AFTER READING THE BOOK DISCUSSION 2: Big Questions

This is a book with some pretty heavy moments and subject matter.  Often times, when I read a book like this, I have a lot of questions both about the book and about the world.  What are your big questions?  Why do you think this book gave you that question?

(See example post below)

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77 thoughts on “AFTER READING THE BOOK DISCUSSION 2: Big Questions

  1. I personally thought while i read the book that the beginning mad absolutelly no sense at all and when I started to read the book and get in to it there was all just basically boring facts going on and nothing was really happening. Until it got to the end of the book and when Leisel went for Max when he was bering sent away. When Leisels friends died and her mom died I was upset but when her dad died I was crying. The way you just get attached to a character in a book is so powerful and when they die it reacts the same way to yours if you were Leisel. Great ending! *****

    • While I read the story I did not have those same thoughts as Jack, I thought the facts in the beginning of the story were intersting. They were intersting to me because it left me wondering why those facts were said in the story and how the could be important in the end of the book. It also gave the reader an upper hand on Leisel because she didn’t know those facts at the time of the story. For example when “Death” was first giving facts about Hans Hubermann and how cheated Death in the war. This gave the reader an upper hand because then you could sense that something was going to play a part with that in the story.

      • I agree with Jack. In the beginning of the book I was very confused. There was no real introduction it just jumped into the story so I had no idea what I was reading about. It was a drag in the begging before you got the mid beginning-middle where it kicked off. I think my question would have to focus on the narration. It was an interesting choice but what made you choose that outlook? I’m asking because it’s a new approach on the story and was often tricky to understand or catch up. Max was an interesting character but it played well into the book for his and Liesel’s friendship. It made the book a bit happier to see Liesel care for someone she knows is bad in the communities eyes.

        • I agree with Katie and Jack. The book was very confusing. I didn’t know the colors meant until I read a little more. It was so confusing on who Death was talking about, what the book was explaining. But after I read around 40 more pages it started to get interesting. My question is why did Death choose to use colors to explain the mood of the day and why. During the introduction I kept seeing the description of colors. (Ex. Next is a signature black.) It was hard to understand what black meant or described.

          • I agree Jack. When you read about a character in any book, and relate to them in any way -or just like them for who they are-, it creates a bond between you and the character. At the end I was devastated when all those people died. My question to the author would be about the books Liesel stole. Did the books she stole have a meaning? Was the Grave Digger Handbook meant to foreshadow death? Or was it just to show how Liesel became literate?

        • There were many parts in the story that were very touching. I think one thing that helped me to block out the “ugliness” was how innocent Liesel was. I really liked when she was reading to the people in the cellar during the bombing. Max was very kind and never complained about the way his life was playing out. I was so sweet when he gave Liesel the book he wrote. I liked Hans Hubermann the best out of all the characters. It was nice to see someone who was so hopeful and optimistic for the future even though he had to deal with the stress of hiding a Jew. He was always willing to help someone out no matter the consequences to himself. For example when he gave the starving jew a piece of bread, how he would get up ever night with Liesel and play her music and read with her, and how he selflessly took in Max even though he knew it could mean getting in huge trouble with the Nazi Party or even killed.

          • Wait i put the wrong response in!!!!!!!
            This is the right one

            Personally I agree with both Katie and Jack. The beginning of the book was very vague and difficult to understand. I think later on in the book the facts presented at the beginning were extremely interesting and useful when it came to understanding what was going on. For a while the fact that the narrator was death just completely flew over my head but once I realized that the narrator was in fact death it helped to clarify certain points. I was also confused by the colors mentioned in the prologue but on page fourteen it was very interesting when i realized that those were the colors of the Nazi flag. A red flag, with a white circle, and a black swastika. Those three colors are the colors mentioned by death in the beginning as the colors in her life that “resonate the most”.

