2Liesel doesn’t have much closure in her life. 1. Discuss the greater significance behind liesel’s desire to finish Reading her first book?Liesel doesn’t have much closure in her life.The fact that she has something stable makes her feel comfortable.***Liesel completing The Gravedigger’s Handbook is also like closing the door on her past with her brother and her mother. Liesel doesn’t want to forget, but she wants to move forward.
3Rudy’s second letter sounds very formal and impersonal. 2 In what ways is Rudy’s first letter to Liesel more appropriate than the second, approved version?Letters are meant to be a private, intimate message between close friends/family.Rudy’s first letter indicates his knowledge of who Liesel is and what she likes, as well as a part of their friendship.Rudy’s second letter sounds very formal and impersonal.
43. What does the knowledge of the outcome of Liesel’s letter to her mother do for your reaction to the events leading up to Liesel’s discovery of this information?Invokes a feeling of sorrow for Liesel that she checks the mail every day. Even Hans feels sorry that she is continuously checking the mail for a response.The fact that Rosa beats Liesel for stealing money also invokes a feeling of sympathy because if they would have told Liesel in the first place that her mother was gone, she may have let it go and never have stolen the money.
54. “Is there cowardice in the acknowledgement of fear?” Opinions are accepted.
65. Why might Liesel, lover of books, want to watch the bonfire? It is human nature to be attracted to fire.She also wants to be close to the books.
7He wanted to protect her. 6. why did Hans react the way he did when Liesel states that she hates the Führer?He wanted to protect her.He knows that the possibility of him being black-balled by the party could hurt her if she acts out against Hitler in public.
87. What is the importance of the setting of the above scene? Hans tells Liesel she can feel however she wants to feel when they are in their own home, but not in the public street.This shows how a lot of the Germans hid their true feelings about Hitler and the Nazi Party.
9Hans painted over slurs that were painting on a Jewish business. 8. Discuss Hans’s “mistake.” What was it? When is it a mistake? When isn’t it?Hans painted over slurs that were painting on a Jewish business.Because of this mistake, Hans was denied membership in the Nazi Party.
109. Give some predictions and thoughts about “the shadow.” “Fluffy hair” denotes that it was the Mayor’s wife watching Liesel pick up The Shoulder Shrug.Because she is the mayor’s wife, she could turn Liesel in.
121. What kind of secret might be stirring in Papa that Liesel may someday have to keep? This is foreshadowing. If you’ve finished the chapter, you know what Papa is hiding.With the information from this chapter alone, you might assume that Papa is going to do something that is definitely not approved of by the Nazi party.
13Why Ilsa has the books when she opens the door 2. Identify and explain some of the miscommunications during the interactions between the mayor’s wife and liesel.Why Ilsa has the books when she opens the doorWhy she wants Liesel to come insideWho her son isWhat happened to himWhy she was sorryThe relationship between them is one that lacks warmth. Both Liesel and Ilsa have been through a lot and both are very wary to open up to other people.
143. Why do think the descriptions of the sounds of Max’s eating are so vivid? Zusak wants you as the reader to feel how Max felt while he was eating.
154. What is the meaning behind the open window in the mayor’s library? The mayor’s wife is essentially letting Liesel in.By leaving the window open, she is allowing Liesel to come and go as she pleases and is giving her the gift of words.Ilsa is also seeing Liesel struggling and is somewhat empathetic toward her.
165. Discuss the excerpt, “She was a girl. In Nazi Germany 5. Discuss the excerpt, “She was a girl. In Nazi Germany. How fitting that she was discovering the power of words.”Liesel could never understand the things that were happening to her because she didn’t understand the words.Words in Nazi Germany, and even today, can be twisted and contorted to make you believe things and feel emotions that you don’t feel or believe.Liesel, for the first time, is starting to understand words and how they can be used to manipulate, which is incredibly important.
