Based upon the best-selling novel. The profoundly moving story of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II, Germany. Although Liesel is illiterate when she is adopted by a German couple, her adoptive father encourages her to learn to read. Ultimately, the power of words helps Liesel and Max, a Jew hiding in the family's home, escape from the events unfolding around them.
Set in Poland during World War II. Innocent and naive 8-year-old Bruno is bored and restless in his new home. Ignoring his mother, he sets off on an adventure in the woods. He comes across a high fence which separates him from the people he can see through it. Soon he meets a young boy in striped pajamas, and a surprising friendship develops.
In modern-day Paris, a journalist finds her life becoming entwined with Sarah, a young Jewish girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel d'Hiv round up in 1942 Paris. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to Sarah's destiny.
Post-WWII, Germany. Michael is a teenager who becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age. They are drawn into a passionate affair, then Hanna mysteriously disappears. Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna as a defendant and uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives.
In 1945, the Allies rounded up and interrogated thousands of party officials, war criminals, advocates, and Nazis. Subjects include Albert Speer, Hitler's architect and minister of Armaments; the commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolph Hess; Nazi Doctor Karl Gebhardt; and more. A horrifying portrait of the most evil regime in history.
Contains both short entries and long essays about writers and their work. You can search for both current and historic people from all eras and fields of endeavor -- based on name, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, birth/death dates and places, or gender.
After capturing a bank robber, nineteen-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness.
Presents three novels in which two brothers, Ruben and Cameron Wolfe, strive to overcome the limitations of their family's poverty, taking jobs as fighters, and Cameron, the younger brother, tries to find love with his brother's ex-girlfriend.
A great resource for anyone involved in a book group. In addition to discussion guides, thoughtful reviews and author interviews, the website offers tips for starting a book discussion group, for choosing titles and running a book group.
Max Vandenburg: Jewish man who hides from the Nazis in Hans' basement.
Hans Hubermann: Liesel's foster parent; offers safety to both Leisel and Max.
Rosa Hubermann: Hans' wife and Liesel’s other caretaker.
Rudy Steiner: Liesel’s best friend.
Ilsa Hermann: Mayor’s wife and book lover.
The Book Thief's major themes include: abandonment and loss, the power of words to save and destroy lives, guilt, love and trust. Explore how the novel’s plot and characters reveal these themes.
What role does the accordion play in Hans’ life? What connection does Liesel make with the accordion?
Liesel feels abandoned by her mother and by her brother's death. How does she equate love with abandonment? Who else abandons Liesel?
Liesel is bullied by her teacher for not being able to read. Rudy is bullied by the Hitler Youth leader. How do they stand up to bullies? How does the bullying portrayed compare to bullying in society today?
Why are words and stories so valuable to the characters of the Book Thief? What is the symbolism of the tree in Max’s story “The Word Shaker”? What is the significance of Max’s story “The Standover Man”?
How does the author use foreshadowing to pull the reader into the story?
The Grave Digger's Handbook is the first book Liesel steals. Why did she take the book? What is significant about the titles of the books she steals? What does the act of book thievery teach Liesel about life and death?
Explain Rudy's reaction when he discovers that Liesel is a book thief. How does stealing books from the mayor's house lead to a friendship with the mayor's wife? Explain how Liesel's own attempt to write a book saves her life.
Guilt is another recurring theme in the novel. Hans' life was spared in France during World War I, and Erik Vandenburg's life was taken. Explain why Hans feels guilty about Erik's death and how Hans channels his guilt into helping others. Explain Max Vandenburg's thought, "Living was living. The price was guilt and shame." Why does he feel guilt and shame?
Liesel must keep a family secret. Can you imagine how the pressure of keeping a family secret might feel? Discuss the reasons for or against maintaining a secret. How would you decide?
How has Leisel’s relationship with Hans, Rudy, Max, Rosa, and the Mayor’s wife changed over time? How does each member of the Hubermann household demonstrate courage throughout the novel? Who are the conformists and who are the rebels in the story? How do characters show the range of cruelty and kindness in human nature?
Death says that Liesel was a girl "with a mountain to climb." What is her mountain? Who are her climbing partners? What is her greatest obstacle? At what point does she reach the summit of her mountain? Describe her descent. What does she discover at the foot of her mountain?
How does the humanization of Death contribute to the overall story? Is Death a reliable or effective narrator?
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE 2015. In Nazi-occupied France, two parallel stories, that of a sensitive blind French girl and a young German engineering prodigy, converge in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Already a celebrated novelist in Paris by the time she was 26, while hiding from the Nazis in small French village in 1940 Némirovsky began working on what would become her masterpiece, a luminous human drama in which she herself would become a victim. When Némirovsky was arrested two years later, her daughters took the manuscripts with them into hiding and eventually into freedom.
Némirovsky's younger daughter, Elisabeth Gille, became a well-known French publisher and chronicled her wartime experiences in this haunting novel, a moving sequel to her mother's masterpiece and an important part of an extraordinary family's literary legacy.
A powerful story of two sisters, separated by years and experience, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested but also their individual senses of right and wrong.
The stories of World War II’s children are told in their own words through diaries, letters, and journals kept by youngsters caught up in the war. Children and teenagers from England, Germany, France, Japan, the former Soviet Union, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Poland and the United States, are represented in some 200 eyewitness accounts. The universality of their experience serves as an extraordinary affirmation of life and the sustaining power of hope and human decency.
