The Book Thief By Markus Zusak Summary and Analysis Part 7: The Complete Duden Dictionary and Thesaurus: The Sky Stealer

Summary

The first raid was a false alarm. The next one, though, is real, and people are more fearful this time. Again, Liesel brings her books. Hans, out of superstition, refuses to take his accordion. Liesel and her family gather in the Fiedlers' basement, leaving Max behind again, and hear bombs dropping in the distance. Liesel starts reading The Whistler aloud. Slowly, the noise in the shelter hushes as everyone gathers around to listen to her read. She realizes that reading for her is like Hans's accordion for him. When the all-clear sounds, everyone remains in the basement to hear Liesel finish the chapter. When they emerge, they see smoke in the sky off in the distance, but Himmel Street has remained untouched. At home, Rosa is proud of Liesel and tells the story to Max. Liesel asks if Max went upstairs to see the sky on that night. He says that he didn't, that instead he looked at the painting of the sun and ropey clouds, which saddens Liesel because she knows that if the bombs make it to their street, Max will die alone.


Analysis

Death has told us previously that Liesel doesn't ask Hans to teach her the accordion because she doesn't think she could ever get it to sound like Hans does. But now, she's found the medium through which she can move people, calm them, and evoke music in her soul: reading. Words are her notes; the books are her instruments. Already she knows that words can instill fear in people; now, she sees how words can help take that fear away. Liesel discovers her voice in this chapter, and Rosa softens and reveals just how proud she is of Liesel when she tells Max about what happened in the basement. Liesel likes to think of Max standing at the window while they're underground. Just as she steals books through a window, Max steals the sky.

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After Liesel steals a book from the bonfire, what does the burning book against Liesel's chest symbolize?





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