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Well, now you know who will arrive at Himmel Street as 1940 draws to a close.
Liesel doesn't know.
Her summer, the summer of 1940, involves, for the most part, four main activities: reading The Shoulder Shrug, reading in the mayor's library, soccer games in the street, and various types of thievery.
Attribute 1: The Shoulder Shrug is a great book. Liesel can see why the Nazis don't like it. The hero is a Jewish man, and he's "shown in a positive light" (24.9). Liesel and Hans read it together.
Attribute 2: To Rudy's dismay, Liesel disappears to the mayor's house frequently. You can find her in the mayor's library, with the mayor's wife, Ilsa Hermann.
As always, Ilsa Hermann is wearing her bathrobe. She doesn't speak and gives the general impression of being "damaged" (24.22).
When Liesel is older, she won't be able to remember the names of the books she read on the floor of the library.
But, she will "remember […] that one of the picture books had a name written clumsily on the inside of the cover. The name of the boy: […] Johann Hermann" (24.27-28).
Liesel asks Ilsa who the boy is.
She says the boy was her… but before she can finish the sentence, Death tells us that he remembers Johann. Johann died wrapped in barbed wire in 1918 (twenty-two years ago).
Ilsa tells Liesel that Johann also "froze to death" (24.34).
Death tells us that Ilsa Hermann has "embraced" (24.36) suffering. It's what she does. She suffers over the loss of Johann, even all these years later.
When Liesel leaves the mayors house that day, she says something that's very hard to say: "I'M SORRY" (24.39).
Ilsa asks her why she's sorry, but Liesel is already out the door.
Liesel feels sorry for Ilsa, and thinks about stopping her visits.
But Liesel is fascinated by Ilsa, and she just can't stay away from all those books.
Later on, the mayor's wife will "let [Liesel] down" (24.46). Liesel will forget feeling sorry for her, and will use words to hurt her.
Attribute 3: Playing soccer on Himmel Street, Liesel apologizes to Tommy Müller for beating him up that day at school.
Since then he's been really scared of her.
She's trying really hard to stop his fear.
Liesel and Rudy always end up playing against each other. Rudy loves calling Liesel a "Saumensch Arschgrobbler," (24.62)—a pig-girl—and an "ass scratcher" (24.62).
Attribute 4: Thievery is a big part of the summer.
Rudy is the biggest reason for their stealing—he's always hungry.
On top of the rationing (limitations on amount of food a person can buy), Alex Steiner's business is doing badly: "(the threat of Jewish competition was gone, but so were the Jewish customers)" (24.63).
Things aren't so great food-wise at the Hubermanns' house either.
Rosa makes one pot of pea soup per week. They eat it with bread, as well as meat and potatoes if they are lucky.
Driven by their hunger they join a fruit-stealing gang.
The gang meets at the Amper River (where Hans and Liesel have been reading and accordion-ing.)
The leader of the gang is Arthur Berg.
Here's the scheme:
To get to the apples they have to climb over really high barbed-wire.
If you get stuck on the wire, you're on your own, explains Arthur Berg
If anybody sees anybody not in the gang, they should scream really loudly.
Arthur asks, "Richtig?" [Correct?] (24.96).
Everybody replies, "Richtig" (24.97).
Rudy and Liesel quietly debate whether to go through with it.
They decide to do it.
When Rudy asks, Arthur shows them the best place to get back over the fence.
On the first afternoon of fruit stealing, Liesel and Rudy's share of the take
is six apples each.
They'd like to share them at home, but can't tell anyone that they stole them.
So, they each eat six apples in about thirty minutes.
That night, Liesel can't stop throwing up.
Rosa wants to know why she's throwing up, and Liesel suggests the pea soup.
Rosa isn't impressed by the answer.
Liesel knows it was the apples, but she's happy about it.