All posts by husam1234

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 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 6

Hello again ladies and gentlemen, this is Husam J coming at you with a summary of the chapters, enjoy (that’s if you read it, of course).

The people of Molching were becoming afraid of bombing. They have have been notified of the nearest shelters basements, and darken their windows. For Han, this meant more work. People needed to paint their blinds black. Liesel walks the street to help him. She enjoys spending these afternoons with him, listening to his stories and hearing him play his accordion. At a wealthy home she gets to try champagne. She said she would never drink champagne because it would never taste as good as it did in July 1942. The relationship between Liesel and Hans grow a lot deeper and taking an adult tone as Liesel matures. Han continues to help those in need. And gets paid with objects food, or drinks instead of money.

Han wakes up Liesel in the middle of night, sirens going off, they say goodbye to Max and leave him in the basement. Outside people were carrying their belongings and run to shelters. Lisesel and her family go to Fiedlers’ basement. Han forgets his accordion. The Steiner family is there too along with Frau Holtzapfel and Pfiffikus (funny names) and others. When the all-clear signal is given, the family goes home and find Max in the basement. He apologizes for what he did and went upstairs too look outside the window.

The raid was a false alarm and no bombing occurs. But the raid of Septerember 19, 1942 is real and radio alerts them this time. And again, the people make their way to Fielders’ basement. And Han leaves the accordion for good luck. Liesel starts reading The Whistler, Rudy was the first one to listen but then everyone else did. She realized that her reading is similar to Han’s accordion. And after some time, the sirens alert them that the raid is over.  And people thanked Liesel as people were leaving and went back home and they shared their story to Han.

The next day, Rudy and Lisel explore the damage to Molching. And so it would be two weeks since another air raid then some other things had happened throughout but I didn’t fully understand it. I read the section twice and didn’t make sense so if someone could elaborate would be very helpful.

It’s 11 pm and Max Vandenburn walk Himmel Street with a suitcase full of food and warm clothes. Before leaving, he tells Lisel there is a present waiting for her but she won’t get it until she’s ready. Liesel joins Hans and Rosa in the Kitchen. And now Himmel Street is a place of silence.

Rosa tries to make Han go to bed but he won’t listen. She goes to her room and prays for Max who had left and in hte morning she find Han sleeping in hte kitchen. Han tells her that he should have been arested but assures him that he’s innocent. Another week goes by, and Liesel sees Han walking by the river occasionally. One day they saw his face in the water.

Death says that everybody in Nazi Germany gets some kind of punishment. Those who survive are punished with “poverty and guilt when the war is over and six million discoveries were made throughout Europe”. The six million is the accepted number of Jews killed during the Holocaust. Hans wants to be punished and his punishment was the approvial of the Nazi party and conscription to the German Army. Liesel’s hand trembles as she reads the letter informing him. It shows how desperate Germany is out of soldiers.


Week 5

Hello ladies and gentlemen my role is The Passage Person, brought to you by Husam J.

“There was no decision to be made. She’d lugged that rusty bike all the way up there and she wasn’t leaving without a book. She placed the handlebars in the gutter, looked out for any neighbors, and walked to the window. There was good speed but no hurry. She took her shoes off using her feet, treading on the heels with her toes.”

What grabs my interest is the part that said “There was good speed but not hurry”.  How can you be able to maintain a pace, without feeling the rush or “hurry” in this case while you are stealing? Especially with the adrenaline you get while stealing? Please let me know what you think.


Week 4

The Connector brought to you by Husam J

One connection I saw was the day Han and his Platoon were to go on a battle during WWI where the Sergeant asked which men had a good handwriting and yet Erik Vandenburg nominated Han who then was sent to write letters while others got killed. One connection I saw is that during the Holocaust, Hitler only liked blondes with blue eyes and everyone else who didn’t fall within that category went to the concentration camp. A more relevant connection I saw is that colleges/universities are always on the “lookout” for Freshmen who offer a “special” trait that not everyone has, making his/her way much easier to get into the school while others could be left-out (which something should be considered while applying to a school).

(I was little confused while reading the assigned sections, so if you can add anything else that would be great).


Week 3

Role one: Discussion Leader, brought to you by Husam J

(Due to how long the reading is, I included one question for every chapter we read this week, I apologize in advance for not choosing only three).

1) Why do you think Ilsa allows Liesel to read in her library? Is there a connection between Johann and somebody Liesel has lost?

2) Why did the writer include this brief chapter? Consider the writer’s purpose in your response. HINT: think about character development and the importance of setting.

3) As Max leaves his hiding place, he thinks to himself, “he was German. Or more to the point, he had been.” What does he mean here?

4) How does Liesel and Rudy acquire the money to buy candy from Frau Diller?

5) How would Max define “sin”?

6) Summarize Hans Hubermann’s political conflict. Name his major mistakes.

7) How does Liesel respond to!Max’s arrival?

