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Unformatted text preview: In fact, I reach for one now.
I believe you know half of it already, and if you come with me, I’ll show you the rest. I’ll show you the second
half of a book thief.
Unknowingly, she awaits a great many things that I alluded to just a minute ago, but she also waits for you.
She’s carrying some snow down to a basement, of all places.
Handfuls of frosty water can make almost anyone smile, but it cannot make them forget.
Here she comes. THE SNOWMAN
For Liesel Meminger, the early stages of 1942 could be summed up like this:
She became thirteen years of age. Her chest was still flat. She had not yet bled. The young man from her
basement was now in her bed.
How did Max
Vandenburg end up
in Liesel’s bed?
Opinions varied, but Rosa Hubermann claimed that the seeds were sown at Christmas the previous year.
December 24 had been hungry and cold, but there was a major bonus—no lengthy visitations. Hans Junior was
simultaneously shooting at Russians and maintaining his strike on family interaction. Trudy could only stop by
on the weekend before Christmas, for a few hours. She was going away with her family of employment. A
holiday for a very different class of Germany.
On Christmas Eve, Liesel brought down a double handful of snow as a present for Max. “Close your eyes,”
she’d said. “Hold out your hands.” As soon as the snow was transferred, Max shivered and laughed, but he still
didn’t open his eyes. He only gave the snow a quick taste, allowing it to sink into his lips.
“Is this today’s weather report?”
Liesel stood next to him.
Gently, she touched his arm.
He raised it again to his mouth. “Thanks, Liesel.”
It was the beginning of the greatest Christmas ever. Little food. No presents. But there was a snowman in their
After delivering the first handfuls of snow, Liesel checked that no one else was outside, then proceeded to take
as many buckets and pots out as she could. She filled them with the mounds of snow and ice that blanketed the
small strip of world that was Himmel Street....
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- Winter '13