      • I totally agree with Caitlin. I found that in the beginning, those facts were interesting, not boring. Those facts were death showing, not telling, his identity through those little captions. remember the first three? 1. You are going to die. Relates to death, right? 2. Does this worry you? 2.a I urge you, don’t be afraid. 2.b I’m nothing if not fair. Okay, so just reading this, kind of gives you an idea of who the narrator of the book is. Although, yes, Jackson, in the beginning of the book, there was some confusion of who the book was talking about, after coming back from the end and re-reading the clues, I can finally understand the meaning that Markus is trying to portray. Again, Caitlin, I agree with you reply about how “This gave the reader an upper hand because then you could sense that something was going to play a part with that in the story.” I think that the if the “confusing” prologue didn’t exist, then the book wouldn’t have had it’s meaning that was supposed to be illustrated.

    • I agree with Jack. The beginning of the book was confusing and I did not understand what was going on. I could not grasp that the narrator was death. I was so confused with all the colors and how they helped death. Also, at first I did not like how there were sentences in German. I did not understand them and they just made me more confused. Once I read more of the book I understood some of the German, and I began to like death as the narrator. After that, I started to really enjoy the book.

      • I agree with Jack the book was very confusing for me in the beginning and I did not fully understand what was happening. I also agree with Emma because the sentences in German were confusing. When I read the ending of the book at first I was thinking is Liesel just having a dream or did all Liesel’s friends and family just die? I asked myself that a lot but once I kept reading I finally figured out that it wasn’t a dream and it was real. It made me sad to think that Liesel would be all alone and it also made me wonder how she felt, I also wondered how would I feel if I was in her shoes. The BIG question is why did this have to happen?

        • I found the prologue of the novel to be unclear, but as the story progressed I understood. I thought that when Death returned to the locations he discussed in the prologue it helped me gain better clarity of what Death was conveying.

          Unlike Courtney, I thought the German sentences added a sense of reality to the story. In most cases the German sentences were followed by a brief translation of some sort.

          Like Courtney, and probably many others I wonder “why did this ever happen”? There is probably no completely clear answer, but it must have been mostly caused by deep hatred of others, and fear of change.

          • I think Sydney brings up many great points. The first point that she brings up is that as the story unraveled the thoughts of Death began to be clearer, and make more sense. I also agreed when Sydney said that the German sentences added reality to the story. I think not only does it bring reality but it brought me more into the story, and I enjoyed the story much more. I think the Holocaust happened out of hatred and thoughts that were put into people’s heads that were not real. I think then people began to become afraid of these thoughts. It really was a difficult time fore Germans and Jews.

            • I agree with Caitlin and Sydney, once the story became more unraveled everything became more clearer. I also agree that the German sentences made the story so much more realistic. Once i saw the German sentences it made me more interested in the book and it made me want to go deeper into the book. The Holocaust was a terrible time for many people. Many people were afraid and became scared of other peoples actions.

          • I agree with everything Sydney has to say especially with the German. The German brings and essence of realism to the story, and for me it made me think about it leading to understanding the story. I also agree with why this happened, most people were afraid to stand up to Hitler because he probably would have killed them in an instant. Also, no body knew what was going to happen next and were in fear of something else even worse would happen. Lastly, Hitler was so judgmental it was hard to change his mind so obviously everyone wasn’t blue eyed and blonde haired but to him, that was the only person who should live on this earth.

    • Jack is right. The beginning of this book was difficult to understand. Death went straight to colors to explain the setting. I could not pick up on that right away. I wondered why the book was being told in from a perspective that a human could not see. Finally I realized Death was telling and I started to understand the book a lot more.

      • Jackson’s comments are on point. This book’s format and plot was hard to follow the first couple of chapters. The colors and the setting was difficult to keep up with. I believe that this were the authors intention to make the reader ponder what is happening in order to keep the book more interesting. It took me a while to understand the format and formulate in my head and make predictions about the book. This book at first pace was slow but then things got quicker more vivid and details started to flow into events that had happened. Death finally became more evident and gave the book more flavor and a reason to really engage into it.

    • I agree with Jack, when I started reading the book, I barely knew what was going on. I think it was like that for me for possibly the first 3-5 chapters or so. I don’t agree that all it was is boring facts. I knew something was going on I just didn’t know what. But I started getting it as I kept reading.

