The Book Thief

What did Liesel and Max have in common? What does that similarity represent for each of them?

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Initially Max and Liesel are apprehensive around each other, but they discover that they have something important in common: both have recurring nightmares involving the last time they saw their families alive. Both are political refugees evading Nazi persecution: Max is a Jew, Liesel's parents were Communists. Their similar backgrounds make Max's initial gift of The Standover Man important, as Max ultimately helps Liesel realize the power of words to delight and to harm others.