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Themes

The Book Thief focuses on characters who are learning to love in the face of great hatred. There is also romantic love in the novel. Of course, it's an innocent childlike romance that tragedy cuts short. The novel is set in a Nazi Germany, where giving another person something as seemingly small as a crust of stale bread or even a smile could be seen as act of immense kindness. These acts almost always involve penalty. To love in such a harsh world is both a necessity and a triumph for the characters of The Book Thief.

Questions About Love

  1. Does Liesel love Rudy romantically? Is there romantic love between Max and Liesel?
  2. Why does Liesel love Hans so much?
  3. How is Hans's accordion connected to the idea of friendship?
  4. What makes Walter love Max enough to risk his life for him?
  5. Is Death a loving character? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Liesel begins to love Max when he gives her The Standover Man.

Death is the most loving character in the novel.

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