17Rudy knows what will happen to Otto when he goes across the ice. 6. How is the description of Rudy as, “barely able to contain a grin. It ran across his face like a skid,”(pg. 162) a type of foreshadowing?Rudy knows what will happen to Otto when he goes across the ice.On page 163 Otto’s bike slides all over the ice, leaving skid marks on the road.
191. Explain when Death says “I’ve seen so many young men over the years who think they are running at other young men. They are not. They’re running at me.”Death is talking about how “young men” think they are fighting for a cause, or to defeat a person or idea, but in reality, they are just dying for a cause.
202. What is the deeper meaning of “Do you still play the accordion?” The question would cause Hans to recall how he came upon that accordion and if he remembers the promise he made Erik Vanderburg.
21She sees him as “noiseless and opaque” 3. What are some of Liesel’s sights, sounds, and thoughts on the night Max comes?She immediately recognizes the shape of a book when she seems him first in the kitchen.She doesn’t recognize her foster parents because they are not behaving as themselves.She sees him as “noiseless and opaque”“a nest of lopsided hair and no sound.”She hears silence and the sound of eating.
224. What can you compare the relationship between Walter and Max to? The relationship of Walter and Max is very similar to the one between Liesel and Rudy.
23Chaos can cause a distraction in times of need. 5. On page 193, Walter says “Chaos is what we need.” Why? When is chaos needed?Chaos can cause a distraction in times of need.The chaos that was going on enabled Walter to help Max escape into hiding.
24Hans used Mein Kampf as a hiding place for a key to their home. 6. The idea Liesel unknowingly gave to Hans is revealed on page 195. What was his plan?Hans used Mein Kampf as a hiding place for a key to their home.He was using a book to save someone’s life, and Liesel believed in the power of books.
257. “The reply floated from his mouth, then molded itself like a stain to the ceiling.” What does this quote tell you about Max’s inner thoughts?Every time Max says “Thank You” or “I’m sorry” he feels a guilt that will stain him forever because he knows that he could do something besides cause danger and distress.
268. Discuss Hans’ Lecture to Liesel about Max 8. Discuss Hans’ Lecture to Liesel about Max? Can you compare it to anything?Hans’ lecture to Liesel is about how she must keep a secret or she will lose anything that she has become attached or accustomed to.This is similar to Mr. Steiner’s speech to Rudy during the Jesse Owen’s incident.
279. Explain the paradox, “Everything was good. But it was awful too.” Paradox – Pairing two seemingly opposite words or situations.Liesel and Hans had a moment in the basement where she was forced to think about what could happen if this secret were to get out. Hans tells her that as long as she keeps the secret they will be safe.Liesel was comfortable wit the fact that she had to keep a secret, but now has to think what could happen if they were found out anyway.
2810. Discuss Max’s feelings of guilt. Max’s feelings of guilt come from abandoning his family.“They left, without looking back. It tortured him. If only he’d turned for one last look at his family as he left the apartment. Perhaps then the guilt would not have been so heavy. No final goodbye. No final grip of the eyes. Nothing but goneness.” (Zusak, 124)Max couldn’t look back at his family because he didn’t want to feel their guilt on him.He also feels guilty that his one life is causing so much danger to perfect strangers.
29THIS QUESTION CAN BE BETTER ANSWERED IN SECTION V*** 11. Compare the distractions Liesel finds in Rudy’s Friendship with those in The Whistler.THIS QUESTION CAN BE BETTER ANSWERED IN SECTION V***
3012. Explain Max’s feelings toward Mein Kampf. Max believes that it is powerful propaganda.Max says that he thought about giving Liesel Mein Kampf to read for her birthday, but doing that would be like “a lamb handing the knife to a butcher.”
3113. What are the commonalities between liesel and Max? They both have nightmares.They were both uprooted from their lives based on who their family is/was.They both rely heavily on words.
3214. What might Hans be feeling when Liesel says she is old enough to deal with her own nightmares? He could be concerned that his talk with her is making her pull away from him, but most likely he is feeling that she is maturing.
