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The Bppk Thief Study Guide

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The Floating Book (Part 1)

1. Why do you suppose the narrator flashed forward to Rudy Steiner’s death? Do you think this knowledge improves or lessens your appreciation of the book? The flash forward to Rudy’s death improves your appreciation of the book because it makes you wonder why the book was floating in the river.

2. The Gamblers (A Seven-Sided Die)

1. “Max and Liesel were held together by the quiet gathering of words.” Explain. It symbolizes the bond and connection between Max and Liesel through crosswords. They held many similarities and experiences together.

2. How did Max make time pass as he spent days and weeks in the Huberman’s basement? Filling in crosswords and painting over pages of Mein Kampf.

3. What did the dream of Max fighting with the Fuhrer symbolize? It symbolizes his desire to kill the Fuhrer.

4. What did Max’s overwritten pages of Mein Kampf symbolize? It symbolizes his hatred towards Hitler.

Three Acts of Stupidity by Rudy Steiner

1. In what ways did Franz Deutscher embody the attitude of Hitler’s regime? He strongly believed in Hitler.

The Floating Book (Part 2)

1. What is revealed in this section? It revealed Liesel’s love to the book “The Whistler” and enforced Rudy’s feelings towards Liesel.

2. What do you think was significant about the book entitled The Whistler? Is there a common theme which connects the books Liesel has stolen? It was the book which marked the change in her life. It was the book she loved to read in the mayor’s library and Rudy risked his life for the book.

Part 6

Death’s Diary-1942

1. How did Death characterize the year 1942? Why do you think the author has ‘Death’ narrate this tale using a chatty, somewhat ironic tone? Do you think this detracts from the book’s serious themes? Death is overworked in the year 1942, he wants a break. By using a chatty and ironic tone, it makes the serious themes less emotional and more conversational.

2. How does Death describe himself and what does “You want to know what I truly look like? I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror” mean? It means that you will not know how he looks like.

3. What are three examples of death in 1942 that Death mentions? “the desperate Jews,” “The Russian soldiers,” and “The soaked bodies of a French coast

The Snowman

1. Why was Christmas Day 1942 a special time for those who resided in Hans Hubermann’s home? It was Christmas Day 1942, and they had nothing but eachother.

Thirteen Presents

1. “It didn’t stop her from pulling a lump of salt water from her eyes and feeding it into Max Vandenberg’s face. She knew.” What did Liesel know? She knew that Max was unwell and might die

Fresh Air, An Old Nightmare, And What To Do With A Jewish Corpse

1. Why did Rosa Hubermann make an unplanned visit to Liesel’s school? To tell Liesel that Max is awake.

Death’s Diary: The Parisians

1. Why did Death say that the sky was “the color of Jews”? How did Death respond to the mass destruction of human lives? Because Jews are dying, in a mass, they were gassed to death. Death was appalled by the mass destruction of human lives.

Part 7

The Sound of Sirens

1. Why didn’t Death feel sympathy for the Germans who hid in their basements during the air raids? Because they still have a chance for survival.

The Sky Stealer

1. Why is it ironic that a book helped the Germans live through the second air raid in Molching? A book is not an anti bomb shield so it is ironic how a book helped the Germans live through the second air raid.

2. Why didn’t Papa bring his accordion with him? He left it for good luck.

3. How did Liesel calm the group during the raid? By reading to them.

The Long Walk to Dachau

1. Why did Hans suffer feelings of guilt after giving the dying Jewish man a piece of bread? Because the Nazis can now find Max and take him away. He just put Max in danger.


1. Why does Max leave? Because the Nazis might come and find him.

The Idiot and the Coat Men

1. Why was Hans Hubermann guilt-ridden? He has given a Jewish man bread.

2. Who have the Coat Men come for? Rudy

Part 8

Dominoes and Darkness

1. Why did the “coat men” visit Alex Steiner’s house? To take rudy

The Thought of Rudy Naked

1. Why was Rudy selected for medical examination by the Nazi medical authorities? What was ironic about his selection? They want to take him for training for special Nazi training, maybe training to enter the secret police, due to his excellent grades and athletic ability. This is ironic as Rudy did not want to go and this was all due him being good at something.


1. Why were the middle-aged Hans Hubermann and Alex Steiner drafted? Germany was desperate and running out of soldiers.

The Collector

1. Why do you think the author showed German soldiers such as Hans Hubermann performing civilian tasks instead of being shown on a battlefield? And why did he focus on ordinary German civilians during wartime? So Hans could see what was happening to the rest of Germany because of the war. He focused on ordinary German civilians so the reader could see what was happening and engage with the civilians.

The Bread Eaters

1. Why did Liesel and Rudy go to observe the third march of the Jews to Dachau? She hopes to see Max.

The Hidden Sketchbook

1. What do you think Max’s book (The Word Shaker) reveal about the power of words? How might words represent both beauty and evil? What message do you think the story imparted? Words are all things needed to rule the world. Hitler used his words to harm people while Liesel to help others.

Part 9

The Snows of Stalingrad

1. What disturbing news did Michael Holzapfel bring to Himmel Street? Why did this news devastate Rosa Hubermann as well as his own mother? Robert Holtzapfel, Michael’s own brother died and his legs were blown at the shins, and Rosa is probably worried about Hans who is also at war.

2. Most of this story has not dealt with any personal stories of soldiers. What is your reaction to this section? It is shocking, as someone who we are acquainted to, has died.

The Ageless Brother

1. What finally laid the ghost of Liesel’s brother to rest? She finally
returned something to IIsa.

The Accident

1. Why did Hans survive the accident? Zuker, wanted to swap seats with Hans.

One Toolbox, One Bleeder, One Bear

1. What did Death mean when he commented about Liesel as she observed the dying survivor of the plane crash, “She did not back away or try to fight me, but I know that something told the girl I was there . . . she knew me and she looked me in my face and she did not look away . . . we both moved on”? It implies the connection between Liesel and Death.

2. What did Rudy give the dying pilot? Rudy puts the teddy bear on the dying pilot’s shoulders.

Part 10

The End of the World (Part 1)

1. How did Liesel survive the air strike on Himmel Street? How did words once again save her? She was on the basement editing story.

The Ninety-Eighth Day

1. Why did Liesel attend each time the Jews were marched through Molching? Liesel attended each time the Jews were marched through Molching as she was looking for Max.

Way of the Words

1. What did Liesel do when she saw Max? Liesel calls to him loudly.

2. How did Rudy save Liesel’s life? Rudy held down Liesel from chasing after Max, and putting herself in danger.

Ilsa Hermann’s Little Black Box

1. How did Ilse Hermann inspire Liesel to write her own story? IIse Hermann gave Liesel a black blank book and told her that if she won’t read, then she should write.

The Rib-Cage Planes

1. How had Liesel developed a love-hate relationship with words? Liesel developed a love- hate relationship with words as words have witnessed both the good moments in her life and the bad moments in her life.

The End of the World (Part 2)

1. What did Liesel realize when she found Rudy’s body after the bombing? Liesel realises that she loves Rudy.

2. “He steps on my heart. He makes me cry. Who is Death talking about? He talks about how Rudy’s death is tragic.

3. Who does Death say had the best soul? Rosa


Death and Liesel

1. What do we find out about Liesel? She has 3 kids, grandchildren and her husband. She dies in Sydney.

Wood in the Afternoon

1. Who took care of Liesel after she was orphaned for the second time? IIsa


1. Who was the unexpected survivor of the war? Max

The Handover Man

1. What did Death tell Liesel? “I am haunted by humans.”

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