The Book Thief – Quotes


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Death:  One Small fact:  You are going to die.  No one lives forever.

Death:  One piece of advice: when your time comes, don’t panic.  It never seems to help.

Death:  Once in a while, I get interested [in humans].  I can’t help myself.

Papa:  Rosa, you cannot blame the boy for dying.
Mama:  I don’t.  I blame his mother.

Mama:  They have given us a mute.

Mama:  And what makes you think you are good enough for my daughter?
Rudy:  I am almost 12.

Rudy:  1 spit yes.  2 spits no.  [Liesel spits once.]

Rudy:  My mom didn’t send me. I thought that you might need a friend.

Rudy (to Liesel):  I bet that wasn’t your first fight.

Rudy:  He’s the dumbest kid at school, but he shaves.

Liesel:  Just because I can’t read doesn’t mean I’m stupid.

Rudy:  I bet you a kiss I’ll beat you.
Liesel:  Why would I want to kiss you?
Rudy:  Doesn’t matter.
Liesel:  What if I win?
Rudy:  Then you don’t have to kiss me.  I’m going to win.

Death:  When I finally caught up with Max Vandenberg’s soul, it was this  moment that would haunt him the most.  [The moment he left his mom and the great relief he wouldn’t die.]

Papa:  If I die, promise they’ll bury me right – no skipping chapter six.

Rudy’s Dad:  Why Jesse Owens?
Rudy:  Because he’s the fastest man in the world.
Rudy’s Dad:  Son, you can’t go around turning yourself black.
Rudy:  Why?
Rudy’s Dad:  Because you shouldn’t want to be black people.

Nazi’s:  Our desire to cleanse ourselves morally and within…to free ourselves from any intellectual dirt.

Liesel to Max:  Don’t worry.  I cried a lot when I came too.

Liesel:  The soup is terrible, isn’t it.
Max:  You’ll find this hard to believe, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever thrown up.

Ilsa Herman:  If they’d shown me his body I would’ve believed them.

Ilsa Hermann:  How can a mother give up?  A mother never gives up on her child.

Max:  Every mother loves her child.  Even Hitler’s.

Mama:  The mouth on it! (about Liesel)

Liesel:  This is the best Christmas.
Max:  This is my first Christmas.
Papa:  Now you know what you’ve been missing out on.

Max (quoting Aristotle):  Memory is the scribe of the soul.

Max:  In my religion, we are taught that a thing is only alive because it contains a word for life.  That’s the difference between you and a lump of clay. Words are life, Liesel.

Liesel:  It’s my fault we decided to build that snow man.  Why did we build it?
Papa:  Because we had to.

Max:  if your eyes could speak, what would they say?

Liesel:  Rudy, what are you doing?
Rudy:  Spying on you, obviously.

Rudy:  Books?  Are you nuts?  We are starving out here and you’re stealing books?

Rudy:  You know, for a best friend, you sure keep a lot to yourself.

Mama:  If this lazy Saukerl would get off his lazy back and go to work, then maybe  I’d have the energy to give him all the lip he deserves.

Max:  The only thing worse than a boy you hate is a boy you like, right?

Liesel:  Rudy’s a pain in the neck.

Death:  While 10,000 souls hid in fear and trembled, one Jew thanked the skies for stars that blessed his eyes.

Papa:  Please, I’ve known this man all my life. He’s a good man.  I don’t understand.

Liesel:  What did he [papa] do so wrong?
Max:  He reminded people of their humanity.

Max (about his leaving):  It’s for your own good.  For your family.
Liesel:  But you’re my family.
Max?  You’ve kept me alive, Liesel.  Don’t forget that.

Rudy (about his new suit):  What do you think?
Liesel:  The shoes let you down.  And the face.

Rudy:  I’m running away.
Liesel:  Have you thought about this?
Rudy:  Yeah, I don’t want to die.  See?  All thought through.

Rudy:  I pack light.
Liesel:  Is there anything in there besides your soccer ball?

Rudy and Liesel:  I hate Hitler!

Death: The bombs were coming thicker now.  It’s probably fair to say that no one was able to serve the Fuhrer as loyally as me.

Mama:  You’re too much like your father, you know that?
Liesel:  What’s wrong with that?
Mama:  Nothing.

Papa:  Your mama told me what you did.
Liesel:  I shouldn’t have.
Papa:  Maybe you had to.

Papa:  I’m not sure what it all meant.  Everything he went through.  Everything we did. 
Liesel:  We were just being people.  That’s what people do. 

Liesel:  Life makes no promises, so I better get started.  [She begins to write in her book] A man with an accordion heart and a woman cloaked in thunder…

Death:  Rosa regrets not sharing more of her very big heart.  Hans’ soul was light as a feather.

Death:  In my job, I’m always finding humans at their best and their worst, and you always wonder how the same thing can be both.

Death:  I’ve seen a great many things, attended the world’s worst disasters, worked for a great many villains.

Death:  I took great pleasure that she had lived her ninety years so wisely.

Death: She was one of the few souls that made me wonder what it was like to live

Death:  In the end [for Liesel] there were no words, only peace.

Death:  I am haunted by humans.