Hans Hubermann is definitely the most influential figure in Liesel's life. Though at first she is adamant about getting out of the car when she first meets her foster parents, she warms up to Hans's gentle spirit and quiet manner: "It took nearly fifteen minutes to coax her from the car. It was the tall man who did it. Quietly." (Zusak, p. 28). In the film, this scene is longer and more dramatized than it is in the book; however, this seems to work out for the better because the audience receives a better first impression of Hans, his wife Rosa, and their characters than in the book. Hans is portrayed as more crafty and caring in the book, as he does small acts to show his affection for Liesel, but is shown as more openly loving and kind in the film, which is most likely due to time reasons. One thing is undeniable: when he "gives" the basement to Liesel, they both experience a new sweet bond for each other that is blatantly demonstrated for the rest of the book and film.
Frau Hermann is the grieving mayor's wife, whom Liesel meets by delivering her laundry. Their relationship is very different in the film compared to the novel, but each relationship expands Liesel as a character in different ways. In the book, Liesel steals books from Frau Hermann and is openly rude to her for always grieving, but later apologizes for her actions: "'It's about time,' she informed her, 'that you do your own stinking washing anyway. It's about time you faced the fact that your son is dead. He got killed! He got strangled and cut up more than twenty years ago! Or did he freeze to death? Either way, he's dead! He's dead and it's pathetic that you sit here shivering in your own house to suffer for it. You think you're the only one?'" (Zusak, p. 252). In the film, when the death of Frau Hermann's son is mentioned, it's more of an observation in an apologetic way. Liesel and the mayor's wife have a much closer bond in the film than the novel, which is positive in light of character development, but negative in that the audience loses the edginess of Liesel stealing the books (although the scene where the mayor comes into the library to shut the window while Liesel is still in there is rather exciting). Finally, at the end of the story when Frau Hermann takes Liesel in, it is portrayed in a much more sentimental way in the film than in the book.