Friday, September 20, 2013

The Book Thief Read Along Discussion #2: Parts 4-6

All right, Rosa has some redeeming qualities. I'm actually starting to like her. She's protecting and caring for a Jew! And when she shows up at Liesel's school with crazy hair going off on Liesel about taking her hair brush, all to secretly inform Liesel that Max is awake? Loved her.

Today's read-along discussion is hosted by Kami, so be sure to check out her awesome blog!

1.    What emotions have you felt while reading? Are they strong emotions?
Above all, sadness. I know what is coming and I can't help my mind from imagining what these character's lives could have been like had they been born in different times. Would Max have become a champion boxer? Famous instead of hiding in a basement? And Liesel?

2.    Several characters mention similarities between Max and Liesel. What similarities have you noticed, and why do you think the author made these characters relate to each other?
They both have dreams that haunt them. I think Death is so intrigued with these two individuals because they share a deep-rooted fear of him (don't we all?). They are also very strong individuals, however, who are determined to defy Death. They both hate the Fuhrer. They both long for the world to be different. They have both come close to Death many times.

3.    What do you think of The Standover Man aka the book Max wrote for Liesel.
Very sweet.

4.    How do you feel about knowing who is going to die in the end and what are some of your predictions?
Death's foreshadowing and even blatant revealing of the future of these characters certainly makes for a different type of story. It is odd, because this naturally strips some of the tension and suspense from the novel, yet I am so intrigued with this story. It sucks me in!

5.    What do you think of Rudy's rebellious attitude? 
Honestly, I love the kid.

6.    Is Rosa growing on you?
I concede. Yes, she is!

Rosa Hubermann stood in the doorway. One or two gasped at the sight--a small wardrobe of a woman with a lipstick sneer and chlorine eyes. This. Was the legend. She was wearing her best clothes, but her hair was a mess, and it was a towel of elastic gray strands...

Great part!

7.    What do you think of the relationship between Max and Liesel?
I keep wondering whose death will/would be more devastating to Liesel: her real brother's, or Max's. Their trials and circumstances have drawn them incredibly close, and I really like both of their characters.

8.    Why do you think Liesel is so determined to steal from the Mayor's library?
Revenge is the first thing to come to mind. I also think she misunderstands the Mayor's wife. Perhaps she despises Ilsa for having so much. She doesn't think Ilsa's sadness is justified. Liesel's pride (from the bottom looking up) and her hatred drive her to steal from their library.

9.    What really stands out to you in the story and why?
Max. Especially in this section of the book. His fire, his determination, his humility and his love for Liesel have endeared me to his character.

One of my favorite excerpts:
They fought like champions.
For a minute.
Just when it was getting interesting, both boys were hauled away by their collars. A watchful parent.
A trickle of blood was dripping from Max's mouth.
He tasted it, and it tasted good.

I instantly liked the guy!

10.    If you were in Hans' position, would you have helped/hid Max?
Yes. I know this is a ridiculously hard decision to make, but I really think I would. (Okay, so I have kids. After reading Britney's thoughts, I have to admit that I'm really not sure at all. I'd like to think I would, but then again, what position would that be placing my children in? What would I really do?). Tough question!!


  1. Good thoughts, Laura! Isn't this book so amazing?! I can't wait to finish it!

    1. Yes, it is amazing. It feels so real! Love it!

  2. I loved that part with Rosa and the hairbrush! She and Liesel don't have the same kind of relationship that Hans does, but I liked that I could tell they knew how to understand each other. :)
    The early descriptions of Max reminded me a lot of Rudy - like Max was a character like that as a little guy. I liked him right away, too.

    1. Yes, that hairbrush scene is ingrained in my memory! Such a great part. :)

  3. Great responses! I love how you asked what the character's lives would be like if none of this happened. I think Max would have become a great person. On the other side, if Hitler never existed, Liesel would never have been sent to the Hubermanns. She wouldn't have met Max, Rudy, Hans, Rosa, or any of them. I wonder if she would have still stolen books. So much to think about!

    1. That is so true, Kami! Liesel wouldn't have met Max or Rudy or the Hubermanns if anything had happened differently. The beauty of a story! We want things to be better and different yet, at the same time, we don't.

  4. I've liked Rosa pretty well from the beginning, but I like her even better now! I thought the scene at school was just wonderful :)

  5. I have this one on my bookshelf and I've been wanting to read it for so long now.