The Book Thief Part I A Good Girl - The Floating Book Summary

Max Vandenburg had arrived at the Hubermann home. He was 24 years-old, frightened, tired beyond words, and all he wanted to know is if he was safe. Then he spotted Liesel looking at him from a doorway, standing in her pajamas. He was frightened again, but Hans reassured him, that he had nothing to worry about, because Liesel was a good girl.

A look back at Max's life is necessary to understand how he ended up standing in the home of Hans Hubermann. Max grew up poor, because of his father's death, the family had very little money and eventually moved into Max's uncle's home.

Max's cousin, Isaac, taught him how to fight, which became Max's favorite activity. He met Walter Kugler by fighting him. He and Walter fought a number of times, Walter won most of the time, but eventually they became friends.

After the Nazis took power, it was Walter, who was a Nazi soldier, who took Max into hiding and helped him track down Hans. It was Walter and Hans who made the arrangements, which allowed Max to travel to Hans' home. Max was left to deal with the guilt of leaving his mother and cousins behind, as he left with Walter to find safety.

Rosa Hubermann entered the kitchen and found a stranger sitting with her husband. She wanted to know who he was and then once she found out, she fed him. The young man ate hungrily and then threw up the food. It was too much food for a stomach so used to too little food. Rosa was worried, but she was not angry, by the intrusion of this stranger into her life.

The next morning Liesel was told she would not be attending school that day. Instead, while Max slept, she was taken down into the basement for a talk with Papa.

He explained to her who Max was and how Papa owed Max's Papa his life. He also explained how important it was she not tell a single person about Max. Then Papa told her the consequences which would befall her and the others if she talked about Max.

Papa told her he would burn all of her books and someone would come and take Liesel away. He also told her Max, Mama, and himself would be taken away and never return again. Liesel started to cry, but her Papa had to make sure she understood how important it was she kept the secret of Max being in the house. Once he was sure she understood, then he and Mama hugged her.

Max Vandenburg slept for three days. Liesel watched him as he slept and realized like her, he too had nightmares. She also realized that both of them came to the Hubermann house in distress and were welcomed into it. He awoke startled to see Liesel looking down at him, but relaxed after seeing Hans enter the bedroom.

Max decided to live in the basement after he woke up. He felt it was right for him to be there, so Rosa and Hans helped him make a makeshift room under the staircase.

The household settled into a routine, which consisted of living normally outside the house and then accommodating Max inside the house. Rosa and Hans got along better, because they had the common goal of keeping their family and Max safe.

Hans discovered, as winter set in, just how cold Max was down in the basement. So he arranged to move Max upstairs to his and Rosa's room at night and Max returned to the basement during the day.

Max talked more after Liesel asked him if Mein Kampf was a good book. He told her the story of how it saved his life.

On Liesel's birthday, she gave Max a hug and he decided to find a way to pay her back. Max found a way to repay Liesel's kindness. He took some pages from Mein Kampf, painted over them and made a book called The Standover Man. It told of how all his life Max was afraid of men standing over him. Then one day he woke up, after sleeping for three days, to find a girl standing over him. He concluded the book by telling Liesel she was his friend.

He delivered the book to her in the night. She found it the next morning and after reading it three times, she went to his room. There the German girl fell asleep with her hand on her Jewish friend's shoulder.

In December Rudy found a book floating in the Amper River. He rescued it to give to Liesel in exchange for a kiss, but she was not willing to give him a kiss.

But Death let us in on a secret, Rudy would die two years later in a bombing attack. It is while she sat by his dead body, in the rubble, that Liesel gave Rudy the kiss he so longed for.

Max Vandenburg had made his way to the Hubermann house. He was afraid until he met Hans and knew he had found the right house and the right man. Liesel was told in no uncertain terms she couldn't speak of Max's presence to anyone. She kept her promise, but more importantly she became Max's friend.

A change had come over Rosa and Hans, because of Max's presence. Rosa was actually kind to Max and willing to risk her and her family's lives to hide him. Hans was doing it because he was honoring his debt to Max's father, but Rosa was doing it because she honored Hans. The whole family changed because of one man. In many ways the change was for the better, because they realized they had only each other to rely on in these dangerous times.

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