Summary and Analysis
Part 9: The Last Human Stranger:
The Bitter Taste of Questions
Liesel and Rosa receive a letter from Hans telling them about his broken leg and also stating that he'll be coming home. They celebrate his broken leg and take the news over to the Steiners, who celebrate with them. Despite Rudy's happiness, Liesel can sense his question — why Hans and not his father?
With Rudy's question, Death admits that Rudy has a point, illustrating how so much of life is left up to luck and chance. Why one and not the other? Why lightness and not darkness? Or why darkness and not lightness? While Rudy can be happy for Liesel, he can, simultaneously, be upset for his family and jealous of the good fortune that has come to Liesel and Rosa.