The Book Thief

How do books inspire Liesel and allow her to grow?

And to write

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"Another noteworthy point is that the first was stolen from snow and the second from fire. Not to omit that others were also given to her. All told, she owned fourteen books, but she saw her story as being made up predominantly of ten of them. Of those ten, six were stolen, one showed up at the kitchen table, two were made for her by a hidden Jew, and one was delivered by a soft, yellow-dressed afternoon."

When Liesel finally learns to read, words take on not only meaning but the texture of life. Woven within that texture words had the power to make sense of the beautiful and hideous world is living in,

"And that word. That strange word was always there somewhere, standing in the corner, watching from the dark. It wore suits, uniforms. No matter where they went, there it was, each time her father was mentioned. She could smell it and taste it."

Words become Liesel's only salvation. She understands that books and the written word brings her more power than any gun ever could.


Chapter 6 The Book Thief