The period covered begins after World War I and ends just after World War II.
The central character is a young orphaned girl named Liesel. The book begins in 1939 when she is 9rs old and her younger brother dies. From that moment forward the book describes:
- the spread of European anti-Semitism,
- the gathering and destruction of the Jews,
- the power of government to dominate centuries of civilization,
- the acquiescence of the German professional classes, industrious laborers and farmers, and genuinely devout religious leaders.
My personal choice as the most interesting character is Liesel's step father Hans Hubermann. During the course of the book he becomes a hero. In the bleak surroundings of terror and death, Hans stands out as a person that can clearly tell right from wrong.