The Book Thief Questions and Answers
by Markus Zusak

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How does Max Vandenburg's life give Liesel purpose in The Book Thief?

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Max Vandenburg is a young Jewish boy in the novel The Book Thief, written by Markus Zusak. Max lives with the Hubermann family in their basement and is in hiding from the German soldiers. Although Max is only 22 years old, he seems beaten down and tired of fighting for his life.

Liesel Meminger is also living with the Hubermann family, although not in hiding. Liesel and Max grow together throughout the novel because of their similar backgrounds. Both Max and Liesel have had to leave their families in order to survive. They also both risk their lives to try to improve the lives of others.

Max gives Liesel's life a purpose by encouraging her to learn to read and to be creative. He helps provide an outlet for Liesel by creating art projects for her that keep them both busy. The two of them spend time whiting out the words in Hitler's book, Mein Kampf. This art project also sparks a sense of defiance against the war in Liesel's mind. Between Max and Hans Hubermann, Liesel has great role models...

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