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The Book - Thief

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Amaechi Aghadiuno

Mrs. Shaw

10th Honors Literature

12 December 2012

                                        The Book Thief

  1. At the beginning of the story, Liesel was an illiterate adolescent. However, throughout the story, Liesel (slowly) evolves to grow a love of books. Words and books become a behemoth component in the life of Liesel. When Liesel learns to read, she begins to steal (more) books. When her mother was fired, her “mastery” of words was put into use as well. The final time when she broke into the mayor’s house, she wrote a very strongly worded letter which also shows her vast comprehension of words.

When Liesel began to read in the library in the mayor’s house, it seemed as though she was in her utopia. This came to an end when the mayor’s wife states that she is firing Rosa. Liesel retorts to the mayor’s wife statement by insulting her and calling her pitiful. When Death reveals that she does this, it reveals that she has grown in vocabulary and is able to use words feasibly. Secondly, when she broke into the house of the mayor the final time, she writes his wife a letter saying “You have been a friend to men even though I hurt you, even though I’ve been insufferable (Zusak 522).” This shows Liesel is thirsty for words. She looks up words on her own without anyone guiding her.  


  1. Dominoes represent a vital part of the story. The author shows that when one action has occurred, it causes a series of other events. For example, when Rudy decides that Franz Deutscher was a foe, he decides to skip the Hitler Youth meetings and eventually skips them altogether. Also when Rudy wins all his races, it leads to the Nazi officials wanting him to come to their prestigious school, and when his parents refuse, it causes them to draft Alex Steiner into the war.                                                                                                                                                                                 When Ilsa Hermann fired Liesel’s mother, it causes her to start to steal books, which leads to the sprouting of her abundant vocabulary. This seems to be the only evident positive effect of “dominoes” in the story. This is because Liesel is writing her book in  the basement when the bombs crash into Molching and Liesel is the sole survivor. Death states “She survived because she was sitting in a basement reading through the story of her own life” (Zusak 498).

 Also, when Hans helps one of the Jewish men in the parade, it causes Max to leave the Hubermann residence, which results in his capture by the Nazis. When Max leaves the house, he leaves the house, he states “You’ve done enough.” (Zusak)



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