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Unformatted text preview: nt and said, “Goodbye, Saumensch.” He
laughed. “Good night, book thief.”
It was the first time Liesel had been branded with her title, and she couldn’t hide the fact that she liked it very
much. As we’re both aware, she’d stolen books previously, but in late October 1941, it became official. That
night, Liesel Meminger truly became the book thief. THREE ACTS OF STUPIDITY
BY RUDY STEINER
RUDY STEINER, PURE GENIUS
1. He stole the biggest potato from Mamer’s, the local grocer.
2. Taking on Franz Deutscher on Munich Street.
3. Skipping the Hitler Youth meetings altogether.
The problem with Rudy’s first act was greed. It was a typically dreary afternoon in mid-November 1941.
Earlier, he’d woven through the women with their coupons quite brilliantly, almost, dare I say it, with a touch of
criminal genius. He nearly went completely unnoticed.
Inconspicuous as he was, however, he managed to take hold of the biggest potato of the lot—the very same one
that several people in the line had been watching. They all looked on as a thirteen-year-old fist rose up and
grabbed it. A choir of heavyset Helgas pointed him out, and Thomas Mamer came storming toward the dirty
“Meine Erdäpfel,” he said. “My earth apples.”
The potato was still in Rudy’s hands (he couldn’t hold it in just the one), and the women gathered around him
like a troop of wrestlers. Some fast talking was required.
“My family,” Rudy explained. A convenient stream of clear fluid began to trickle from his nose. He made a
point of not wiping it away. “We’re all starving. My sister needed a new coat. The last one was stolen.”
Mamer was no fool. Still holding Rudy by the collar, he said, “And you plan to dress her with a potato?”
“No, sir.” He looked diagonally into the one eye he could see of his captor. Mamer was a barrel of a man, with
two small bullet holes to look out of. His teeth were like a soccer crowd, crammed in. “We traded all our points
for the coat three weeks ago and now we have nothing to eat.”
The grocer held Rudy i...
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- Winter '13