3315. Explain the quote on page 223: “You can do all manner of underhanded nice things when you have a caustic reputation.”Rosa’s personality allows for her to treat Liesel poorly to keep her away from the basement without her seeming suspicious.
3416. What themes and Symbols can you identify in the standover man? FriendshipFearParanoiaTrustSymbolsBirdsShadowsReflectionsDreamsThe white-wash of the pages of Mein Kampf
36“He didn’t deserve to die the way he did.” (Zusak, pg. 241) 1. What secret about Rudy is revealed in the first chapter of this part?“He didn’t deserve to die the way he did.” (Zusak, pg. 241)We know that he will die two years from this point.
37Death doesn’t like mystery or the build up of it. 2. What is Death’s reasoning behind giving you important information before it happens?Death doesn’t like mystery or the build up of it.“I don’t have much interest in building mystery. Mystery bores me. It chores me. I know what happens and so do you. It’s the machinations that wheel us there that aggravate, perplex, interest, and astound me.” (Zusak, pg. 243)
383. Why might Liesel have extra interest in cutting Max’s hair? Liesel is very interested in Max and everything about him. She has compared his hair to feathers before.Him trusting her with his haircut is also a step further in their friendship, which is growing deeper every day.
394. Why would Max envision his fight with the Fuhrer as an unfair one? Because everyone fears the Fuhrer, they would bend the rules to allow him to win.Pg. 242 – Ref explaining the rules to Max and HitlerPage 244 – Propaganda.No matter what the outcome of the fight is, Hitler has found a way to brainwash a nation into hating a group of people based on their religious affiliation and families they were born into.
405. What are some of the things that only Max and Liesel are capable of fully understanding and sharing with each other? Why is this so?Liesel and Max can share their dreams and each understands fully. Both hate the Fuhrer for separate, but equal reasons.The two also share a love of the written word. Max and Liesel both understand how words can be used to harm and each holds the responsibility of words very dearly.
416. What explanation can you give for Liesel’s reaction to the mayor’s wife’s cancellation of her laundry services?At the most basic level, she is hurting for her family because they now have no means of income.On a deeper level, she knows that she will no longer be able to see and read all of the books that were in the mayor’s library.
427. What is the significance of the dead brother on the mayor’s steps? Liesel’s dead brother appearing is somewhat like her conscience telling her to not throw the mayor’s son in his wife’s face.The connection in the dead family member that bonded the mayor’s wife and Liesel is now gone because Liesel did not even wish to acknowledge Werner.“He whispered for her to stop, but he, too, was dead, and not worth listening to. He died in a train. They buried him in the snow.”
438. Explain the scene when Liesel is looking for a watschen in the kitchen? Liesel tried to make Rosa believe that it was her fault that they lost the mayor’s washing, but Rosa didn’t believe that Liesel could be so cruel to the mayor’s wife.Liesel tried to get Rosa to take her frustration out on her because she felt embarrassed and ashamed that she had actually said those things to the mayor’s wife, but Rosa did not lash out at Liesel.
449. What sorts of things are happening at Hitler Youth? Franz Deutscher was beginning to get angry with Tommy Muller and Rudy had an “inability to stay out of things.”Tommy’s ear was starting to affect his hearing. Rudy stood up for Tommy when Deutscher was yelling at him and got them both punished.
4510. Compare and contrast Arthur Berg and Viktor Chemmel. Arthur Berg was not “tyrannical” like Viktor Chemmel is. He had leadership qualities but was not forceful or overly demanding.Berg would be willing to help his friends if they were left behind and Chemmel believed in every man (or woman) for themselves.Chemmel also “ran a tighter ship” (pg. 275)What does that mean for Liesel and Rudy?
