The Book Thief

How is each of Liesel's book titles an ironic comment on the times? What is ironic about the title of Max Vandenburg's book?

parts two three

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The Gravedigger's Handbook- Although it has a morbid title, it represents a turning point for Liesel. It helps her to become literate and gives her new life.

The Shoulder Shrug- It's speculative as to what the title means. Does it mean not caring? In that case it is ironic because it causes many people to care including Hans. It inspires Hans Hubermann to "come up with a plan to help the Jewish fist fighter."

The Standover Man and The Word Shaker- These are Max's creations. These inspire Liesel to use words to combat evil. Rather than standing over or shaking away words, Liesel uses words as weapons.