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Unformatted text preview: . He stroked her hair with
his rough, long fingers and said, “Of course not, Liesel. You are safe.”
“So what are you going to do?”
That was the question.
What marvelous act was Hans Hubermann about to produce from the thin Munich Street air?
Before I show you, I think we should first take a look at what he was seeing prior to his decision.
PAPA’S FAST-PACED VISIONS First, he sees the girl’s books: The Grave Digger’s Handbook, Faust the
Dog, The Lighthouse, and now The Shoulder Shrug. Next is a kitchen and a volatile Hans Junior,
regarding those books on the table, where the girl often reads. He speaks: “And what trash is this girl
reading?” His son repeats the question three times, after which he makes his suggestion for more
appropriate reading material.
“Listen, Liesel.” Papa placed his arm around her and walked her on. “This is our secret, this book. We’ll read it
at night or in the basement, just like the others—but you have to promise me something.”
The night was smooth and still. Everything listened. “If I ever ask you to keep a secret for me, you will do it.”
“Good. Now come on. If we’re any later, Mama will kill us, and we don’t want that, do we? No more book
stealing then, huh?”
Liesel grinned. What she didn’t know until later was that within the next few days, her foster father managed to trade some
cigarettes for another book, although this one was not for her. He knocked on the door of the Nazi Party office
in Molching and took the opportunity to ask about his membership application. Once this was discussed, he
proceeded to give them his last scraps of money and a dozen cigarettes. In return, he received a used copy of
“Happy reading,” said one of the party members.
“Thank you.” Hans nodded.
From the street, he could still hear the men inside. One of the voices was particularly clear. “He will never be
approved,” it said, “even if he buys a hundred copies of Mein Kampf. ” The statement was unanimously agreed
Hans held the book in his right hand,...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13