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Unformatted text preview: oo strong. Once, words had rendered Liesel useless, but now, when she sat on the
floor, with the mayor’s wife at her husband’s desk, she felt an innate sense of power. It happened every time she
deciphered a new word or pieced together a sentence.
She was a girl.
In Nazi Germany. How fitting that she was discovering the power of words.
And how awful (and yet exhilarating!) it would feel many months later, when she would unleash the power of
this newfound discovery the very moment the mayor’s wife let her down. How quickly the pity would leave her,
and how quickly it would spill over into something else completely. . . .
Now, though, in the summer of 1940, she could not see what lay ahead, in more ways than one. She was witness
only to a sorrowful woman with a roomful of books whom she enjoyed visiting. That was all. It was part two of
her existence that summer.
Part three, thank God, was a little more lighthearted—Himmel Street soccer.
Allow me to play you a picture:
Feet scuffing road.
The rush of boyish breath.
Shouted words: “Here! This way! Scheisse!”
The coarse bounce of ball on road.
All were present on Himmel Street, as well as the sound of apologies, as summer further intensified.
The apologies belonged to Liesel Meminger.
They were directed at Tommy Müller.
By the start of July, she finally managed to convince him that she wasn’t going to kill him. Since the beating
she’d handed him the previous November, Tommy was still frightened to be around her. In the soccer meetings
on Himmel Street, he kept well clear. “You never know when she might snap,” he’d confided in Rudy, half
twitching, half speaking.
In Liesel’s defense, she never gave up on trying to put him at ease. It disappointed her that she’d successfully
made peace with Ludwig Schmeikl and not with the innocent Tommy Müller. He still cowered slightly
whenever he saw her.
“How could I know you were smiling for me that day?” she asked him repeatedly.
She’d even put in a few stints as goalie for...
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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