8) Why does the fact that the Hubermanns have a child concern!Max?

9) Of what promise does Hans remind Liesel?

10) How does Max spend the first three days with the Hubermanns?

Week 2

Role 5: The Word Master

bloodsong_Pig-RoundCartoon The word “Saumensch”:

This a German word translated as “female pig” in which it’s an insult used by Rosa Hubermann to her daughter. It’s used very often and sometimes used in a joking manner (?).

HammerSickleCross The word “Kommunisten “

Another German word that translates to “Communist” in English. As of this word, it was never understood by the girl and her mom refused to give her an explanation. Not until in section two where she finds out that the “Kommunisten” are the enemy against Germany. She also establishes the connection of her dad being a Communist because of her mom’s refusal to define the word, and disliking German beliefs.

The word “Watschen “

This words translates as a sort of a punishment that Liesel faced by Sister Maria and her mom (which suggests she gets in trouble often”.

The phrase “Yes, mama.”

Simple, but significant phrase; because her mother clearly made a point in which Liesel would have to pick up and deliver clothes and her response was “Yes, mama”. After all, Rosa Hubermann is a strict women and the book referenced it as “Saying those two words was often the best way to survive…”.

images The phrase “Heil Hitler”:

A German phrase of saluting a person (Hitler in this case). At first Liesel displayed her hatred to Hitler, but was punished by her father because that might get them in trouble, and there is a fine line between internal thoughts, and what is said publicly, and she had to practice saying “heil Hitler” instead.

(I apologize for not sourcing page numbers due to my E-book, which for some reason did not give me page numbers. I will update the post with the page numbers once I borrow a book from our group)

Chapters to Read

This post is prior to the chapters we have to read every week, I have categorized this where you can scroll down and you can easily find by clicking on the category without having to dig through the blog.

-Husam J

3-72: Death and Chocolate -The Smell of Friendship

73-141: The Heavyweight Champion of the School-Yard – Enter the Struggler

142-206: The Attributes of Summer – The Sleeper

207-281: The Swapping of Nightmares – Sketches

282-350: The Whistler and the Shoes – Death’s Diary

353-419: Champagne and Accordions – Punishment

420-491: The Promise Keeper’s Wife – One Toolbox, One Bleeder, One Bear

492-550: Homecoming – The Handover Man

Week 1

Summarizer: By Husam J

The book starts in a very odd, and unusual way than we would normally see in other books. The point of view comes after the personification of “death”, death it self or himself perhaps (basically, the book is written as if death was a person talking to you). He introduces the main events of the story to come, and says that he has encountered the main character, the book thief, three times. In a brief summery, the first time they met was on a train where he collected the soul of a boy (her brother I believe), the second encounter was when a pilot crashed his plane, and the third time was in a German town that had been bombed. The book thief is a nine-year-old Liesel Meminger. She and her younger brother were travailing by train with their mother towards a city called Munich, where the they will be dropped off with a foster family (who would hopefully take a better care of them than their poor sick mother). Then after Liesel, or the book thief, took a nap and dreamed of Adolf Hitler, her brother dies. They get off the at the next station to bury him in the town. One of the gravediggers, a young teenager, 14-years of age and Liesel picks it up. After Werner was buried, the continued their way to Munich, then to a suburb Molching. Her foster parents lived on Himmel Street in Molching. There, Liesel meets her new parents Hans and Rosa Hubberman (they were perhaps, little below today’s standards in terms of word choice and education, specially the mother). The father is a house-painter who attracts Liesel by teaching her how to roll cigarettes for him and by playing the accordion on daily basis.

Early in her time with the Hubermanns, Liesel keeps having nightmares from her dead bother around 2 a.m. but thankfully her dad is there comforting her every time. She is also forced to attend school and study but is behind, making her get placed with the younger children. When she turned ten, she received a brown uniform and was enrolled in the Hitler Youth, not forgetting that she was given a doll with a broken part. The  mother, who makes living by doing some laundry work (washing clothes and ironing) from the rich surrounding  dragged Liesel around delivering clothes to their owner. She then met a boy named Rudy Steiner who becomes her best friend and obsessed with an Olympic star Jesse Owens. They were first argued over soccer then became best friends.

One night among many, Liesel wakes up from another nightmare about her brother and wets the bed, as the dad changed the sheets, he found the book that was stolen from the gravedigger. The book was called “The Grave Digger’s Handbook”. The three of them stood there with silence then the dad (or Papa as referenced in the book) picked it up and glanced over it. When he discovered she can’t read, they sat down every night after waking up from the nightmare for a reading class. He taught her alphabet by writing on the back of sandpapers.

Week 1

Role One: The Discussion Leader, Ivan Jebrael –

1. What do you think will happen, once Liesel finishes reading The Grave Digger’s Handbook?

2. What can you tell from Hans Hubermann’s facial expressions, which Liesel has never seen before?

3. Why do you think the Hubermanns adopted Liesel in the first place?