The Book Thief

The books liesel steals are metaphors for the struggles and triumphs in her life. What do some of these books represent in her life?

The books she steals are the dream carrier. The grave digger, the whistler and the shoulder strug

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The Gravedigger's Handbook is a momento that marks the beginning of a new life and letting go of the past. It symbolizes Liesel's feelings of loss, her grief, and an immense feeling of abandonment.

Liesel steals The Shoulder Shrug from a bonfire. It was a symbol of rebellion against Hitler; she took something he wanted destroyed.

The Whistler symbolizes Liesel's relationship with Rudy, and the trust they have between them. The first time he asked her for a kiss was immediately after saving the novel from the Amper River.

The Dream Carrier symbolizes her relationship with Max. She steals the novel more for what she can give to him through reading it aloud than for anything else.

The Last Human Stranger also symbolizes Max indirectly. It symbolizes the way she misses him in the midst of trying to hold onto her faith and hope for the future.


The Book Thief