The Book Thief Short Essay - Answer Key

Markus Zusak
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1. Why is Liesel in a train at the opening of the novel?

At the opening of the novel, Liesel, her mother, and her young brother are being transported to Munich, Germany by a group of armed guards. Liesel's mother is being taken away for being a communist, and Liesel and her brother are going to be placed in foster care.

2. What happens to Liesel's younger brother while he is on the train at the opening of the novel?

Liesel's younger brother has been sick for most of the time on the train. He is coughing profusely, until he falls silent. Liesel knows that her brother has died. She and her mother disembark from the train to bury him in a small cemetery they pass along the way.

3. What are Liesel's first impressions of Rosa and Hans Hubermann?

Liesel thinks that Rosa is incredibly vulgar and has a foul mouth, but is pleased to realize that she is not cruel. When she meets Hans, she is immediately drawn to him and has a feeling that he has a warm heart.

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