AS tensions escalate across Second World War Europe, Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nelisse) bids a tearful farewell to her Communist mother (Heike Makatsch) and is delivered into the care of foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson).

With encouragement from Hans, Liesel learns to read and she develops a voracious appetite for books, which is sated in secret by the mayor’s wife Ilsa (Barbara Auer), who owns a vast library of texts, many of which would surely go up in flames at one of the Nazis’ book-burning ceremonies.

Liesel hides these visits from everyone, including her neighbour and good friend Rudy Steiner (Nico Liersch), who proudly enrols in the Hitler Youth movement.

One night, a Jewish refugee called Max Vandenburg (Ben Schnetzer) arrives at the Hubermanns’ home and they offer him shelter in the basement.

Liesel becomes complicit in Max’s concealment, but when school bully Franz Deutscher (Levin Liam) overhears her confessing her secret to Rudy it seems Max’s fate is sealed.

Screenings at the |Tivoli Cinema, Tiverton
NEED FOR SPEED (12A) 131mins %: Friday/Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday 20:30.
3D NEED FOR SPEED (12A) 131mins %: Saturday/Thursday 20:30.
THE LEGO MOVIE (U) 101mins %: Sunday 12:30.
FREE BIRDS (U) 91mins %: Saturday 12:30#.
THE BOOK THIEF (12A) 131mins %: daily 17:30; Saturday/Sunday 14:40.
Times marked with a # denote a bargain show where all seats are £2.99 and include a popcorn and drink. % = Wheelchair Access