    • I agree with Jack. I was very confused at the beginning of the book. I had no idea what was going on. I had to re read it about a hundred times. I didn’t understand how no one could see this “Death” but somehow it was always there. I started understanding more towards the end of the book because that is when you found out that the narrator was Death. I was also upset when her mom and dad died and all of her friends. It left Leisel with pretty much nothing. The ending was filled with so many surprises !

    • I agree with Jack, the beginning made no sense. At the beginning all it was, was just facts and it became boring. I agree that towards the end of the book iy got more interesting and exciting. When Leisels parents and friends died was a hard part in the book because i got so into it that it was devastating when they died. The ending was a great way to close out a story like this one.

    • I feel the same way about the novel as Jack. The book had a lot of boring times but the incredibly heavy ending made up for it. The part when Rudy died had a big impact on my feelings for the book. He was such a positive and heart lifting character and when death visited him i wanted to cry. When Liesel has to see her loved ones dies one after another, I couldn’t imagine adding any more pain to what she already felt. I agree with Jack that it is amazing how attatched you can get to the characters in this book.

  2. EXAMPLE POST: While and after finishing reading this book, there is one thought that kept entering my mind – does the good in the world outweigh the evil? Hans, Rudy, Liesel, Max, even Rosa as crazy as she is all worked hard to make a positive impact on their world and refused to submit to the hatred brought by the Nazis. They risked their lives to help others and stand up for what they knew was right. Some people may argue that although they didn’t win, however, the Nazis came as close as you can – killing over 6 million. It’s also amazing to see how many people, even seemingly good people, believed in what they proclaimed. It’s sad to think that there is evil in the world, and I am hopeful that there are more Hubermanns and Steiners than there are Franz Deutschers.

    P.S. The posts from Jackson and Caitlin are also great!

    • Agreed. After reading your post, iaccaril, the book came into a whole other meaning. I think that the evil, in this book, totally beat the good. Although, like you said, there was one family, that little light in the darkness, (alone with some others) who was the resistance against the black wave of evil and power, I still feel that evil was the powerful one. Also like you said, the Nazis killed over 6 million. Pretty evil. You make the thought of the Hubermans and Steiners like a family trying to survive in the thicket of blackness, urging every last bit of hope in the families to be sucked into nothingness. It seems to me like the story is more like a survival story.

      Man, the end of the story was so devastating. I had though that there was that glimmer of hope, shining in the darkness….. and then came along bombings, ripping up Liesel’s beloved town, totally destroying her memories, her loved ones, her family. I wonder how she felt. Lost, probably. Alone. Defenseless.

  3. After finishing the book, it made me think, why? I know from Max’s book that The Fuhrer was just a guy who wanted to rule the world and started to take over by ‘hypnotizing’ one brain at a time, but why? Why be against Jews? What about Catholics and all the other religions? And if Death hadn’t collected Hitler’s soul, would we be living under the rule of the Germans? Would we even exist?

    • After the ending of the book, I had to place it down, take a deep breath, and realize what had happened. Like Amanda said, why? Why did that bombing have to happen? Why couldn’t have the story ended differently, like a happy ending? No, the story had to end like “and in the middle of the night, everyone died of explosives, and only Liesel was left alone, defensless against the blackness of the night.” Makes me so sad.

      • I agree with Keegan’s point that times like these were placed in there by the author just to make the story more realistic. Bad things happen to good people, and that is unavoidable. But, I also felt much sorrow for Liesel when Himmel Street was bombed, and she lost so many loved ones. The story did not exactly end there, as in the epilogue, Liesel has lived a joyous life with a complete family, as she welcomes death to her soul.

        • I agree with Cyrus about how this time period and setting was realistic and the events(although a fiction genre book) were similar to actual events in the holocaust. I also agree that Liesel had gone through a lot of emotional pain losing all her loved ones and close family and friends during the bombing. Although she had survived it was a hardship to live a life as stated in the epilogue where everyone you knew growing up are perished. This was difficult for Liesel after having a life with family but she knew that those people are still very alive in her heart.

