The Book Thief Part 1-Part 2 The Other Side of Sandpaper - Book of Fire Summary

One night, after watching the members of the local Nazi Party parade down her street, Liesel had a nightmare which incorporated the marchers and her brother. She woke up to the realization that she had wet the bed. Papa came into her room, saw what had happened and helped her change the sheets. As they changed the sheets, the book she had stolen fell onto the floor. Papa saw the book and asked if she wanted to learn to read the book. He, at that moment, became her reading teacher.

He taught her, using pieces of sandpaper, to write the alphabet and words. Hans one morning stood up to Rosa as he told her Liesel would be going with him to the Amper River, instead of helping to deliver the wash. Mama was angry, but gave in to Papa's request. After the reading lesson at the river, Papa played his accordion, which was the source of a story that Papa was not yet ready to reveal to Liesel. They worked day and night on her reading and writing, and she was improving.

In September of 1939, Germany went to war with England and France. In October, Liesel started to move up to her proper grade level at school. In November the class was tested on their reading ability, everyone was called on except Liesel. She demanded her turn, but when she took her turn she could not read the words.

In the school yard she was taunted for being stupid by the other children. She stopped the taunting by beating up Ludwig Schmeikl and Tommy Müller.

Liesel stole her second book on April 20, 1940, which was the birthday of Adolf Hitler. She stole it from a pile of books which were being burned. The German people along with a hatred of Jews and overall dislike of anything not like them, loved to burn things. So during a book burning Liesel stole The Shoulder Shrug. She was in the mist of anger and misery when she stole her second book.

Before she stole the second book, Liesel and her family celebrated Christmas. She was surprised to find presents for her on Christmas Eve. It was two books and she was very happy, since she and Papa had finished the first book.

Liesel found out Papa paid for the books with cigarettes. She was happy to have the books and read them many times, as her reading ability was improving. This happy time for the family was capped by Papa buying Mama some eggs, but the good times would not last.

Due to the war, Rosa had started to lose customers for her clothes washing business. She decided to have Liesel pick up the laundry, because she thought the people would be less likely to fire a little girl.

At school Liesel had an assignment to write two letters, so she decided to write to Rudy and her birth mother. This caused concern between Rosa and Hans, because they did not know what had become of Liesel's mother. Liesel heard them whispering about her mother and became concerned about her mother's safety.

Because Rosa was losing customers due to the war, Liesel didn't receive a birthday present. After receiving no reply to her letter to her mother, Liesel decided to give herself a present, by taking some money to buy a stamp and mailing the five letters she had written her mother.

Rosa beat her when she found out the reason for the missing money. Rosa was sad about the circumstance surrounding Liesel's mother, but all Liesel could see was the darkness of the situation around her.

In preparation for the Führer's birthday the local Nazi Party members were gathering anything they could burn. It was for a big bonfire to commemorate the occasion. In honor of the birthday Hans Junior and Trudy, Rosa and Hans' children, came home to celebrate with their parents.

Hans Junior was a member of the Nazi Party and was angry, because his father was not a member. He and Hans had an argument about this matter, which culminated with Hans Junior calling his father a coward and leaving his parents' home forever.

Liesel and her fellow members of the Hitler Youth marched towards the town square, where a bonfire was to be lit. Tommy Müller bumped into another boy, which was a foreshadowing of problems for himself and Rudy.

A speaker at the bonfire talked about the need to eliminate communists from Germany. Liesel's father was a communist and now she understood why he was considered an outcast.

During the bonfire Liesel met up with an injured Ludwig Schmeikl and the two of them apologized for their behavior on the playground.

Hans Hubermann found Liesel sitting on the church steps watching the men clean up from bonfire. Liesel who had been thinking about what she had heard, asked him if her mother was a communist. He told her he didn't know, but then Liesel asked him if the Führer was responsible for her mother being taken away. He told her he thought so and Liesel replied that she hated the Führer. Hans slapped her across the face and told her to never say that in public again.

As the two of them are leaving the town square, Hans was hailed by a friend. It was while he was talking that Liesel wandered over to the fire and noticed a few books which had not been burned. She seized her chance and grabbed one of the books. It was titled The Shoulder Shrug and was still burning. Liesel knew someone had seen her take the book, but she walked home with Hans, as the book continued to burn inside its hiding place, her uniform.

Liesel learned how to read from Hans. She realized she would never see her mother again and that her father was a communist. She hated Hitler, but Hans told her she must keep these feelings to herself. She also stole another book.

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