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still there, intact. He tried for a smile, but it didn’t come. He could only imagine a meek attempt and a mouthful
of broken teeth. For hours, he felt at them.
He opened the suitcase and picked up the book.
He could not read the title in the dark, and the gamble of striking a match seemed too great right now.
When he spoke, it was the taste of a whisper.
“Please,” he said. “Please.” He was speaking to a man he had never met. As well as a few other important details, he knew the man’s name.
Hans Hubermann. Again, he spoke to him, to the distant stranger. He pleaded.
“Please.” THE ATTRIBUTES OF SUMMER
So there you have it.
You’re well aware of exactly what was coming to Himmel Street by the end of 1940.
Liesel Meminger, however, cannot be put into that category.
For the book thief, the summer of that year was simple. It consisted of four main elements, or attributes. At
times, she would wonder which was the most powerful.
AND THE NOMINEES ARE . . .
1. Advancing through The Shoulder Shrug every night.
2. Reading on the floor of the mayor’s library.
3. Playing soccer on Himmel Street.
4. The seizure of a different stealing opportunity.
The Shoulder Shrug, she decided, was excellent. Each night, when she calmed herself from her nightmare, she
was soon pleased that she was awake and able to read. “A few pages?” Papa asked her, and Liesel would nod.
Sometimes they would complete a chapter the next afternoon, down in the basement.
The authorities’ problem with the book was obvious. The protagonist was a Jew, and he was presented in a
positive light. Unforgivable. He was a rich man who was tired of letting life pass him by—what he referred to
as the shrugging of the shoulders to the problems and pleasures of a person’s time on earth.
In the early part of summer in Molching, as Liesel and Papa made their way through the book, this man was
traveling to Amsterdam on business, and the snow was shivering outside. The girl loved that— the shivering
snow. “That’s exactly what it does when it comes down,” she told Ha...
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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