Thursday, September 24, 2009

Discussion Questions-- to p. 62

Let's discuss the following:

1. What do we think of the book so far? What stands out to you?

2. Does Death as our narrator "work"? What do you think of Death as a character in the story?

3. An ongoing question, but one to begin pondering: What is the significance of colors in the book?

4. The Grave Digger's Handbook is the first book Liesel steals. Why did she take the book (think back to what Death tells us)? How does Hans Hubermann react when he discovers the book?

5. Liesel believes that Hans Hubermann's eyes show kindness, and from the beginning she feels closer to him than to Rosa Hubermann. How does he gain Liesel's love and trust? How was Hans "worth a lot." ? (p. 34)

6. Rosa is described as "her face was decorated with constant fury." (p. 33) What made Rosa so angry?

Now... your thoughts!
Mrs. P


Rae said...

1.)So far I like the book. It's written in a way that's different than most of the books I read. It's a nice change. The "colors" stand out to me, and so does Rudy's dad's point of view of things. How he is glad he is not a Jew and is willing to be part of the Nazi party to protect his family. It's from a view you don't normally hear about in this time period.

2. I think Death as a narrator does work so far. I think he conveys things in a different way than normal, and he has a sarcastic air to him. I like it when he inserts like "A note" or "A definition of..." "A picture of Himmel Street," ect. I think it makes it easy to picture and gives you insight in a cool way.

3. So far, I think the colors are representing the overall feeling of the day. That's my theory so far.

4. I think she took it for many reasons. One reason I think was that it interested her, how lines and squiggles meant something to someone who could read. I also think that it was like a keepsake of her brother, something that can remind her of them. Kinda like a tie between her, her brother, and her mother. Thats how I came across when he said,

The books meaning
The last time she saw her brother.
The last time she saw her mother.

And I don't remember Hans Huberman finding the book...could it happen later?

6. I think Liesel is closer to Hans partly because he is replacing something she never had. She never had a father, and to her he probably felt like a great one. And he shows that he cares for her in little ways, like staying in the room after her nightmare but not sleeping where her brother would have. Playing the accordian even though Rosa dislikes it. The little things matter and I think she feels she has found the person that she never knew about in a way.

6. I think the constant fury on her face is from everything building up in her life. The rude people she works for, the door-spitting, all the different foster kids, her annoyances with Hans, I think its everything built up into her face.

Wow. I typed a lot. And first comment! Woot Woot! Anyway, that's my beginning take on things.

Kimberly said...

I am excited to start reading this! Thanks for the opportunity!

~Mrs. Hardouin

Roshon said...

1. I've enjoyed reading the book so far. I find the "Interesting Facts and A Translation" and interesting...part of the book. One of the things that has stood out to me is how sometimes it is written out in a poetic (random example):

The girl stood.
Her brother was dead.

or something like that. And then the gap inbetween the paragraphs I find first thought to them was that it kind of made your reflect about what you had just read.

Er...I'll answer the rest of the questions later...and does Liesel's adopted father discover the book? I don't remember that..?


Founding Father said...

We NEED more pages... I can't stand wating so long between book rations...Yes, I said it rations

Arent the adults supose to be using the online blog... Since they aren't able to come to meetings... I was interested in a teacher point of view...(not to be mean and unlike-able)...


Founding Father said...

PS... if they Are going to read it...
(Some edits of my last post)
We NEED more pages... I can't stand waiting so long between book rations...Yes, I said it rations

Aren't the adults suppose to be using the online blog... Since they aren't able to come to meetings... I was interested in a teacher point of view...(not to be mean and unlike-able)...


Roshon said...

I thought they were going to...but I guess it's if they have time...but I agree about the more pages...I think I have like five more pages until our stopping point...and I just finished all my other'll go on a checkout spree tomorrow...

Also, who are all the teachers who are supposedly reading The Book Thief with us?


Er...username, Nathan...?

Garrison said...

I want to be able to read ahead! but i wont...

Anonymous said...