4611. What are some of the underlying motivations for Rudy and Liesel behind their acts of stealing? “I’m absolutely starving.” He paused. “I need a win, Liesel. Honestly.” (pg. 283)Rudy and Liesel are both feeling pretty beaten down at this point, aside from being starving, per usual. Stealing something would make them feel like they’re on the upswing of a stroke of bad timing and misfortune.
4712. What might be the motivation behind Rudy’s stupidity? Potato – He didn’t have any luck with the apples and was hungry, but not only was he hungry, he wanted to feel like he “won”. The only way to feel like he’d won is by taking the largest potato.With Deutscher – Franz berated Rudy at Hitler Youth meetings on the regular, but being outside of these meetings, Rudy wanted to show Franz that he was not afraid of him…. Also ended in tragedy.
48Again, Death doesn’t like mystery or the build up of a story. 13. We know the end of the floating book incident already. Why is it still interesting to read Part II? Why were we told the end first?You see what Rudy’s true motives were and how he was doing it solely because he felt sorry that Viktor took out his frustrations on Liesel.Again, Death doesn’t like mystery or the build up of a story.
4914. Why was the book that wasn’t food still a good thing for Rudy? Getting the book back for Liesel shows Rudy’s strength of character. He is willing to do anything for the people he cares about.By jumping in the freezing water and risking hypothermia, he looks heroic, which is exactly what he wants.
51“It was a year for the ages.” “An Abridged Roll Call for 1942.” 1. How does Death put a different spin on the events of WWII and the Holocaust that we are already familiar with?“It was a year for the ages.”“An Abridged Roll Call for 1942.”The desperate Jews – their spirits in my lap as we sat on the roof, next to the steaming chimneys.”The Russian Soldiers- taking only small amounts of ammuntion, relying on the fallen for the rest of it.The soaked bodies of a French coast – beached on the shingle and sand.Death adds a more personalized spin on the events of 1942.
52(Continued…)“Some years, the souls and bodies don’t add up; they multiply.” (pg. 308)Death also discusses how most people felt. Stalin had left enough blood shed and dead bodies in his wake. The world was not ready for Hitler’s slaughter when it arrived.Death’s job in the entire novel is to show the personal side of the historical facts; to show that real people lived, suffered, and died. His purpose is to show that history is more than just the body counts.
532. What is the irony of a snowball fight in the basement? “When Papa came in, she did not turn to face him, but talked across to Max Vanderburg, at the wall. “Why did I have to bring all that snow down?” she asked. “It started all of this, didn’t it, Papa?” She clenched her hands, as if to pray. “Why did I have to build that snow man?” Papa, to his enduring credit was adamant. “Liesel,” he said, “you had to.”’ (Zusak, pg. 316)Liesel’s snow made Max catch a cold, and helped that cold to develop quickly. The cold ended up nearly killing Max, but Liesel bringing the snow helped Max feel alive and some-what normal, which he needed.
543. Explain the paradox on page 316. “He was the second snowman to be melting away before her eyes, only this one was different. It was a paradox. The colder he became, the more he melted.” (Zusak, pg. 316)We expect things to freeze as they become colder, but as Max became colder, he did the opposite, he melted. He was reduced to sweat and puddle.
551. How does Liesel leave max intangible presents? Intangible – not capable of being held or touched.All of the presents, though seemingly junk, bear an intangible meaning. As Liesel gave each gift, the wish she had for Max to live became stronger.The gift of the cloud she gave to him in words (also intangible). She knew that when Max woke, he would appreciate the gift of words; something that they’ve shared since they’ve met.The slab of grief – Liesel’s worry for Max was understood by him, and he later felt guilt for making her grieve so much.
565. What sorts of emotions are mixed in wanting max to live? FearThe fear of what to do with a body.The fear of being caught with a Jew’s body.Worry/ GriefLiesel now views Max as her brother, and is worried of losing him again.Feelings of ObligationRosa and Hans do not want the Jew that they brought into their home to save to die.
