prologue, part one
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The significance of The Gravedigger's Handbook to Liesel has a few meanings. On one level it represents Liesel's transition from illiterate to literate. She learns how to read from this book. It is also a memento from her little brother Werner's funeral. Liesel also beats the tar out of the school bully Ludwig Shmeikl for teasing her about it. That scored some major points for her self-esteem!