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Unformatted text preview: intensity of her November
failure that caused this lack of interest, but Liesel wasn’t sure. She only knew that it was there.
In class, she did not speak.
She didn’t so much as look the wrong way.
As winter set in, she was no longer a victim of Sister Maria’s frustrations, preferring to watch as others were
marched out to the corridor and given their just rewards. The sound of another student struggling in the hallway
was not particularly enjoyable, but the fact that it was someone else was, if not a true comfort, a relief.
When school broke up briefly for Weihnachten, Liesel even afforded Sister Maria a “merry Christmas” before
going on her way. Knowing that the Hubermanns were essentially broke, still paying off debts and paying rent
quicker than the money could come in, she was not expecting a gift of any sort. Perhaps only some better food. To her surprise, on Christmas Eve, after sitting in church at midnight with Mama, Papa, Hans Junior, and
Trudy, she came home to find something wrapped in newspaper under the Christmas tree.
“From Saint Niklaus,” Papa said, but the girl was not fooled. She hugged both her foster parents, with snow still
laid across her shoulders.
Unfurling the paper, she unwrapped two small books. The first one, Faust the Dog, was written by a man
named Mattheus Ottleberg. All told, she would read that book thirteen times. On Christmas Eve, she read the
first twenty pages at the kitchen table while Papa and Hans Junior argued about a thing she did not understand.
Something called politics.
Later, they read some more in bed, adhering to the tradition of circling the words she didn’t know and writing
them down. Faust the Dog also had pictures—lovely curves and ears and caricatures of a German Shepherd
with an obscene drooling problem and the ability to talk.
The second book was called The Lighthouse and was written by a woman, Ingrid Rippinstein. That particular
book was a little longer, so Liesel was able to get through it only nine times, her pace increasing ever so slightly
by the end of such prolific readings.
It was a few days after Christmas that she asked a questi...
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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