Study Guide

The Book Thief Characters

By Markus Zusak

Liesel Meminger

Liesel Meminger is the hardworking, book-thieving, kind-hearted star of the novel. She loves...

Rudy Steiner

He starts off in the novel as a ten-year-old boy with "bony legs, sharp teeth, gangly blue eyes,...

Max Vandenburg

This guy is a fighter in just about all the ways someone can be a fighter. But that doesn't make...

Hans Hubermann

We all wish we had a father figure as crazy-awesome as Hans. He's warm-hearted, totally morally...

Rosa Hubermann

Aww, Rosa. We start this booking thinking she's going to be a textbook Mean Mommy. But by the...

Death

Death is our guide and narrator to The Book Thief. But don't go cowering under the covers on his...

Frau Ilsa Hermann

Okay, Ilsa must be the only sympathetic character in the history of characters to wear a dang...

Werner Meminger

Werner is Liesel's little brother. He dies on the train when their mother is taking them to their...

Paula Meminger

We know very little about Liesel's mother, except that she's a very tragic figure. She loses her...

Liesel's Father

We know next to nothing about Liesel's father. Liesel has no memories of him, but has heard he...

Erik Vandenburg

Erik is Max's father. He died around the same time Max was born, in 1916, in France, during World...

Max's Mother

We know little about Max's mother other than that she eventually had to sell the family music...

Walter Kugler

Walter Kugler is Max's good friend and former fist fighting partner. Walter is conscripted into...

Max's Uncle, Aunt Ruth, and Cousins

When Max is nine, his mother runs out of money and they go to live with an uncle who isn't named....

Hans Hubermann Junior

Hans Junior is the son of Hans and Rosa. He's a dedicated member of the Nazi Party. His disgust...

Trudy Hubermann

Trudy is the daughter of Hans and Rosa and a very minor character in the book. She shows up for...

Alex Steiner

Alex is Rudy's father. He's a tailor with a tailor shop. His political beliefs are grounded in...

Barbara Steiner

Barbara is Rudy's mother. She seems like a nice person, but we don't learn that much about her....

The Steiner Kids

Rudy's brothers and sisters aren't major characters, but we want to list their names for you:...

Tommy Müller

Tommy lives on Himmel Street and is friends with Liesel and Rudy. Tommy has severe ear problems...

Frau Holtzapfel

At the beginning of the novel, Frau Holtzapfel is Rosa Hubermann's enemy. She spits on the...

Michael Holtzapfel

Michael is one of Frau Holtzapfel's sons. He loses three of his fingers in Stalingrad. He comes...

Robert Holtzapfel

Robert is Frau Holtzapfel's son. He dies in Stalingrad after losing both of his legs in an...

Arthur Berg

Arthur Berg is the first leader of the fruit (and vegetable) stealing gang that Liesel and Rudy...

Victor Chemell

Viktor is the second leader of the fruit-stealing gang. He's a bully and is nothing like his...

Frau Diller

Frau Diller is a staunch Nazi supporter. She owns the shop where Liesel and Rudy buy mixed candy...

Franz Deutscher

Franz is the evil leader of Rudy's Hitler Youth squad. He terrorizes Rudy and Tommy, eventually...

Reinhold Zucker

Reinhold Zucker is another bully, a young man serving with Hans on the air raid clean-up crew....

Ludwig Schmeikl

Ludwig is the little boy Liesel beats up on the playground when he teases her about not knowing...

Frau Hienrich

Frau Heinrich works for the foster care system and is in charge of Liesel's case. She is the one...

Heinz Hermann

Heinz is the mayor of Molching, and, obviously, a Nazi. He's married to Ilsa. He's a very minor...

Johann Hermann

Johann is Ilsa Hermann's son, who dies in 1918 in some sort of unexplained barbed-wire fence...