Nathan, Roshan, and Analie... You were given access to the book before the teachers were! I read it all over the weekend (once I got it).

Because others are not recalling the reaction of Hubermann when he found the book, I won't spoil it for them.

Miss Bahrenburg

#6 What made Rosa so angry?
The possibilities are endless.. unfortunately, some people cannot survive without being in “angry” mode. Connection: one episode of Andy Griffith where the couple was always yelling at each other. Andy and crew worked to get them to get along with each other, and they yelled at everyone else in town, but were kind to each other. Now Andy and crew had to undo what they had done leaving them angry with each other all the time, but civil with everyone else in town.

#5 How does he gain Liesel's love and trust?
He was there for her whenever she awoke from the nightmares. That was a BIG thing. For whatever reason, her mother is gone, and her brother died; now someone is sticking with her when she needs him the most – through the nightmares of life.

#4 Why did she take the book (think back to what Death tells us)?
What bothered me was that death says he only saw her three times, yet he knows all this information about her… Because I read the whole story, I now understand. Why did she take the book? It was a connection to her brother that she had to leave behind.

Miss Bahrenburg

Kimberly said...

1. The book is amazing so far! I've only read to page 85 but I'm loving how it's told from an outside perspective, yet it seems like you're right there with our main character!

2. I do think that death as our narrator works, at least up to this point. It's really interesting because I've never thought of Death as a character at all - it's always just been a "thing" to me, or an "event," but never a "person." I'm actually loving it!

3. To me the colors so far represent a state of mind, or the atmosphere...we'll see how that develops.

4. She steals it (in my opinion) as a remembrance of her brother - it's the only tangible thing she has to remember him by. Hans reacts much like I'd expect him to; calmly, yet with the fear that he won't be able to ever understand the words or why she has the book.

5. He gains Liesel's love and trust by showing her the kindness that Rosa lacks in her expression. Hans is "worth a lot" because of the deep connection she has with him; since she's never had that, it means more to her than it does to many who take this for granted.

6. I think life and everything that is going on has made her an angry, bitter woman. However, my prediction is that she will soften as she gets to know more about Liesel and her story. We'll see!

Kukulkan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kukulkan said...

I am here......

I read this book over the summer and loved it from the start. i am sorry that I am just now starting to post, but I wanted to see some of you kiddos respond....

I will not comment on all the questions, but would like to add some insight if I may.

"The Gravediggers Handbook" is significant, yes Rae, because it does remind Liesel of the last time she was with her mother and brother. Eventhough she cannot read the book, and it is basically a work manual, it was there when she was saying her final 'good bye'

I love great of a guy do you have to be to make a living as an accordion player, and to put up with the wrath of Rosa. He earns Liesel trust very easily. Mary Ellen said it best, it was quite simply by being there for her...and not just from time to time....but always. He is sacrificing his own comfort for this little girl whom he has just met. What a sense of security Liesel must feel. Every night when she wakes up, who is there? Hans, just sleeping in that chair. It also seems that he has postitioned himself so that when she does have a nightmare that causes her to wake up...the first thing she sees is Hans. Hans immediately makes Liesel feel comfortable in her new home...i think later on it is stated quite clearly. Liesel trusted Hans because he 'was there'.

But Rosa, good ol angry Rosa. You gotta love her. Her anger is something she wants. It keeps her from having to talk about her true feelings. It is kind of like a mask. If people think she is always angry, no body will want to ask her what she is really feeling. They will be afraid of being yelled at. Is she angry at Hans? Sure, I suppose. Is it genuine anger? Or is she more angry at the current state of her world? A half-lazy husband who pulls in very little to help the household, a new mouth to feed, a on-going battle with a neighbor, and yes, having to make a living by doing other peoples nasty work, makes it seem like life has no purpose for her. I like Kim's prediction....Rosa is one of the more dynamic characters in the book...enjoy.

p.s. So sorry for my late comments.

amenihan said...

