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markus zusak

Author of the Book Thief

johann hermann

Ilsa's son who froze to death

Heinz Hermann

mayor of Molching, and, obviously, a Nazi. He's married to Ilsa

Frau Hienrich

works for the foster care system and is in charge of Liesel's case. She is the one who tells Hans that Liesel's mother has disappeared.

Ludwig Schmeikil

the little boy Liesel beats up on the playground when he teases her about not knowing how to read. When his ankle is crushed at the book burning, Liesel apologizes to him and him to her.

Reinhold Zucker

is another bully, a young man serving with Hans on the air raid clean-up crew. He doesn't like Hans, because Hans beats him at cards. So, he trades seats with Hans on the truck back to camp one day, just to try to make Hans do something. The bus ends up rolling multiple times, and He is the only casualty.

Franz Deutscher

the evil leader of Rudy's Hitler Youth squad. He terrorizes Rudy and Tommy, eventually breaking Rudy's ribs after Rudy throws a rock at him.

Frau Diller

is a staunch Nazi supporter. She owns the shop where Liesel and Rudy buy mixed candy on Himmel Street. She dies in the Himmel Street bombing.

Victor Chemell

the second leader of the fruit-stealing gang. He's a bully and is nothing like his predecessor, Arthur Berg. He almost chokes Rudy and steals Liesel's book, throwing it in the Amper River. Luckily, Rudy rescues it for her.

Arthur Berg

the first leader of the fruit (and vegetable) stealing gang that Liesel and Rudy join. He's fair and generous with the take. Arthur isn't the type to leave somebody stranded on the barbed wire fence if they get stuck.

Robert Holtzapfel

Frau Holtzapfel's son. He dies in Stalingrad after losing both of his legs in an explosive blast.

Michael Holtzapfel

one of Frau Holtzapfel's sons. He loses three of his fingers in Stalingrad. He comes home to break the news that her other son, Robert, is dead. He hangs himself in Molching, over guilt at surviving when his brother dies.

Frau Holtzapfel

At the beginning of the novel, She is Rosa Hubermann's enemy. She spits on the Hubermanns' door every time she goes past it. The relationship is soothed when She hears Liesel read from The Whistler while in the bomb shelter. After that, she trades coffee and flour to Rosa in exchange for Liesel reading to her in her home.

Tommy Muller

lives on Himmel Street and is friends with Liesel and Rudy. He has severe ear problems because he got lost in the snow for a long period of time as a young child. During the Hitler Youth marching practices, he never stops marching at the right time, because he doesn't hear the call to halt. He's dies in the Himmel Street bombing.

Barbara Steiner

Rudy's mother. She seems like a nice person, but we don't learn that much about her. All we do know is that she doesn't want her son taken away to a Nazi school, or her husband to go away to war. We can sympathize. Unfortunately, She dies in the Himmel Street bombing.

Alex Steiner

Rudy's father. He's a tailor with a tailor shop. His political beliefs are grounded in economics. After he loses his family during the Himmel Street bombing, he gets leave from the military and returns to Molching. He and Liesel develop a friendship, and he accompanies her to Dachau to try to find Max after the war ends.

Trudy Hubermann

the daughter of Hans and Rosa and a very minor character in the book. She shows up for holidays and doesn't cause any problems. She doesn't seem particularly close with either of her parents.

Hans Hubermann Jr.

he son of Hans and Rosa. He's a dedicated member of the Nazi Party. His disgust with his father's lack of allegiance to the party causes him to stop talking to him. According to Death, he dies fighting in Stalingrad

Walter Kugler

Max's good friend and former fist fighting partner. Walter is conscripted into the military and takes Max to a hiding place If it wasn't for him, Max would never have survived this terrible night.

Erik Vandenburg

Max's father. He taught Hans to play the accordion and also saved Hans's life by arranging for Hans to miss the day's fatal battle.

Liesel's Father

Liesel has no memories of him, but has heard he was a communist.

Paula Meminger

she's a very tragic figure. She loses her husband and both of her children before disappearing herself.

Werner Meminger

Liesel's little brother. He dies on the train when their mother is taking them to their foster parents, the Hubermanns. We don't know much about his relationship with Liesel before he dies. But from the extent of her grief, we can imagine they were close.

Frau Ilsa Hermann

very important figure in Liesel's life. Mayor's wife


Our guide and narrator

Rosa Hubermann

Liesel's foster mother.

Hans Hubermann

Liesel's foster father and one of the great loves of her life. He's a super nice guy.

Max Vandenburg

The jew that is taken in by the Memingers

Rudy Steiner

Liesel's lemon-sunshine-haired sidekick.

Liesel Meminger

hardworking, book-thieving, kind-hearted star of the novel.

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