Study Guide

The Book Thief Chapter 86

By Markus Zusak

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Chapter 86

Wood In The Afternoon

  • Himmel Street has been cleaned up after the bombing and nobody is sure what to do with Liesel.
  • She and her accordion are with the police when Ilsa Hermann comes for her. Grande Strasse was not bombed.
  • She rides home with Ilsa in the mayor's car. The mayor drives.
  • Liesel talks to herself all night long.
  • She doesn't take a bath.
  • She sleeps without dreaming and doesn't want to wake up.
  • Four days later, when she goes to the funerals, she still hasn't bathed.
  • Some people think they saw her in the Amper River with all her clothes on, saying something about a kiss.
  • Time passes and the war rages.
  • Liesel remembers her books. She goes to Himmel Street to try to find them, but there's no trace.
  • There's a second funeral for the Steiner family when Alex Steiner comes home, shortly after the bombing.
  • He thinks that if he hadn't kept Rudy from going to the Nazi school, Rudy might still be alive.
  • He tells Liesel he would give anything to have somehow traded his life for his sons.
  • Liesel tells him about kissing Rudy's dead lips.
  • Death says, "There were wooden teardrops and an oaky smile" (86.26).
  • (Since this is Rudy's funeral, the references to wood might have to do with Rudy's coffin, though it isn't really clear. What do you think? )

The Book Thief Chapter 86 Study Group

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