The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

There was a small circle of light and the shadow

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Unformatted text preview: ne of Liesel’s favorite distractions was Frau Holtzapfel. The reading sessions included Wednesday now as well, and they’d finished the water-abridged version of The Whistler and were on to The Dream Carrier. The old woman sometimes made tea or gave Liesel some soup that was infinitely better than Mama’s. Less watery. Between October and December, there had been one more parade of Jews, with one to follow. As on the previous occasion, Liesel had rushed to Munich Street, this time to see if Max Vandenburg was among them. She was torn between the obvious urge to see him—to know that he was still alive—and an absence that could mean any number of things, one of which being freedom. In mid-December, a small collection of Jews and other miscreants was brought down Munich Street again, to Dachau. Parade number three. Rudy walked purposefully down Himmel Street and returned from number thirty-five with a small bag and two bikes. “You game, Saumensch?” THE CONTENTS OF RUDY’S BAG Six stale pieces of bread, broken into quarters. They pedaled ahead of the parade, toward Dachau, and stopped at an empty piece of road. Rudy passed Liesel the bag. “Take a handful.” “I’m not sure this is a good idea.” He slapped some bread onto her palm. “Your papa did.” How could she argue? It was worth a whipping. “If we’re fast, we won’t get caught.” He started distributing the bread. “So move it, Saumensch.” Liesel couldn’t help herself. There was the trace of a grin on her face as she and Rudy Steiner, her best friend, handed out the pieces of bread on the road. When they were finished, they took their bikes and hid among the Christmas trees. The road was cold and straight. It wasn’t long till the soldiers came with the Jews. In the tree shadows, Liesel watched the boy. How things had changed, from fruit stealer to bread giver. His blond hair, although darkening, was like a candle. She heard his stomach growl—and he was giving people bread. Was this Germany? Was this Nazi Germany? The first soldier did not see...
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