The Book Thief Questions and Answers
by Markus Zusak

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How do the adult characters in The Book Thief provide a positive role model for Liesel Meminger?

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Kitty Sharp eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The adults in Liesel's life show compassion to others even during the most trying of times.  Hans is a major role model for Liesel, and he often puts his life at risk to show compassion to others.  Hans knows that he will be jailed or killed for hiding Max in the basement, but he believes that all people have a right to live, so he takes the risk.  From this behavior, Liesel learns compassion.  And even though Rosa is often harsh in her words, she also is compassionate to Max and makes sure that he has enough to eat.  She can hardly feed her own family, but she splits their provisions to provide for Max.  The Hubermanns similarly opened their home to Liesel when her mother could no longer care for her, and certainly Liesel sees their sacrifice on her behalf.  So, Hans and Rosa provide positive role models for Liesel.

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