Mark Reads ‘The Book Thief’: Chapter 8

In the eighth chapter of The Book Thief, Liesel Meminger makes her very first friend. Yes, that sounds cheesy, but it’s quite good. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Book Thief.

I still haven’t figured out what direction the bulk of this book is going to head, as Zusak is still in the expository pages. But in chapter eight, we get the chance to be introduced to a character that will play a large part in the narrative to come. (Death said so!) On top of that, this is also an opportunity for us to see more of the neighborhood that Liesel is now a part of. As Death says, “Molching was filled with characters.” Death has a very matter-of-fact way of narrating, as evidenced here when he quite literally lists the people in this chapter. Really.

On the whole, it was a street filled with relatively poor people, despite the apparent rise of Germany’s economy under Hitler. Poor sides of town still existed.

I’m glad Zusak includes this, since this is actually what happened under Hitler. There’s no denying that Hitler did improve the economic situation in Germany, but that’s also not quite the reality of what happened. There was still rampant poverty under his reign and I imagine that the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda helped sweep that under the table.

It’s weird reading about Liesel hanging out with the neighborhood children because I can’t relate in the slightest. I have no personal insight to give any you about what it was like for me to play kickball with my friends or to run around and play tag at dusk until I was so tired I simply couldn’t run another step. My mother was strict and overprotective. When I lived in Idaho until I was eight, I wasn’t allowed to go beyond my driveway. I had no neighborhood friends. When I moved to Riverside in 1992, the same rules were in place. No friends. No time outside unsupervised unless it was in the backyard. No chance to form meaningful relationships or socialize with other people or have all those experiences most other people had.

Ok, I swear I am not trying to make this book or my reviews EVEN MORE DEPRESSING THAN THEY WILL INEVITABLY BE. But I wanted to explain a little bit about why I have literally NOTHING INTERESTING TO SAY about this wonderful scene of soccer on Himmel Street.

I like that Liesel straight up doesn’t give a shit and I love what that says about having a female character as well. Maybe it’s part of her natural survival instinct, but, given what happens at the end of this chapter, I feel like Liesel just knows that she’s good enough to fit in with the boys who are tougher than she is. Well, “tougher.” In this case, Liesel, the new kid on the block, gets stuck being the goalie and, during a penalty shot from the best player on the street, refuses to back down.

Snow had stopped falling on the filthy street now, and the muddy footprints were gathered between them. Rudy shuffled in, fired the shot, and Liesel dived and somehow deflected it with her elbow. She stood up grinning, but the first thing she saw was a snowball smashing into her face. Half of it was mud. It stung like crazy.

And this begins the friendship between Rudy Steiner and it looks like it will be a beautiful thing. I mean:

A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.

I mean….right? RIGHT?

The Steiners, Rudy included, are an interesting family. I’m intrigued to know more about “The Jesse Owens Incident” and why Rudy himself is so in love with that specific athlete. The Steiners are a large, large family, and Liesel gets to meet them not long after she starts school. Rudy agrees to walk with her to class and even if it is stereotypical that the boy who likes a girl does weird shit to her, I found it sweet. He’s strangely respectful of her.

On the way to school, Rudy acts as a tour guide both for Liesel and for us, introducing the reader to all of the people who are of any importance for Liesel. There’s Tommy Müller, who nearly froze to death when he was five and it ruined his nerves, so he twitches and is the worst soccer player on Himmel Street. They come upon the corner shop that belongs to Frau Diller, who is fiercely obedient to Hitler. As Death puts it:

She lived for her shop and her shop lived for the Third Reich. Even when rationing started later in the year, she was known to sell certain hard-to-get items under the counter and donate the money to the Nazi Party. One the wall behind her usual sitting position was a framed photo of the Führer. If you walked into her shop and didn’t say “heil Hitler,” you wouldn’t be served. As they walked by, Rudy drew Liesel’s attention to the bulletproof eyes leering from the shop window.

Well, holy shit. I mean, that’s the reality of this situation and as silly as this chapter is for the most part, I have to remember. This is a world under the control of Nazi rule. This is real. This happened, despite that it’s a fictionalized account of it all.

As was often the case, a few rows of troops in training came marching past. Their uniforms walked upright and their black boots further polluted the snow. Their faces were fixed ahead in concentration.

It’s almost like Zusak is reminding us (read: me) that we cannot forget the context of where and when this is all happening. He continues to give us particularly frightening visual/physical cues towards this:

A few of the shops were abandoned and still labeled with yellow stars and anti-Jewish slurs. Farther down, the church aimed itself at the sky, it’s rooftop a study of collaborated tiles. The street, overall, was a lengthy tube of gray—a corridor of dampness, people stooped in the cold, and the splashed sound of watery footsteps.

Again, some bleak and stunning imagery here. I don’t want to suggest that Collins or Rowling were bad writers at all (they’re not), but it’s nice to read a book with a different tone and feel to the way these words are strung together.

After passing the Steiner’s tailor shop, Rudy and Liesel reach the “last stop,” known as the “road of yellow stars.” It’s haunting, terrifying, painfully real:

It was a place nobody wanted to stay and look at, but almost everyone did. Shaped like a long, broken arm, the road contained several houses with lacerated windows and bruised walls. The Star of David was painted on their doors. The houses were almost like lepers. At the very least, they were infected sores on the injured German terrain.

“Schiller Strasse,” Rudy said. “The road of yellow stars.”

At the bottom, some people were moving around. The drizzle made them look like ghosts. Not humans, but shapes, moving about beneath the lead-colored clouds.

Unbelievably unsettling. Again, not just because Zusak describes it in a manner that explains the total horror of this, but because it’s completely real.