    • Powerful questions. Hitler was actually against any group that did not fit his idea of the superior race: white, blonde, blue-eyed. Ironically, Hitler himself was only one of these three categories.

      • Wow, thanks for letting me know. I really was wondering about the purpose of the whole idea of the Holocaust. Did Hitler make the Holocaust because he was scared? Or that he wanted to rule the world and have everybody as perfect as can be? An attempt at a Utopia?

        • Hitler’s father was an angry and abusive man- he also happened to be Jewish. This is one reason why Hitler may have wanted a blonde-hair, blue-eye society. Nobody would remind him of his father.

          • Because his father was angry and abusive, he gravitated towards his mother. She later died of disease. Crushed, Hitler joined the army, and rose to the rank of colonel. His best friend was killed in the trenches by an enemy sniper, and eventually Germany lost the war. Hitler came up with a mad vision that it was a “jewish plot” to destroy Germany, and it was jews who poisoned and killed his beloved mother. He rose up the political ranks, eventually becoming leader of the Nazi party, then he eliminated all his rivals with his personal army. He soon became chancellor, then supreme leader or Fuhrer of Germany. The german economy was in shambles from WW1, and he set about fixing them. He built the autobahn, and made a car available to almost all people. The “Volkswagen” or, peoples car. Through a series of reforms and changes, he made Germany one of the strongest economical countries in Europe. He then marched into the lower rhine territories, land considered german, and took them. People all around Europe thought he was a great leader, fantastic politician and economist, and simply that he was retaking german territory lost in the war. Then he demand Czechoslovakia give Germany almost half its land, where its main people were german. The Czechs looked to their allies, the british and french to help them hold onto this economically important territory. The french and english did nothing, afraid to provoke another war with the germans. The Czechs were forced to give into the demands. Then hitler travelled to Austro-hungary, a country that, while massive, had severe military and economical problems. Through a series of political maneuvers, hitler had annexed Austro-Hungary without a shot being fired. Through it all, he was massively increasing the size of germanys weakened military. Soon, he had the strongest air force in Europe. Then the most tanks, he could never get the most men, forever shadowed by the russian giant. Then, he invaded poland. He took it in 3 weeks. He gave the russians half the country so they would not intervene. The french and british demanded that Germany withdraw its troops from poland, or face war. Hitler, thought it was a bluff, and continued having his men in poland. France and England declared war. And so began WW2

    • I agree with Amanda that it is hard to understand how Hitler could do what he did to all of those people. He didn’t just kill jews he also killed gypsies and handicapped people and anyone he thought was different. I don’t think we would have been taken over if Hitler didn’t die, because I don’t think one German army could take over the world. I think that there were enough good people in the world to stop the hate.

      • I agree with Amanda and Jake that this is a very tragic event and that many people died from the radical views of one person and the influence he had on so many others. This type of situation has happened before in history and continues to happen to this day. Some examples of this happening in the past are the Native Americans being taken over by the colonist and made to conform to their ways of life, radical religious groups putting people to death because they don’t share the same religious beliefs, and African American people being put to death because of the color of their skin. The Holocaust was on a much larger scale and may have been much more brutal, but all is tragic. There is just no controlling the radical ideas of some people and their followers.

      • The simple fact is that if Germany had been patient, and annexed England before invading Russia Germany would of almost certainly won the war, however the war would of probably never started if not for Hitler. So we run into a bit of a conundrum. In the later proportions of the war, Hitler repeatedly condemned thousands of Germans to death in hopeless battles. Odessa, Sevastopol, Stalingrad are all examples of his mounting insanity. If Hitler had simply listened to his generals, Germany could in theory, launch an amphibious invasion of England, stopping most American Air Raids except for the extremely long range bombers. Using the factories of France and England, Germany could rapidly refill its army with tanks, planes, and small arms. Then invade Russia at their leisure. Now, i’m not denying that Hitler was both crazy and evil, but thanks to his craziness, we won the war. So in effect, if Hitler had never been born (or had been picked off in the trenches of WW1) Then WW2 would never reach the scale that it did, if it started at all. But, if it did reach the scope that it did and WW2 started, then someone less crazy then hitler was in charge, then we would probably lose the war. Also, Germany was not the only country to commit atrocities during WW2. The Japanese Empire was guilty of the deaths of almost 20 million Chinese civilians. Both acted horribly during WW2, but we should never shovel all the blame onto Germany.

