Why does Liesel steal books in The Book Thief?
Liesel first discovers a book called The Gravedigger's Handbook when her brother dies, and she holds onto the book until her foster father, Hans Hubermann, teaches her how to read it. Hans and Liesel practice reading and writing together by painting letters on the basement walls in Hans's house. As Liesel and Hans develop into better readers, they develop confidence in themselves as independent thinkers who can resist the Nazi regime. Hans and his wife decide to provide refuge to a Jewish prizefighter named Max Vanderburg, who also has a love of words, something he shares with Liesel. As time goes on, Liesel breaks into the Mayor's library to steal books. Her actions are a means of educating herself and, in the process, resisting the Nazi regime, which burns the books it does not agree with. In Liesel's life, literacy and reading function as a means of resistance against the brutality and inhumanity of the Nazis.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial