The Book Thief – Part One – The Kiss

The Kiss (A Childhood Decision-maker)

I quite like the idea of living in a small town, it would be one of the few places where you would actually feel apart of the community. I love the thought of knowing just about everybody in the town, and having some sort of relationship with them, so every-time you go into town and buy something you see people you know and you might say, “Hi, how’s the wife and kids.” (or whatever) and then you go in the store and can chat to the shopkeeper cause you know them. You would really feel like you belonged, and you would all pitch in for one another, I just think it would be amazing. We have too many big cities where you can so easily feel lonely.

Ah, this is clearly where the phrase, “being the new kid on the block” originated from, though these days I don’t think too many kids actually play on the block with other kids, let alone play outside at all, unfortunate really. I think the relationship between Liesel and Rudy is definitely one of those ones that start off hating each other and then eventually become the best of friends. And I can’t help but laugh that Rosa’s language is rubbing off onto Liesel.

Some Facts About Rudy Steiner

He was eight months older than Liesel and had bony legs, sharp teeth, gangly blue eyes and the hair the colour of a lemon. One of six Steiner children, he was permanently hungry. On Himmel Street, he was considered a little crazy. This was on account of an event that was rarely spoken about, but widely regarded as, ‘The Jesse Owens Incident’, in which he painted himself charcoal-black and ran the hundred metres at the local sporting field one night.

I quite like the way that Zusak breaks up the chapters and reveals things that aren’t always mentioned in a book. It’s like a brief summary to make sure you understand what is going on and who this person is and who that person is. How can eyes be ‘gangly’? Definitely not a word that I would normally associate with eyes. I don’t really think that doing that makes you ‘crazy’, he just really, really likes Jesse Owens, I wonder if he can run as fast as him? Rudy seems nice enough and I’m sure Liesel will have a good time with him.

An Important Note About Frau Diller

She had one golden rule.

That is definitely one interesting golden rule. You must say “Heil Hitler” when entering the building or you wouldn’t get served. She certainly is ‘patriotic’. Rudy’s father is a tailor, I wonder if he is having good business? But how nice of his children to pop in before going off to school.

The Last Stop

The road of yellow stars.

I find it a little unusual that we have gone back in time a little, it seems that time isn’t straightforward in the book, doesn’t mean to say it is bad, just a little different, and sometimes, different is good. There must have been quite a few Jewish people living here, if there is a whole road full of broken buildings and yellow stars. Or maybe they were just good business people and liked owning their own business, pity they were all thrown out of town and persecuted.

Rudy would be there for Liesel but not for free, what exactly does that mean? Does it mean she has to be there for him, or something more?

The Only Thing Worse Than A Boy Who Hates You

A boy who loves you.

I would have to say that that is probably true, though people hating you isn’t very fun either.

A Portrait of Pfiffikus

He was a delicate frame. He was white hair. He was a black raincoat, brown pants, decomposing shoes and a mouth – and what a mouth it was.

When I first read that I thought there was some mistake. “He was white hair.” That hardly even makes sense and doesn’t sound like good grammar, was what I thought. But I guess it does make sense, Pfiffikus was Pfiffikus because of those things and without them who was he?

Geez he certainly has a vulgar tongue now doesn’t he, though I think if you were to walk into any high school around the world, packed full of hormonal, rebelling teenagers, you’d likely hear a whole lot worse!

I think kids love competition, especially a race, and of course there has to be an element of competition by adding in a wager. Though once again I’m not sure how many kids can actually run 100 metres these days, I really have a whole lot of faith in the kids of today don’t I? A kiss is an interesting ‘prize’, I wonder who will win. But it is a draw, and Liesel vows never to kiss Rudy, I wonder if that vow will hold fast in the coming years… But I’m sure Rosa was not too pleased with the mess Liesel made of herself, but a kid has to have fun!

 

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