Study Guide

The Book Thief Chapter 81

By Markus Zusak

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Chapter 81


  • Afterwards, Liesel can't talk. Instead of going home, she goes to the train station to wait for Hans.
  • Rudy comes too, but Hans won't be in for another six hours, so he goes to get Rosa.
  • By the time Rosa gets to the train station, she's figured out what happened, from the details Rudy gives her.
  • Hans is so angry when he hears.
  • They are all without appetite, and even the accordion is no comfort.
  • Liesel is in bed for three days, and each day Rudy comes to look for her.
  • After four days, she goes to get him, and they walk out to where they'd put bread in the road for the Jewish people walking to Dachau.
  • She says, "I should have told you earlier" (81.8).
  • She wants to thank him for everything, but she doesn't say the words.
  • After making him promise to tell no one, Liesel tells him the story of the accordion and the story of Max.
  • She shows him a page in The Word Shaker that features him.
  • He asks Liesel, "You told him about me?" (81.30).
  • Liesel can't answer. She realizes she loves him, that maybe she always has. She wants to kiss him. She wants him to kiss her.
  • He's grown from a scrawny kid to a star athlete.┬áHe has one month to live.
  • She says, "Of course I told him about you" (81.33).
  • Death tells us, "She [is] saying goodbye and she didn't even know it" (81.34).

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