I am torn about Mr. Steiner. At first, I hated him. I mean, we all know now what a horrible thing happened in Germany during Hitler's reign. I was appalled that he could sit idly by and watch his neighbors being put out of business and worse, hauled away, knowing what was happening to innocent people. Then I thought about it some more and decided I have no idea how I would have acted myself to protect my own children. So now I'm saying I'm interested to see if we will gain any more insight into his motivations as the book progresses. I'd actually like to hear what he is thinking as the events unfold around him. It frightened me a bit when he said (page 51) to his son, "I know, son—but you've got beautiful blond hair and big, safe blue eyes." It makes me sad and scared that you could be unsafe without these attributes.

Another thing I noticed is that I look forward to the asides from the narrator, Death. When I see one of those ***Facts*** coming up, I notice myself skipping ahead to see what he has to say. It makes it feel like he's talking to ME personally.

I'll be taking this book with me on the plane for my trip this weekend, so I'll have more quiet time to read without falling asleep on the book. That is not to say the book is boring me at all, but only that with a new baby at home, I am often too exhausted to stay up and read it. I'm eager to find out what happens next!
~Mrs. Menihan

JAD 8) said...

Wow guys you typed a lot! Well ill just say what i think so far! THe book catches to me as very interesting and one of a kind book since ive never seen a book as the narator as Death himself! Beside the point did you guys notice how in the first few chapters death talks a lot about hinself and then it talks about Liesel and her time in "heaven street"?

I really like the colors in the way that it talks about the atmosphre (sp?) and the mood of the day. I beilive that Death looks at them often because the color often ties in with how the death happend and how other people feel.

Hans and Rosa are a very interesting couple because they always argure and fight and call themselfs pigs, piggy face:8, but they can still show love to people around them and somethimes even themselfs.

About the page goals i say they should be a little higher to restrain people from reading ahead since they always do,somethimes me to...rearly. Well ill see you guys or bolg you guys soon, Bye!8)


p.s. wow i talked a lot too. cool! Why dont you guys come and see the movie! Bye!!!!! my logo 8)

Roshon said...

Now all the teachers are posting! XD News travels fast in the modern world... ^ ^

Following Mrs. Menihan's comments about Mr. Steiner, one of the things I've found interesting about this book is the perspective from which it comes from. Not Death's perspective, but the German side during WWII. I'm not sure if my thoughts were on the same line as yours Mrs. Menihan, but whenever I read those parts, I like to put myself in the character's position.

How would a worried father act during a world war? Following what his heart says, or protecting his family and those he loves? What about a young girl who blindly salutes Adolf Hitler while her blood father is a communist? (would you capitalize that?)

In a way, I understand how they think. Should I be Mr. Steiner in WWII, I would most likely hold loved ones over my opinions. Why endanger the lives of those I love when I can secretly disagree with the rest of my country?

Hm...I've kind of rambled on...sorry if you bothered to read it.


Kaari said...

Hey guys,
I agree with Nathan, more pages would be awesome. It's kinda hard to remember all the stuff I've read during discussions because it's been a week since I read it!

nathan said...

Wonderfull Posts! I loved hearing what everyone had to say, but i don't know who said what who are Kukulkan
and is JAD joel?

Garrison said...

yes nathan joel is JAD and i just felt like checking the blog today and i want to read ahaed in my book so much! but i wont :(...

Roshon said...

I think KuKulkan has posted once before...and I think that s/he is a teacher...just by the way they adressed the other teachers on here.

JAD stands for Joel's initials...I think. Joel ___ Duran...and who wants to bet that Kenneth has already read ahead?


Kaari said...

I'll take that bet analie, if kenneth didn't read ahead I'd be surprised.

Kaari said...

Yep, Kenneth said hes about 100 pages ahead.

Kukulkan said...

Muwah ha ha ha ha !!!!! Kukulkan has risen....and Kukulkan reads "The Book Thief" with much interest in its subject matter.

