The Book Thief Written By: Markus Zusak The extraordinary #1NewYork Times best seller that came out in theaters on November 15, 2013, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92EBSmxinus Setting It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Main Characters: Hans and Rosa Huberman – Foster Parents to Liesel Rudy Steiner – Liesel’s best friend Liesel Meminger – Main character; Book Thief Max Vandenburg – Jewish man who hides in the Huberman’s basement. Premise of the novel Liesel Meminger, a young German girl growing up in Nazi Germany, is the star of the show. She's also the chief book thief in the novel, which is narrated by Death. When Liesel's foster parents decide to give refuge to a young Jewish man hiding from the Nazi regime, the characters grow and change in horrible and beautiful ways. At times hilarious (believe it or not), at times heartbreaking, The Book Thief is rich and creative. It's a heartfelt reminder of the power of words – they can destroy or heal, depending on how we use them. Why is death the narrator? As we watch this video, write down 4 reasons why Markus Zusak may have had death narrate his novel. http://www.shmoop.com/book-thief/ Why Death is Narrator He can be anywhere; observe and hear multiple locations 2. Injects dark humor into sad situations 3. To remind us of the pain of the Holocaust 4. He is an impartial bystander – less emotional 1. About the Author Markus Zusak Zusak took over three years to complete the piece and even went to Munich, Germany to research some of the finer points. He tackles all sorts of dicey issues concerning one of the most difficult topics ever – the Holocaust Zusak's parents grew up in Germany during World War II and shared their stories of these times with Zusak. This novel mimics many of their experiences. Zusak […] has said that writing the book was inspired by two real-life events related to him by his German parents: the bombing of Munich, and a teenage boy offering bread to an emaciated Jew being marched through the streets, ending with both boy and Jewish prisoner being whipped by a soldier. Pre-Reading Notes The book is set in Munich, Germany during 1939. At this time, Munich was home to Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Workers Party (Nazis) The first concentration camp built by the Nazis was in Dachau, just 10 miles north-west of the city of Munich. Mein Kampf was Hitler’s political manifesto, which detailed his beliefs. The swastika is the black spider-like symbol adopted by Nazis and used on the flag – colors: black, red, white. The Grim Reaper A personification of death, depicted as a skeleton, typically wearing a black good and carrying a scythe. Sometimes Grim Reaper is believed to cause a person’s death. While other times the Grim Reaper is believed to simply escort a person who is near death to the afterworld and finalize death. For the purpose of this novel, we will view the Grim Reaper as an escort – NOT the one who causes death. History of Book Burning “Book burning" refers to the ritual destruction by fire of books or other written materials. Usually carried out in a public context, the burning of books represents an element of censorship and usually proceeds from a cultural, religious, or political opposition to the materials in question. Americans who depend upon free access to information have to this day often focused on the Nazi book burnings as a historical symbol of oppression and censorship. Jesse Owens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quQopJmQry4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YlyAEGjZP0 Part 3 Reading Check 1. What is the significance of Mein Kampf in Part 3? 2. What was the result of the mayor's wife seeing Leisel steal the book from the book burning? 3. Describe Leisel's summer of stealing.