    • I agree with Amanda. I also thought of “why?”. What sent Hi so far as to kill millions and send the world into deep and treacherous war. I often wonder too, what would the world be like had Hitler not come to power, or had Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan won the war, where would civilization be today?

      • Amanda also captured the question of what will the world become, should another hitler rise again. Would it prevail, or would it only push humanity towards greater strength.

      • John it is a very pondering question and it makes you wonder how can someone kill that many people and tormenting that many lives. It is a hard question that if an tyrannic leader were to erupt in modern day society how would the rest of the world survive? If a regime that big to cause another world war still existed today it in my opinion would ruin our whole society and take along time to recover. The book captured authentic moments and made me question the world and think how far we have come along. I also believe that with all the technological advances in military advances our world that the best countries are always alert earn certain movements like that spread. Also leaders of our democracy would do everything they can so that events like the holocaust never happen.

    • Amanda brings up a very strong point. I also found myself wondering about why Hitler was only against the Jews. I thought, “Why doesn’t Hitler like Jews? Is it because of their appearance or something to do with their religion?” I don’t think it is right for any human being to be treated that way no matter what they do. What if everyone stood up against Hitler. Would something have changed? He couldn’t possibly kill everyone. Why were most people okay with letting the Jews be treated like they were nothing? Every German must have thought at least once in their lifetime, “What if I was a Jew? I would be miserable if I was treated like that.” But then not many stood up for the Jews and many of them died for no reason, which is definitely not right under any circumstance.

    • Amanda, you have a very strong point. I also found myself wondering why HItler was against the Jews and why he only tortured them. I thought, “Why does Hitler hate the Jews? Does it have to do with the way they looked or something that they did in their religion?” I think that it is never right to treat a human being like that no matter what they do. I am sure that every German once thought in their lifetime, “What if I was a Jew. I would be miserable if I was treated like that.” But most of them never did anything to stop it. Most of them ignored it and the problem only became bigger. What if everyone rose up against HItler? He couldn’t possibly have killed everybody. Would anything have changed?

  4. I really enjoyed this book but I am really confused about the colors. I don’t really undertand what they mean. Can someone help me and explain what the colors mean?

    • I agree with Keegan, that Death used colors as a way to busy his mind when he was taking souls. But, I also think that Death used colors to explain how the person died. When Death first talks about colors, it’s when Liesel’s brother dies. The color Death sees is white. I think that white is for the snow on the ground. The first thing that Death saw when he took the soul.

      On a different note, Death gives a key with the colors. Each color has a symbol. I find it very strange that the colors have symbols. It makes me think that death cannot really see the colors. He only sees the symbols which he then relates to colors.

      Also, Death says that he sees a lot of eclipses. He saw an eclipse when he took the pilot’s soul. Death says, “I’ve seen more eclipses than I care to remember.” Death also saw a signature after he took the pilot’s soul. I wonder if the signature is made up of different symbols from the colors. Almost as if every time someone dies Death sees the symbols of the colors overlap and make a signature. Not like a written signature, more like (color symbol) = (signature).

      • (color symbol) plus (color symbol) = (signature)

        The blog would not post symbols so my plus sign disappeared. Sorry about that. This is what it was supposed to look like.

        • Interesting theories, Emma! I am excited to look back and analyze the colors with you and the rest of the class in a couple of weeks.

    • I think that Death talked about the colors so much because it helped him paint a picture for the reader of the scene that was going on around him when he collected particular souls. I also think that Death associated different colors with different times and places.

