Why I Love...Liesel Meminger

"A snowball to the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship."
The Book Thief

Most people have no idea who Liesel Meminger is, but those who have read Markus Zusak's The Book Thief  would probably rate her among one of the best characters in the book, if not most books.  For that reason alone, she is my Favorite Character.

Liesel...how do I even describe her?!  She lives in a time and place that most of us would shudder at...Nazi Germany.  After her younger brother's death, her mother sends her to a small town in Germany in order to keep her safe.  She is fostered by Hans and Rosa Hubermann, who happen to live, fittingly, on Himmel Strasse (Heaven Street).  We come to see Liesel and how she interacts with her foster parents and the other citizens in the area.  She even becomes friends with a fist-fighting Jew who hides in her basement.  It is during her time in this town that Liesel develops, or hones, her knack of stealing books.  And she doesn't discriminate who she steals from.  This is such an endearing quality, despite the illegality, especially when her stealing becomes a form of unintentional political statement.

Another aspect that makes this book stand out is that it's narrated by Death.  We get to see Liesel and those who surround her through Death's eyes and this adds something special to it.  Eventually, Death narrates from a distance as Liesel becomes the eyes through which we see.  She develops meaningful relationships with the Hubermann's and with a local boy, Rudy Steiner, who's her age.  Her interactions with Rudy are some of the most loveable, beautiful, and tragic scenes throughout the book.  And there is one specific moment between them that leaves readers speechless.

You go through so many emotions with Liesel throughout The Book Thief that she feels like a part of you.  A long lost friend.  A constant companion.  A child to be protected.  She is all of these things and more.

"The only thing worse than a boy who hates you:  a boy who loves you."
The Book Thief

Runner-Up (and rightfully deserved)...Severus Snape.  It was so hard for me to not have a tie between these two characters.

Comments

  1. So this is a book that I keep meaning to read but never do. I take it out and I'm like...oh I can't wait, but then I remember that I have a different book on my schedule or something. I really really want to read this and your post has made me even more anxious to read it.

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  2. It's one of my favorites. I picked it up randomly when I was in Europe and fell in love immediately. Worth the time that it takes to read it (very quick). Let me know what you think when you're done!

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