The Book Thief – Quotes
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’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?
Papa: Your mama told me what you did.
Liesel: I shouldn’t have.
Papa: Maybe you had to.
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.