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The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
Liesel Meminger Timeline and Summary
Liesel's brother Werner dies when she's ten. On the same day, she has to say goodbye to her mother forever. She goes to live with her foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann. She begins learning to read and developing friendships with Hans and Rudy. Upon learning that Hitler is behind her family's suffering, she steals a book from a book burning and is seen by Ilsa Hermann. Soon after, she's invited into Ilsa Hermann's library. Max arrives. The Whistler is rescued for Liesel by Rudy, who asks her, for the last time, for a kiss. Max and Liesel's friendship begins to grow when she gives him a hug, and he gives her The Standover Man. One day, Liesel brings snow down to the basement for Max. Afterwards, he falls ill and unconscious, and she feels like it's her fault. She spends lots of time reading to him and praying him back to consciousness. Liesel has a falling out with Ilsa Hermann and begins stealing books from her. During the air raids, Liesel begins reading aloud to the people. After Hans is caught giving bread to a Jewish man, Max is forced to flee, causing Liesel considerable desperation. Then her papa is drafted, and she stays with Rosa. She continues reading to the people in the bomb shelters and stealing books. Rosa gives her Max's book, The Word Shaker. After Hans returns, she sees Max among a group of Jewish prisoners being marched to Dachau. She is able to communicate with him and is whipped by the Nazi guards. Rudy stops her from taking further risks. She wants him to kiss her, but doesn't say so. Afterwards, she tears up a book in Ilsa's library and forsakes writing. When Ilsa brings her a blank notebook, she begins writing the story of her life, called, The Book Thief. She's editing it in the basement when the bombs strike Himmel Street. Everybody she knows dies in their sleep. After the war, she's reunited with Max. We meet her again, many years in the future, after she's just died. Death gives her back her book, which he rescued from a trash truck all those years ago.