knowing. Liesel's best friend, Rudy (who never gets his kiss in life--ah, the regrets of youth so well drawn); her foster father, Hans, with his patience and his accordion; the Jew, Max, who opens Liesel's eyes in more ways than one. And the mayor's wife, and Rosa, the foster mother, and the gang of thieves, and all the residents of Himmel Street. All, in their own way, unforgettable.

The story is narrated by Death, an original concept, and Death is not the Grim Reaper you might imagine, but a compassionate entity that is charged with the unhappy task of carrying lost souls to eternity and must focus on the beauty of the colors rather than on the gruesome task at hand. Death is haunted by humans and the reader will undoubtedly be haunted by these magnificently created characters. From her foster parents, Hans and Rosa, to her best friend Rudy and to Max, the Jewish man hidden in her basement, the characters will come alive and burn in the reader's memory. They are fully defined and unforgettable in their passion and their sorrow.