The Book Thief - Mrs. Sullivan
Transcript The Book Thief - Mrs. Sullivan
Liesel's loses one family, and gains another.
For reasons unknown to us at the time, Liesel's
mother is taking Liesel and her little brother
Werner by train to live with foster parents, Hans
and Rosa Hubermann.
The Hubermanns live on Himmel Street in the
town of Molching, Germany.
Sadly, Werner dies on the train.
Before Liesel arrives in Molching, she attends
her brother's burial in a snowy graveyard.
She steals The Grave Digger's Handbook from
the cemetery after it falls from a young grave
The kicker is, Liesel can't read.
After arriving on Himmel Street, Liesel takes
an immediate liking to her foster father, Hans,
who begins to teach her to read.
Her foster mother, Rosa, at first seems scary
and abusive, but as we get to know her better,
we can see love behind Rosa's coarseness.
In addition to her foster parents, Liesel meets
her soon-to-be best friend and neighbor, Rudy
Steiner. He will soon become the Clyde to her
Bonnie in the stealing of books, and,
Until the book burning organized by the Nazis
to celebrate Adolph Hitler's birthday on April
20, 1940, Liesel isn't really aware of what it
means to be living in Nazi Germany.
When Liesel hears a Nazi spokesman calling
for death to Communists as well as Jews, a
light bulb goes off.
The only thing she knows about her father is
that he was accused of being a Communist.
She realizes that Hitler is likely behind her
father's disappearance, her brother's death, and
her mother's recent disappearance.
When Hans confirms her suspicions after the
book burning, Hitler becomes Liesel's sworn
enemy. This conflict helps drive Liesel to steal
her second book, The Shoulder Shrug, from the
Turns out that Erik Vandenburg, a Jewish man,
saved Hans's life during World War I, giving up
his own life in the process.
Erik's son, Max, is now 22 and is running from the
Nazis. Upon learning of his plight, Hans readily
helps arrange for Max's journey to Himmel Street.
Hiding a Jewish person in your home during
World War II is one of the most dangerous things a
German person could do. It means a constant state
of paranoia for all involved.
Liesel forms a fast friendship with Max.
During this time, Liesel also forms a
complicated almost-friendship with the
mayor's wife, Ilsa Hermann.
Ilsa saw Liesel steal the The Shoulder Shrug.
She also pays Rosa to do her laundry.
When Liesel comes to her house on laundry
visits, she invites Liesel into the library to read.
When Ilsa has to stop using Rosa's services,
Liesel begins stealing books from her, though
Ilsa doesn't seem to mind.
Everything changes in October of 1942 when "The
parade of Jews" (55.4) comes through Molching on
the way to the nearby concentration camp Dachau.
Hans feels compelled to offer one of the Jewish
prisoners a piece of bread and is whipped along
with the prisoner by Nazi guards.
Hans is now desperately afraid the Nazis will
search his house and find Max, so he sends Max
away that very night.
His house is never searched, but Hans is
conscripted into the German army and has to leave
Rosa and Liesel are left all alone.
Will Hans return alive?
Will Liesel ever see Max again?
These are the two most suspenseful questions for
Liesel. She does everything she can to live life well
in spite of her missing foster father and friend.
Liesel spends a lot of time thieving with Rudy and
One night Rosa shows her the book Max left for
her, a book written on painted-over pages of
Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf.
This amazing book only increases Liesel's
suspense over Max, even after Hans is sent back
home after breaking a leg and barely escaping
Seeing Max, Liesel's book, and the bombing of
In August of 1943, Liesel sees Max marching
through Molching to the Dachau concentration
walks with him in the procession.
She learns he was captured some six months
The Nazi guards don't take well to Liesel's
courageous display, and Liesel and Max are both
Rudy stops Liesel from following Max any
further, and possibly saves her life.
Soon after, Liesel decides to give up books and
Ilsa Herman's library.
Ilsa presents her with a blank book, and Liesel
begins writing the story of her life, called The
She writes in the basement and is doing so
when Himmel Street is bombed.
Everybody she loves dies while they sleep.
In despair over the deaths, Liesel drops her
book, but it's picked up by Death.
First we learn that Liesel has died after living a
happy life with a husband, kids, and grandkids.
As the novel is about to close, we learn that she
and Max are reunited at the end of World War II.
But, we don't learn what happens to Max after
The novel ends with Death giving Liesel back her
book, The Book Thief, when he's taking her away.