Edith Hahn’s life and career seem set in 1940’s Vienna. The ambitious Jewish student is about to finish a law course making her eligible for a judgeship. When Nazi Germany takes over Austria, Edith soon finds her career cut short and her life in danger. She makes the bold decision to become a “U-Boat,” a Jew hiding in plain sight. With the help of a devoted friend she obtains a set of false identity papers and begins a new existence in Munich. It is there that she attracts the attention of Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member, who falls in love with her despite Edith’s confession of her true identity.
In Nazi occupied France a young girl struggles to keep a devastating secret. “Forget you are Jewish and that your name is Ruth,” she is told. “Remember, your name is Renee.” The toddler is sent to hide in an orphanage where she barely remembers her parents and is never allowed to speak about them or see them. The author interviews Ruth’s parents, friends and families to create a portrait of both a childhood in hiding and the resistance workers who risked everything to save people in their midst from the German occupiers.
A Jewish boy living on Warsaw streets wants to be a Nazi until the day that suddenly makes him change his mind and realizes it’s safest to be nobody. Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli tells a tale of heartbreak, hope, and survival through the bright eyes of a young orphan.
At a time when most Americans ignored the atrocities going on in Europe in 1940, American journalist Varian Fry put himself in great danger to save strangers in a foreign land. He was instrumental in the rescue of more than 2,000 refugees, including novelist Heinrich Mann and artist Marc Chagall.
During the Nazi occupation of Paris, no Jew was safe from arrest and deportation to a concentration camp. Few Parisians were willing to risk their own lives to help. Yet many Jews found refuge in an unlikely place, the sprawling complex of the Grand Mosque of Paris. Not just a place of worship but also a community center, this hive of activity was an ideal temporary hiding place for escaped prisoners of war and Jews of all ages, including children.
Recounts the experiences of the author who, as a young Polish girl, hid and saved Jews during the Holocaust. Irene Gut was just 17 in 1939, when the Germans and Russians devoured her native Poland. "No matter how many Holocaust stories one has read, this one is a must, for its impact is so powerful."--School Library Journal
Over a three-month period in 1994, Daniel Spiegelman stole roughly $1.8 million worth of rare books, letters and manuscripts from Columbia University's Butler Library then fled to Europe to sell to collectors. Caught in the Netherlands, Spiegelman tried to avoid extradition to the U.S. but eventually the FBI got him back to New York where he finally stood trial for his crimes. In addition to the significant legal themes involved in this unique case, the author vividly describes two prison escape attempts, one suicide attempt, a jailed defense lawyer, and the aftermath of a true crime caper.
Unrepentant book thief John Charles Gilkey has stolen a fortune in rare books from around the county. Yet unlike most thieves, who steal for profit, Gilkey steals for the love of the books. Perhaps equally obsessive is Ken Sanders, a lifelong rare book collector and dealer turned amateur detective, who will stop at nothing to catch the thief plaguing his trade.
In this fascinating tale of the worst book-theft ring in American history, author McDade, himself a curator of rare books, transforms painstaking research into a rich portrait of Manhattan's Book Row in the 1920s and '30s, where organized crime met America's cultural treasures. Harry Gold became expert in recognizing the value of books and recruiting drifters to steal them. Then Gold trained a clever new recruit for the biggest score yet: a first edition of Edgar Allan Poe's Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems. Gold's recruit cased the rare-book room of the New York Public Library for weeks, found a weakness and struck, leading to a breathtaking game of wits between Gold and NYPL special investigator Bergquist.
A comprehensive investigation of the destruction of books and man's violence against writing, from the smashed tablets of ancient Sumer to the leveling of the Library of Alexandria, book burnings by Crusaders and Nazis, widespread looting of libraries in post-war Iraq, and censorship against authors past and present. The findings ultimately attest to the lasting power of books as the great human repository of knowledge and memory, markers of civilizations, fragile yet vital bulwarks against the intransigence and barbarity of every age.
Examines the history of book destruction from the burning of the great library of Alexandria and the libraries of the Chinese Qing Dynasty to more recent losses such as those in Nazi-occupied Europe and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The author also discusses a new danger facing libraries today with the digitalization of books threatening both the existence of the physical paper book and the very idea of reading for free. “The promise of an absolute library offered by the computer may well turn out to equal the worst nightmares of Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley, and George Orwell."
This book makes a passionate argument that the destruction of books and libraries by authoritarian regimes was sparked by the same impulses that provoked acts of genocide or ethnocide, hence the term “libricide.” Readers will be intrigued to learn why some people—even those not subject to authoritarian regimes—regard book destruction as a postive act. The author explores reasons behind extremism and patterns of cultural terrorism, and concludes that what's at stake is nothing less than the preservation and continuation of the common cultural heritage of the world.
Spanning a century and a continent, this novel illuminates the lives of the founders of a nation, descendants of Mexicans, Poles, Germans, the Irish, Scots and Franco-Canadians. Through the music of the accordion they express their fantasies, sorrows and exuberance.
Ethnomusicologist and accordion enthusiast Marion Jacobson shows how the instrument came to be celebrated by ethnic musical communities and mainstream fans alike and presents the untold story of America's rich accordion culture.