The Book Thief

The Book Thief

The Book Thief Part 8: The Bread Eaters Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
1942 comes to an end, and Liesel spends most of her time thinking of Hans, Max, and Alex Steiner. She keeps reading The Whistler to Frau Holtzapfel, who starts acting more friendly. Another parade of Jews passes and Liesel can't help looking for Max.
Liesel continues to mature by reading out loud to Frau Holtzapfel, and also by thinking of the positive role models in her life.
Themes
Words and Language Theme Icon
Books Theme Icon
At the next parade of Jews, Rudy and Liesel ride their bikes ahead of it, scattering some bread in the road and then hiding in the trees to watch. Liesel notes the irony that hungry Rudy has gone from stealing bread to delivering it. The Jews approach and start to find the bread. Liesel comes closer to try and see if Max is there, but a soldier sees her. She and Rudy run away, but not before a soldier kicks Liesel and tells her she doesn't belong there.
Liesel has clearly learned from Hans's example, and repeats his kind actions even with the risk of punishment. The fact that they hide to watch as if this were a game, however, shows that the children don't fully understand the consequences of their actions. Rudy shows his compassion once again – internally, he is nothing like a Nazi. He has matured from stealer to giver.
Themes
Stealing and Giving Theme Icon