576. Explain the scene with the girls in Cologne. Death was carrying the soul of a young girl, when a group of young girls noticed objects falling from the sky.The girls were speculating as to what it could be, but then a father said that it was the fuel tanks from the jets that dropped the bombs.Instead of being horrified, the girls wanted to keep the containers.This is human nature – to want to keep reminders of things that hurt.
587. How does the Nazi Judgment of the Hubermanns’ basement differ from their own? The Nazi party deemed the Hubermann’s basement unsafe and unlikely to be able to save anyone in an emergency.The irony, and the difference, is that they’ve been sheltering (and coincidentally saving) a Jewish boy for months.
59Even French Jews, on Polish soil, could not be saved. 8. Explain the line on page 350, “They were french, they were Jews, and they were you.”What Death is saying, essentially, is that eventually all who were deemed unworthy by Hitler would have perished. It did not matter where they were from.Even French Jews, on Polish soil, could not be saved.Hitler’s goal expanded past Germany and if he had not been stopped, there would have been no end until all those undesirables would have been exterminated.
611. How does Hans come about more painting work 1. How does Hans come about more painting work? Name some positive and negative aspects of these jobs.People are asking Hans to paint their blinds black to protect them and give them privacy.Positive:NegativeHans is making money.People who cannot afford to pay Hans ask him to paint for them.Hans is helping people.He gets to spend more time with Liesel.He runs out of paint for good-paying jobs.He gets to show Liesel what he does for work.
622. Discuss Rudy’s Preparation and performance in the Hitler Youth Carnival. Rudy preps for six weeks by running while Liesel is out doing jobs with Hans or working for Rosa.Rudy defeats all the other opponents in the first three races, but during the last race he has a false start (which he claims he has done on purpose) and is ejected from the race.He wins three out of four false-gold medals and leaves disappointed and ashamed.
633. Discuss the non-Jewish basement; thoughts, motivations, actions. The families on Himmel street were evacuated to Fiedler’s house.Twenty-two people were crammed into their basement during the raids.People cling to their loved ones in times of panic. Some will become harsh and cruel, but most of the people in the Fiedler’s basement sat and contemplated in silence.What were some of the characters doing?Pfiffikus was whistlingFrau Holtzapfel was glaring at everyoneRosa even held Liesel and sang her a soft song.Liesel held Rudy’s hand
644. How could a false alarm for the air raids be as bad as a real one? A false alarm will heighten the fright of the people and put them into an unnecessary panic.In times of unnecessary panic, people tend to overreact and create chaos.
655. Compare Liesel’s bomb shelter reading with the one she gave at school. Liesel’s panic at school when she was worried about reading in front of the class can be likened to the panic she is feeling about Max and the raid.Reading calms her down, and reading aloud helped her concentrate.However, this reading is different from her school reading because she executed it flawlessly. People were hanging on her every word.“She didn’t dare to look up, but she could feel their frightened eyes hanging on to her as she hauled the words in and breathed them out. A voice played the notes inside her. This, it said, is your accordion.” (Zusak, pg. 381)
666. Describe the change in Frau Holtzapfel. She approaches the Hubermann’s house with an offer to have Liesel read to her.She says she will stop spitting on their door and she will give them her coffee ration in exchange for Liesel’s words.When Liesel gets to their first meeting, Frau Holtzapfel is still aggressive, but somehow kinder.
677. What concerns Hans about his feeding the marching Jew more than his whipping? Max in the basement.He knows now that they will come and scope out the house. Hans is now going to be on the “watch-list” of the Nazi Party.
69Dominoes rely on the Newton’s Third Law of Motion 1. What is the significance of the dominos in the scene where the two nazis come for rudy?Dominoes rely on the Newton’s Third Law of MotionFor every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.Domino Effect – action – reaction principle.In the scene, the two officers are trying to recruit Rudy for a special school, and his parents say no.Them saying no, is similar to the dominoes, because it will start a series of chain-reactions, all negative, and destructive.
