Week 8 (Final Week!)

Role 4: The summarizer

Hello people I am hear to bring you all a summary of what happened in the last 60 pages of The Book Thief

It starts out with part ten of our story, which had a very odd and tragic beginning. Himmel Street had a surprise bombing in which just about everyone dies, including Liesel’s parents. Liesel survives only because she was lucky enough to have been in the basement reading a book at the time. Before we get further explanation, we go back into the past where everyone was still living. We see that, unfortunately, Michael Holtzapfel, Frau Holtzapfel’s son, commits suicide.

We also read of the reunion between Max Vadenburg and Liesel. The circumstances were not good and it was during another Jewish march on the street. He explains that he was caught months before on the way to Stuttgart. From their heart-warming reunion came a whipping on both Max and Liesel from the German soldiers. It was brutal on everyone, for Rudy also took a beating from a soldier for Liesel on that same street. It was in no time that the Jewish marching were gone.  That’s when Liesel finally told the entire story to Rudy, and where she realized how much she loved him.

With much anger bottled inside her, Liesel destroyed one of Ilsa Hermann’s books. Liesel apologized by note, and was later visited by Ilsa instead. She was given a notebook to write her own story. Liesel happily wrote her story every night in the basement she cherished.

The writing and reading in the basement was the key to her survival in the bombing that killed everyone on her street and many others beyond Himmel. She screamed and wept, speaking to her dead parent’s bodies, and finally laying a kiss on the lips of Rudy’s corpse. That was something he wished for years and she had never given that to him alive.

The story ends with the end of Lisel, who lived to an old age with children and grandchildren from her. Liesel was taken away by the police after she said her last goodbyes to her families. She was sort of comforted by Ilsa Hermann, and continued to live on. After the war ended, we learn of Max’s survival and her happiness in the reunion. Our narrator, who never truly revealed themselves returned the black notebook to Liesel many years later.

– Kimberly M

Week 8

Role 5: The Word Master

“bereaved” (p. 506): be deprived of a loved one through a profound absence, esp. due to the loved one’s death.
I chose this word because I did not know what it meant, but I felt it was important to the atmosphere of the scene.

“immaculate” (p. 513) (esp. of a person or their clothes) perfectly clean, neat, or tidy.

I chose this word because I felt it contrasted ironically with the dirt and the neglect Max had suffered at the hands of German soldiers.

“Bahnhof” (p. 516): train station
I chose this word because it was in German and I did not know what it meant.

“lustrous” (p. 523):  having luster; shining.
 chose this word because I liked the way it was spelled.

“detriment” (p. 531): the state of being harmed or damaged.

I chose this word because I had never heard it used in that bleak of a context.

-Devon D.

Week 8

Role 2: The connector

I’m not really sure if this counts as a connection or not, but I just think it’s something worth talking about:

Liesel’s farewell to her parents and to Rudy; notice that the death of her brother is the single event that traumatized for years, she already knew how it felt to lose a loved one from death. That being said, it must have been equally difficult for her to see her parents and Rudy die. Yet, this time we see a change in her: this time she was actually capable to say goodbye to them, not to mention that she finally gave Rudy the kiss he so much insisted on. This teaches me that for people in the real world, it obvioulsly is difficult to let someone go, yet one has to be strong enough to stand up, face it, and move on. This was probably the ultimate test of Liesel’s strength which, I believe, she successfully passed.

Another thing I wanted to point out, would anyone agree that the overall theme of the book has to do with death? I mean, the book started off with death, and ended with death; and we can’t ignore the fact that the whole novel was narrated by Death itself. What do you guys think? You guys don’t have to answer this paragraph if you don’t want to; I’m just curious to know what you think.

Week 8

I am finally presenting my favorite role, “The Discussion Leader”. As a final post and to be sympathetic, this week I am only asking 15 ( I was thinking of 20) questions instead of 10 (which gained positive feedback for some strange reason!). Enjoy!

I have also included the chapters you can rely your answers on in parentheses…Just for continence :).

Hint: You might want to socialize and talk to each other if you don’t know some of the answers (don’t include me in the conversation, I am the one who took the time to write this).

Husam J,

1) What is Death’s implication in the last two lines of the chapter?  How
does Death’s words affect the tone of the chapter? (Homecoming)

2) .Death again gives the reader a glimpse of the end of the story. Death reveals that Himmel Street will be bombed and it will be  raining when the world ends
for Liesel. How does Death feel about the bombing of Himmel Street? (The End of the World).

3) Why do you think Death describes the first ninety seven days after he
has already told the reader the out come of the ninety eighth?

4)  What does Death learn about Michael’s death from The Book Thief? (The Ninety  Eighth Day)

5) What does Death reveal with regard to the war and the situation in Germany? (The Way Maker)

6) Why would Max think that it was a great day to die? (Way of the Words)

7) Where does Liesel go after seeing Max? What does Rudy do? (Confessions)

8) In addition to the blank book, what other gift does Frau Hermann give to Liesel? (Ilsa Hermann’s Little Black Book)

9) What literary device does Liesel use to describe Papa? (The Rib Cage Planes).

10) What two items does Liesel leave beside Papa’s body? What happens to these items? (The End of the World (Part II))

11) When Liesel finally able to look at Hans, what does Death see? (The End of the World (PartII))

12) How was Liesel’s passing described? (Epilogue)

13) Who arrives in October 1945?

14) What discussion does Death have with Liesel when he finally takes her? (The Handover Man)

15) What does Liesel say to Rosa (back to “The End of the World” section).

