The Book Thief

The Book Thief


Markus Zusak

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The Book Thief: Part 9: The Next Temptation Summary & Analysis

Liesel and Rudy return to the mayor's house to steal a book, but this time Frau Hermann has left cookies on the desk. Liesel takes them, along with a book called The Last Human Stranger, but as she is climbing out the window Ilsa Hermann appears wearing a bathrobe with a swastika on it. Liesel suddenly realizes that the library must belong to Ilsa, not the mayor. She asks, and Ilsa says she used to read there with her son. She says Liesel has been the one who uses the room the most lately. Liesel leaves and she and Rudy share the cookies. Then they wonder what to do with the plate.
Liesel knows she is just play-acting at stealing at this point, but it still feels more empowering to her than to have books given as gifts by the rich Ilsa. The knowledge that the library belongs to Ilsa alone, and not the mayor, makes it seem like even more of a safe haven – sort of like the tree in The Word Shaker. Again her book's title, The Last Human Stranger, seems to resonate with Liesel's life – this time with Hans being alone in his human kindness.
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