  5. I was confused about Rudy’s parents not letting him go to the boarding school. If he had gone, the family would be able to feed the other kids more. Rudy would have also survived the bombing.

    • I don’t agree. Rudy’s parents had no way of what would happen in the future. They didn’t send Rudy away because the boarding school was made “to create a new future…. a new class of physically and mentally advanced Germans. An officer class.” (page 414) Rudy’s parents didn’t want that kind of future for Rudy.

    • It might have been in the author’s plan for Rudy to die in the bombings. I also agree with Suzy. The Steiner’s came across as a nice family, and I do not think they would want to send off their children to a boarding school that would “create a new future…. a new class of physically and mentally advanced Germans. An officer class.” Were they members of the Nazi Party? Or were they against it?

    • I agree with Keegan i also did not know why his parents did not send him away because his family could save more money. maybe sending him away was going to be to expensive but there could be many different reasons that we may never know.

  6. One of the questions that I had throughout the book was why did Liesel’s mother send her off to live with the Hubbermans after Liesel’s brother died. I understand that would have set the book a completely different way if Liesel stayed with her mother, but this question was put in the back of my mind throughout the book.
    Alike most of the Jack, Elijah, Courtney, and many others that commented, I also did not understand the colors, and why Death was so fascinated by them. Maybe it was his way of explaining the scene going on around him, and how he remembers the events so clearly.
    I did find it interesting that the author had the book told from Death’s perspective. Why not Liesel’s perspective, especially in the first few chapters? Why not both Liesel’s perspective and Death’s perspective of the story and events happening around them?

    • I think the colors were kind of like and impression of their personality. For example the colors he saw for Liesel’s were red white and black. Those were the colors of the Nazi flag. The red is the background, the white is the circle, and the black is the swastika. Each time he collected a soul he perceived different colors based on the life of the person. It would have been interesting if death had described the colors he saw when other people died like Rudy or Hans.

    • Hannah, the book never really stated why Liesel and Werner were sent to the Hubermanns but there are a couple clues throughout the book. First, when Liesel made it to the Hubermann’s home she was very undernourished. On page 20, it reads, “Everything about her was undernourished. Her wire-like shins. Coat hanger arms. She did not produce it easily, but when it came, she and a starving smile.” Based on this page, one reason Liesel’s mother must have brought her to the Hubermanns was because she didn’t have enough money to feed them. Also, on page 28 it explains how Liesel had “a small suitcase” with just one layer of clothes. This must mean that her family didn’t have a lot, so they were probably living in poverty.

  7. One of the questions that I had was did death have feeling for the victims he took souls from. Because death said “I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. So did death care and feel bad for the victims, or did death just not care about the victims?

    • I did also wish in the beginning that Liesel could have stayed with her mother. But I always wondered what really happened to her. There were hints in the middle of the book that give you a little idea. In the beginning of the book Liesel’s mom and brother were going to be admitted into a foster home because the mother could no longer provide the basic needs of survival. I also wondered: what exactly was the cause of Werner’s death?

      • Suzy, I had the same question when I started the book. On page 20 of the book, it talks about how Liesel and Werner are ready to meet their foster parents. Unfortunately, her brother developed a cough. I think her brother might have died from some sort of disease. Also, at the top of the page it explains how his cough was “an inspired spurt” and then it was “nothing”. He must have died quick. I’m not exactly sure if this was what happened, but it’s just an idea.

    • Courtney, I think that Death did have feelings for some of the characters in the book. When the bombs hit Himmel Street and Death went to collect the Steiners’ souls, I think he did feel bad for them. An example is on page 531, “Where was Rudy’s comfort? Where was someone to alleviate this robbery of his life? Who was there to soothe him as life’s rug was snatched from under his sleeping feet?” I think that Death did care for the children and some adults that died throughout the story.

    • I agree with Courteny, the way that death was portrayed in the book is somewhat mysterious. Is death a “living” thing, or is it simply what consumes all humans when their time comes? Death, to me, is something that makes life meaningful in a way, without death, life would not exist, or at least it would loose its meaning. So in essence, death is a part of life, it exists in all humans, but only comes out when the time is right.

