The significance of books: “The Book Thief”

Consider the significance of the books that Liesel reads in “The Book Thief”. Look carefully at the titles and where the texts appear in the novel. Why are these texts significant? Whose lives do they affect and what do they teach us about the characters who possess them?

“The Gravedigger’s Handbook” – Liesel takes this book from the snow, at her brother Werner’s funeral.

“The shoulder shrug” – Liesel rescues this book from the burning flames on Hitler’s birthday.

“The Dream Carrier” – The text Liesel steals from Frau Hermann’s library.

“A song in the dark” – The text Liesel steals from Frau Hermann’s library.

“The standover man” – Max’s publication gift to Liesel.

“Mein Kampf”- Hitler’s published philosophy, Max’s camouflage traveling to Molching, and the pages used for “The Standover Man”.

Posted by Jo Waide

Teacher of English at Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka, New Zealand.

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