Liesel Meminger is traveling by train to a suburb of Munich to be placed into a foster family with her brother. Her brother dies suddenly and she and her mother stop to bury the body. While stopped, she finds a book in the graveyard entitled, “The Gravediggers Handbook.” She takes this book with her to Munich. Upon arriving with her new foster family, she initally refuses to enter the house. Her foster father is Hans Hubermann, a painter and acordian player. Her foster mother is Rosa Hubermann, a homemaker and washwoman. They are older and already have two grown children. She does finally enter the house, but continues to suffer from nightmares. Hans would come and sit with her and read to her until she calmed down. She enrolls in a Catholic school, however she is very behind and placed with much younger children. She is very unhappy about this. She continues to read with Hans and slowly she begins to learn more. Eventually she is moved to her correct year. She plays with neighborhood children. They play soccer in the streets. On Hitler’s birthday in 1940, Liesel steals her second book from a burn pile. This act is witnessed by Ilsa Hermann. She begins to allow Liesel into her private library. Hans is contacted by the son of a Jewish man that he served with in the war asking for shelter. Hans agrees and Max begins to live in their basement. Liesel and Max begin to form a friendship over their respective traumas. He eventually writes a book for Liesel called the Standover Man. He has to leave when Hans gives bread to an old Jew. This action also led to Hans being drafted into the army. He serves for some time and is eventually sent back to Munich when he breaks his leg in a crash. Soon after, Liesel sees Max being marched to a concentration camp. She speaks to him ad they are both whipped for it. She then attempts to give up books. Ilsa gives her a blank book and tells her to write her story. She was doing this in her basement during an air raid which kills everyone she loves. She goes to live with Ilsa and the mayor and frequently helps in Rudy’s father’s store. Eventually, Max returns and they are reunited.
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