The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a very famous historical fiction book in this decade. This 550 paged book has encouraged many teens to know more about the Holocaust, a genocide that took place during World War II. Markus Zusak wrote this book based on information from his parents’ memory, not based on a modern day conflict. His parents’ experience during the war greatly influenced him. Even though many of the characters in this book are fictional, the origins, the towns, the events and the actions are historically accurate. Although The Book Thief was not written during World War II, Zusak was still around people who had been there to witness it.
Liesel Meminger, the protagonist of the story is an adopted girl with blonde hair and a frightening pair of chocolate brown eyes. She is fostered by the Hubermanns when her father abandons her family and her mother is forced to give her up for adoption. She is very close to her foster father, Hans Hubermann, and has a rough but loving relationship with her foster mother, Rosa. She befriends Max and the mayor's wife. The mayor’s wife allows Liesel to read, borrow, and "steal" books from her home library. Liesel also befriends other children of Himmel Street. Liesel eventually marries Max and moves to Australia. She has several children and grandchildren. Liesel dies in Sydney.
Hans Hubermann, Liesel's foster father works as a painter and enjoys rolling and smoking cigars. He served in the German army during World War I. During the Holocaust, he doesn’t agree with the Nazi party but is forced to join. After being accepted into the Nazi party, he was recruited into the German army. He has silvery-grey eyes and is tall, although despite this he is described as being very capable of blending in with the crowd. He becomes very close to Liesel, as he calms her after her nightmares of her brother's death, and teaches her to read. Hans Hubermann eventually dies in the Himmel Street bombing.
Rosa Hubermann, Liesel's rude, often annoying, foster mother is short, with a wrinkled face. She has brown hair tied up in a bun and blue-grey eyes. To increase the household income, she does washing and ironing for five of the richer households in Molching. However, when the war causes economic problems, she loses her jobs one by one, the last being at the Hermann household. She is killed in the Himmel Street bombing.
Liesel's neighbor, Rudy Steiner has bony legs, blue eyes, and blond hair. Despite being the perfect Aryan, he doesn’t support the Nazis. Being part of a household with six children, Rudy usually starves. He is academically and athletically gifted, which attracts the attention of Nazi Party officials, who try to recruit him. When he rejects the idea, they take his father, Alex Steiner. Rudy is also killed in the Himmel Street bombing.
Max Vandenburg is a Jew who hides in the Hubermanns' basement. He is the son of a WWI German...