      • Death is also something that makes people fear, and makes humanity, a vulnerable object, vulnerable to war any simple activity that may end in death.

    • Courtney, I think Death did care about the victims. One reason I think this is because Death seems to remember all the souls that he took like they happened yesterday. He is telling the story and when each character dies, you can almost see how it happened in your head. Also, on page 538 Death said “I saw many years later-a vision in the book thief herself- that she was knelt next to Hans Hubermann, she watched him play the accordion.” This signifies that he thought about all the souls he took even years after he died. Finally, on page 531, he is describing the time he took Rudy’s soul. Death carried Rudy through the destroyed street, attempting to give him comfort. He goes through all the memories of Rudy. Death says he tried harder with Rudy. When Rudy dies and Death carried him away he states “I carried him through the broken street, with one salty eye and a heavy, deathly heart. You can tell that Death really cared for Rudy and he was special to him. Rudy made him cry. He cared about him so much that when he died it made his heart ache.

  8. I agree with Jack that the beginning of the book was confusing. Even after reading the chapters about the colors, I still didn’t understand what the colors meant. I didn’t think that the body of the book was boring though. It was filled with Liesel’s struggle through life. I also agree with Jack’s opinion that the saddest part of the book was when Liesel’s family and friends died. Jack felt very strongly about the impact of the part in the book where Liesel went looking for Max. I did not feel this impact nearly as strongly.

  9. One thing I could not figure out was what is death? Was he a ghost or like human looking? Did he teleported or could he fly? I am really confused with who or what death is.

    • Julia, I think the book portrayed Death as a ghost. The people could not see him, but I am not sure if he was totally invisible and they could walk through him. I also do not know how he got around, but I think you are right that he could fly. I am confused about how he knew when someone died. Did he just feel it? Also, how did he know where someone died? The book does not give many details about Death.

    • Death was not really a person. When he went to take souls from their bodies he says that no one could see him. In my mind he was a kind of like a ghost that was really really big and was human looking. I always pictures him so big that the souls of people were like the size of a baby to him mostly because it says he cradled them or carried them on his shoulders.

    • Julia, I had the same question when I was reading. Then, I stumbled upon page 531. On this page, Death is picking up Rudy and his sister’s soul. Death says “I picked both him and Bettina up with their souls still in the blanket”. On that same page Death says “I carried him softly through the broken street, with one salty eye and a heavy, deathly hear.” I assume that Death is a ghost since he got inside the house, but he must have humanly-features because he was able to pick the two up and either walk or fly over the broken street. Overall, I think Death is a ghost that can walk. I think that Death could teleport and fly because he said that he was everywhere during these years. He must have been able to teleport because how else could he get everywhere so fast? Death has many human characteristics and feelings as well.

  10. “The Book Thief” is a very complex and well written book. I have some questions, one is about the way that people were discriminated against in Nazi Germany. I want to know what would lead people to such savagery? Wouldn’t you see this morally wrong, and a sin against humanity? How can you see people suffering for no reason or fault of their own? This book has given me these questions because it is astounding to know that this actually happened in the world, that these horrible events took place. The book exemplifies this and shows what can happen when a dictator, or any leader, can make people think acting like this is right. I am amazed that humans can be brainwashed into thinking they are better than others. “The Book Thief” shows in a terrible, but meaningful way how such events happen and why.

  11. Courtney, I believe that Death’s job was to just take humans souls and not really care for them. I just think that the fact that humans are complicated and emotionally disoriented made it harder for Death to take their souls away.

  12. I have to agree with Amanda on this one. I also wasn’t very sure as to why Hitler wanted to get rid of the Jewish community. I have never really learned about the Holocaust before, but by the end I understood a lot. While I was reading the book and responding to a few of your comments I didn’t really know what to call Death. I know this isn’t really an important question but is Death an it or a he/she. Throughout the book, the narrator was given so many human characteristics that made me think Death was a person but Death is just an idea. What do you think? Also, at the end of the book when Liesel loses her family and moves on with the Mayor and Isla and the Mayor she refuses to bathe. Same as the beginning of the book when she starts living with Mama and papa. She doesn’t want to take a bath the either. Does anyone know why?