Week 8

Role three: Passage Person

“He let his mouth kiss her palm. ‘Yes, Liesel, it’s me,’ and he held the girls hand in his face and cried onto her fingers” (pg. 512).
This act takes courage. Max knows that it will be much safer for himself and Liesel if he ignores her, but he also knows that the embrace of seeing her, is more important. 
“She was a Jew feeder without a question in the world on that man’s first night in Molching. She was an arm reacher, deep into a mattress, to deliver a sketchbook to a teenage girl” (532).
This passage shows that, Liesel never fully gets over Rosa beating her, but does, on Rosa’s death, when she sees into Rosa’s identity. Liesel remembers Rosa being nice and kind to Max and her excitement when she gives Liesel Max’s sketchbook.
“…in October 1945, a man with swampy eyes, feathers of hair, and a clean-shave face walked into the shop. He approached the counter. ‘Is there someone here by the name of Liesel Meminger?’…Liesel came out. They hugged and cried and fell on the floor” (548). 
It just shows that there is somewhat of a good ending in part, that at least she didn’t lose Max, when they reunited. Lots of love is shown, in this situation.
My question to you guys is what do you think happened after that, between Max and Liesel?

Week 7

Role three: The Passage Person

“‘I’m going to find him”

‘Your papa?’

‘Yes.’ He thought about it. ‘Actually, no. I think I’ll find the Führer instead.’

Faster footsteps. ‘Why?’

Rudy stopped. ‘Because I want to kill him.’ He even turned on the spot, to the rest of the world. ‘Did you hear that, you bastards?’ He shouted. “I want to kill the Führer!'”

This first passage was really interesting to me. It really shows the anger that has developed within Rudy. It also shows the anger and grief within Liesel, who comments to Rudy that he’s only lost one person he loves compared to her. It’s rather heart-breaking to see this change within them. Especially Rudy, who we already know how will end up. Rudy was a carefree boy before who didn’t think too much about the war and troubles, but as the years progressed and his own father was taken, then it got more personal. However, we still see bits of the old Rudy, mostly when Liesel turns back and he follows her a while after knowing the upcoming wrath of their worried mothers.


What do you all think about the deal with Rudy?

Week 7

I am Husam J and today I am “The Word Master”

Note: I am sorry if this looks dull compared to last week’s ponies…But it does the job…I think.


Guten Morgen: Which means “hello” or “good morning”  it was said at an ironic timing because the father was just splashed with water to wake up and Liesel said “Guten Morgen” right after.


Luftwaffe:  Luftwaffe is the aerial warfare branch of German Wehrmacht  during World War II.

Leichensammler Einheit: Although I couldn’t find an actual definition, but from what I understand from the text it means… Dead body collectors.


“And if there are more raids, keep reading in the shelter.”: What interests me is that the part “…keep reading in shelter” could mean that the war might take a while. Because in order for you to “read” you need quiet some time to get through what you want to read. And staying in the shelter and reading there might be a better idea since they would be in a war for a while.

Homer and Donut

Kipferl: Which means croissant…Mmmmmm….croissanttt….”

Week 7

Role 4: The Summarizer

In these pages, Hans gets very drunk before he goes off to the army. Liesel and Rudy go off “to kill the Fuhrer,” even though they only end up taking a sad walk. Later, we get a glimpse of Hans’ life in the army.

Liesel decides to give bread to the Jews like her father had (and she also wants to look for Max). She gets caught, but is only kicked. Later, Rosa gives her Max’s old sketchbook, with a fairy-tale style story inside titled The Word Shaker, which is about Liesel’s power to use words for good in a time of evil.

Liesel goes to steal more books from the mayor’s wife, and finds that she had left cookies out for her. When Ilsa meets her in the library, she tells Liesel that the library is actually hers, not her husband’s, which makes Liesel happy.

Meanwhile, Hans gets into an argument with another soldier that ends with him giving up his seat in the car. The car crashes, and the man in his seat is killed. Hans is discharged with a broken leg, which thrills Liesel, but leaves Rudy a little bitter.

Later, Rudy plans to steal from many wealthy houses, but is unable to do so. The air raid alarms blare, but Frau Holtzaphel refuses to leave her house. She eventually joins them in the shelter, and when the all-clear signal is given, a plane crashes and they stand vigil at the death of the pilot.

-Devon D

Week 7

Role 1: Discussion Leader

1) Does Rudy’s wish to kill Hitler indicate a change in his personality? If so, how? Do you think this particular event or thought will have an impact in Rudy’s future actions?

2) Before Rosa hands Liesel “The Word Shaker”, she talks about having been told to give the book to her when  Liesel was ready. What “readiness” is she referring to?

3)Do anyone of you guys think there is some significance behind the dying pilot scene with the teddy bear?


Week 7

Role two: The connector

A connection I saw was when Rosa held on to Hans accordion, when Hans was sent into war. It shows that Hans accordion, meant a lot to her, for it made her reminisce Han’s past, where he would always play it. The accordion, also is a symbol that he’ll always be there, it’s like making an object a person.

An example of that in the real world is say I lost someone, like my mom. My mom always carried a golden necklace with her. Before she died, she gave me the golden necklace. I remembered my mom, by the golden necklace, since it’s almost like her soul is in that golden necklace when she’s not with me. This is also the case, when the accordion, can imply that Han’s soul is in there, and Rosa, holds it so she won’t “lose” him.

What do you guys think of my connection?