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The Book Thief

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.