    • I also felt that the book was very vague on describing what exactly was ‘Death’, as the story only gave characteristics on what he/she was like. I still am trying to wrap my head around what Death in the book is, whether it be someone or something. To the point of Liesel reluctant to take a bath in both scenarios, maybe she just felt uncomfortable in the new situations? Being the deep thinker that she is, I think that Liesel felt that taking a bath would ‘cleanse’ her of her past memories, good and bad. It seemed that at times she wanted to cling on to how things for her used to be, such as when she attempts to send out letters to her biological mother.

  13. The Book Thief took place in a time period where many things were happening to the people who were living then. I agree with John about how the author described the Holocaust in a way that makes people today understand what happened in our bitter past. During the Holocaust, Death must have been very busy because people were dying more and more throughout the war. Did the tyranny of one person actually cost these many lives? This book helped me understand that the opinion of one person could lead to a worldwide problem.

  14. The beginning of the story was very confusing, they stated all these facts and it could get confusing at times. But towards the ending i was able to put all of the pieces together.Once i got all of the pieces together i wasn’t confused anymore and i understood the book more.

  15. What do you think was going through Zuask’s head when he though of the book. What do you believe he was thinking of when he wrote about the time period? Do you think he was going for a realistic fiction novel about the oint of veiw of a german girl during the time of the Holocost or do you believe he was going for a realistic fiction novel about how the holocost was horrible for both jews and germans alike?. I believe that he was going for the veiw that it was horible for everyone of every race and religion, because bombs were dropped everywhere and Mmany peole died.

  16. After finishing the book, I felt that I wanted more information on what was to become of Liesel after the bombings on Himmel Street. I thought that the book was a bit too discrete and did not give enough details on this subject. I also wondered what became of Liesel’s mother, as it said that she was ‘taken away’ by the government. I wished the author covered these to topics a bit more thoroughly, as the quality of the book kept me pondering on what happened. Historically, I also wondered if during the Holocaust there was anyone else in the same or similar situation Liesel and her foster family was in, economically changed but warm hearted Germans harboring a Jewish man. World War II was a dark, disappointing era for the human era, and I contemplate if we will ever have another time like this.

    • I agree with Cyrus, I would have loved the story behind Liesel’s mother, I would have loved to know the back round of these stories so I could learn how the loved ones were affected. I feel like there should have been more information on the bombings as well. I feel like it should have talked about what other thought compared to what Liesel thought.

  17. Throughout the story I had three main questions that I would not stop thinking about. One was who is this narrator, at first I thought it was some random stranger that would stare and follow Leisel all the time. Or I thought it might be a family member or friend. When I had read back for the third time I understood that it was Death. But I could not figure out what death was. Where was it coming from? Why was it there? After much thinking I realized it was a matter of opinion, I believe the author wanted to open up our imaginations to bring to life what death was. To me I believe it is some sort of spirit. Secondly, I wish the author would have evened out the facts and story, I felt like in the begining there were to many facts that had made me bored, towards the end I felt like there was more to the story than just facts. I felt like the facts confused me because there wasn’t enough of the story for me to understand until the end. Lastly, I would have enjoyed there to be more description about the scenery, it would have been great to really imagine what it would have looked like if I was standing right there. I would love to go to Germany some day and I feel like this book would have been a great opportunity to see what it would look like.

  18. When I finished reading this novel, many questions ran through my head. I wanted to know where Liesel and Max stood. Are they a couple or are they just friends? I was thinking about what death meant when “it” said “I am haunted by humans” and what I took from that is that death is so used to everything dying that it is afraid of living.

  19. I had a Question about why rosa did not like Liesel very much. she would always be snappy and make Liseil do hard labor like delivering Rosa’s laundry, and even abusing Liesel. Why would she do this to her she was a great little girl who was going through tough times and on top of this her mother did not like her.

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