Nazi Germany was a very strange place and time, especially for those in Germany. That's one of the reasons I really enjoy this book, because you get to see the perspective of the general German public. Not the typical images we usually see of Hitler spouting his propaganda to the country. We get to see that in the face of totalitarian government some, especially the youth (Hans' son)are easily manipulated by the ideas of nationalism and ethnocentricity (look it up).
Now a little history,
The Nazi party, or should I say the ideas that led to the formation of the Nazi party began during WWI and denounced the economic systems of capitalism and communism and desired a socialistic approach to the country's economy. The word Nazi is a shortened form of "NAtionalsoZIalistische" or in English,-National Socialism-. They officially formed in 1919 or so, and Hitler came to power long before WWII started (1933). So this idea of German Nationalism or German-purity that is expressed by the Nazi's had been at the forefront of German politics for decades. Hitler's oratory skills, and charm allowed him to gain the chancellorship and from there he proceeded to gain total control over the German government. Convincing citizens that he was the savior from communism, capitalism and those who, in his eyes were not fit to live (i.e. Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, cripples, etc.)

Hitler's motives are pretty clear in wanting to gain power. He served and fought on the side of Germany in WWI, eventhough he was not yet a German citizen. He was upset at the decisions made to surrender during WWI. He complained that Germany still occupied enemy territory during the war and had the 'upper hand'i these territories. He was further angered by the Treaty of Versailles in which Germany was forced to admit to being the 'cause of the war' and therefore was subjected to pay reparitions to the tune of $31 billion to the countries on the side of the Allies to pay for war costs. More importantly, Germany was forced to give back disputed land claims in Europe. Places that they felt were 'Germanic'in their histories. Notably, one area called "West Prussia" was given back to Poland giving it access to the Baltic Sea, important for Poland's economy.
So Hitler's plan was to essentially reclaim those lands as territory , and forcing those unfit for his 'master race' out, repopulating these areas with Aryans (referring to Germanic and Nordic peoples of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the top of Hitler's hierarchy of ethnic groups).

If we know our history, Hitler's first move in WWII is to invade an take control of Poland, which he does. Now, this move had more strategic ideas at the forefront, but I can't help to think that this move was a direct response to the Treaty of Versailles.
I am sorry. I will stop now. No I won't.
As this pertains to "The Book Thief" we see the theme of man vs. society. Do we as individuals need to conform to what our society tells us, or are we free to form our own opinions? Unfortunately, in a totalitarian regime, its their way or the highway, so we can understand Hans' struggles. he does not support the Nazi party, but he supports his family and will do what is necessary to keep them safe. Which is why the conversation between him and his son is so moving...we see him struggle to try and show his, young and easily fashioned son the meaning of right and wrong..I think he struggles more with his inability to show his son the wrong in the Nazi party, than he does with the actual movement himself.

so says Kukulkan.....

JAD said...

Well that was a good history lesson kukulkan, and that did clear out a lot. thanks! i am surprised how much propoganda was made about WWII, and most of the books we read are a point of view from other contries, but you dont always see a book from the german citizens point of view like The Book Thief. Thats another reason why i like the book. So far i have been very sucked into this book, how about you guys???

Nathan yes JOEL is JAD. and by the way i think Kenneth may have read a lot more tonght again. Kenneth why do you read so much!?!??!?! JK. And he should go on the blog more often shouldnt he??

Well ill see you guys tommorrow hope to see some of the teachers also. I know you guys are busy and we really appriciate what you guys do, but if you can go that would be awsome! GOOD NIGHT! 8)

Roshon said...

Oh dear...I think you win the award for longest post the way you speak (mostly the first paragraph) and what you just posted, I don't think you're Mr. Thibault...maybe Mr. Butler or Mr. Custis....I'd say Mr. Kaplan, but he's not at the school anymore. I suspect Mr. Custis, considering the factors that you are a history teacher and after the word 'ethnocentricity' you told us to "look it up."

But anyways, I suspect that each country manipulated in a way what was happening concerning Germans/Aryans. Why risk sympathy for people who might not even agree with what Hitler is doing when we can convince our people that all Germans are killing monsters? It's strategic, but it implants hate into our society, and sometimes, the well trained mind cannot change its ways.

I never knew that they targeted the learn something every day, yes? :)