702. Explain the 3 boys who “shivered like the future” on page 413. Rudy, Jurgen Schwarz, and Olaf Spiegel were being examined physically.The three boys were forced to strip naked and be scrutinized over.“shivered like the future…” – their future, though promised to be one with opportunities, will be a cold and barren one after the war.
713. Even though they are in the midst of war, Liesel and Rudy still exhibit some conventional adolescent behaviors. What are some of them?“The day after they’d visited Himmel street, Rudy sat on his front step with Liesel and related the whole saga, even the smallest details. He gave up and admitted what had happened that day at school when he was taken out of class. There was even some laughter about the tremendous nurse and the look on Jurgen Schwarz’s face.” - They are giggling on the front steps about a classmate and a situation. - They are still sitting on the front steps and talking with each other.
724. Why doesn’t Hans want to trust the “good” news from NSDAP? He’s been blackballed previously by the party and has yet to be punished for the incident in the street during the first parade of the Jews.Being accepted to the party wouldn’t be a punishment, but it means that they could keep a closer eye on him and force him into situations.
735. Discuss the things the Hubermanns and Steiners say they are and are not supposed to do. In what ways do they believe them?“to those who helped the helpless and those who refused to let go of their children.”“When they come and ask you for one of your children, you’re supposed to say yes.”If Hans and Alex would have followed their rules, they would not be in these situations, but would not have been able to live with themselves otherwise.
746. This is Liesel’s second experience with a train station goodbye 6. This is Liesel’s second experience with a train station goodbye. Compare it to the other event.The last train-station goodbye was when she had to say goodbye to her mother. She didn’t know whether or not she would never see her again.Liesel also says goodbye to Hans also not knowing if she would ever see him again.She clings to Hans
757. Describe Rudy’s Attempt to kill the fuhrer. Rudy and Liesel take off walking down the street.Liesel wants to go to find Hans and Rudy wants to kill the Fuhrer and find his father.“’Yes,’ He thought about it. ‘Actually, no. I think I’ll find the Fuhrer instead.’ 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 Fuhrer’” (Zusak, pg. 426)Rudy yelled out about killing the Fuhrer, which we know is not something he should be doing. We know that by calling out something negative against the Fuhrer, he could potentially put himself and his family in danger.
768. We know that Hans survives his tour of duty before he begins it, so why is it still difficult to read?Even though Hans survives his tour of duty, we still see what he is going through.We also know that Hans is very sensitive and wants to help whoever he can, and the job he is doing in the service is not one where he can do much to help people.Often in times of war, those who die are not the only victims. People are subject to situations that will scar them for the rest of their life.
77She’s worrying about Max. 9. Explain Liesel’s mixed feels as she watches the Jews march through town.She’s worrying about Max.She thinks she saw him, and then is relieved when she does not.She is also concerned about giving them bread because she does not want to get into trouble, but Rudy convinces her that her father would have wanted her to.Hans’s bravery is the right way.
7810. What is similar about Rudy’s stealing food and his giving it to the jews? Both are breaking the law. Rudy puts himself in danger in both situations.However, giving the bread to the Jews is different because it is for a less-selfish reason.Why might it be a somewhat-selfish thing to do to steal bread and give it to the Jews?
7911. Identify symbols and meanings in The Word Shaker. Words – The power of words and propaganda has been a prevalent theme throughout the novel.Fear – The Word Shaker’s friendship tree was different than the other trees in the forest, which scared the masses.Manipulation – Hitler’s ability to manipulate and control without the use of weapons or force (at first) is one of the most terrifying aspects about him.Nazi Symbol & Star of David – Hitler’s assigning of physical symbols to show who a person is/was.
80This scene shows Liesel’s developing feelings for Rudy. 12. Why is the scene in the tailor shop more important than it appears on the surface?This scene shows Liesel’s developing feelings for Rudy.Though he is her “best friend”, she begins to realize that she is starting to have romantic feelings for him.