Pfiffikus is introduced after this. It’s a little jarring after the scene with the road of yellow stars, as he is…I hate saying this, but he is quite a character. He swears. A lot. He is full of rage. A lot. Known for whistling the Radetzky March (and known for becoming violently upset when kids whistle it back at him), Liesel is quick to fall in with the rest of the neighborhood, especially Rudy, in taunting the old man through whistling. After the man so inappropriately calls Liesel a slut (REALLY. SHE IS TEN.), Rudy and her take off running in joy. Rudy leads her to the Hubert Oval, the site of the Jesse Owens incident, and I really adore what happens here. Liesel has been through so much already in her life and she’s still making the best out of her life. I don’t know…I think I’m just happy that she has a friend.

Rudy, naturally, does exactly what he thinks is best for his new friend: he challenges her to a 100-meter race.

“If I beat you, I get to kiss you.” He crouched down and began rolling up his trousers.

Liesel was alarmed, to put it mildly. “What do you want to kiss me for? I’m filthy.”

“So am I.” Rudy clearly saw no reason why a bit of filth should get in the way of things. It had been a while between baths for both of them.

She thought about it while examining the weedy legs of her opposition. They were about equal with her own. There’s no way he can beat me, she thought. She nodded seriously. This was business. “You can kiss me if you win. But if I win, I get out of being goalie at soccer.”

Good for you, Liesel. I can’t relate to this because I didn’t have a friend similar to Rudy as a child and I wasn’t really the competitive type until much later in my life. But I like Liesel a lot already. She’s got a lot of spirit to her, and that makes me smile. She’s also one who’s not read to take shit, even at ten years’ old. As the two of them set out on their race, they fall into the thick mud just shy of their goal.

Rudy looked over, all sharp teeth and gangly blue eyes. Half his face was painted with mud. “If it’s a draw, do I still get my kiss?”


“Not in a million years.” Liesel stood up and flicked some mud off her jacket.


As they walked back to Himmel Street, Rudy forewarned her. “One day, Liesel,” he said, “you’ll be dying to kiss me.”


As long as both she and Rudy Steiner lived, she would never kiss that miserable, filthy Saukerl, especially not this day. There were more important matters to attend to. She looked down at her suit of mud and stated the obvious.

“She’s going to kill me.”

In their moment of childish joy, they’d forgotten about returning home. I can’t relate to it, but…oops. I laughed. Even though Liesel was punished, I’m glad she got to spend the day with Rudy. But I imagine I am utterly unprepared for what is about to come.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in The Book Thief and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

91 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Book Thief’: Chapter 8

  1. psycicflower says:

    I want a Rudy to be my friend. You can't help but love his attitude and his friendship with Liesel. He teases her, she shoots him right down and they continue to be best friends. They just seem like a great fit for each other. In general though it's really nice to see Liesel settling in Molching and making friends.
    You know that's one of the downsides about growing up I'd never considered before, you can't really play games on the street anymore.

    Like you I really like the way Zusak places Liesel and her town in the context of the time while describing the walk to school. I like that he isn't ignoring the situation just because it might not be extremely plot relevant at that moment in time but lets it pervade the whole story so far with the description of 'the road of yellow stars' or the Hitler Youth in the previous chapter.
    I also like how we're seeing some of it through the eyes of children. Rudy and Liesel's main concern about Frau Diller's shop is the fact you have to say 'heil, Hitler' to be served while we see and understand the larger context of it all.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I know right? Even though I grew up near a lot of parks and had a yard, there was just an intense desire to play in the middle of the street. It was the best. No more disrupting neighborhood traffic!

      • psycicflower says:

        YANA. There was just more space on the road and it was easier than picking someone's garden to play in. No more shouting 'CAR!' and running on to the path.

  2. ThreeBooks says:

    Rudy deserves ALL THE HEARTS.



    Rudy + Hans = 2 of the most loveable characters in all of ever.

  4. monkeybutter says:

    I really adore what happens here. Liesel has been through so much already in her life and she’s still making the best out of her life. I don’t know…I think I’m just happy that she has a friend.

    I know! Especially someone as charming as Rudy. I like that the kids are aware of what's going on, but still kids.

  5. cait0716 says:

    I can relate to the Liesel/Rudy friendship so much. When I was seven my family moved and I had to start over at a new school. I befriended a boy who was in my class and also attended the same day care as me (because it was easier to make one friend than two – I was painfully shy). He put a whole lot of effort into getting me to kiss him. Every time I refused, he came back with a different alteration ("How about a German kiss? Your lips don't even touch." "Well maybe an English kiss then, if you don't want to try a French kiss") They were all elaborate hoaxes designed to get our lips to meet and I never, ever fell for them. Until one day when he double-dared me. You can't turn that down…

    Liesel and Rudy's friendship reminds me a lot of that friendship. Death's quote "The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy who loves you" rang really true for my inner 7/8 year old.

    Beyond that, I'm constantly fascinated by the language of this book. "Gangly eyes" and the church being knocked out at it's knees (can't remember the exact quote right now) are awesome. I read it as Death not quite having enough human experience to properly employ our language. If arms and legs can be gangly, why not eyes? If a girl can be dressed in yellow, why not an afternoon. It's constantly surprising and constantly beautiful.

    • monkeybutter says:

      I think that it was the town hall that was chopped off at the knees, and I agree, the language is fantastic. The chapters aren't long, but I still have a vivid mental image of what's going on (or will go on). Things like a broken arm street just stick with you.

      • cait0716 says:

        Thanks for the clarification. And yeah, the descriptions are all so obvious, but so unique. It feels effortless and is amazing. People keep saying how beautiful this book is and I'm really starting to get that.

  6. ldwy says:

    I had neighborhood friends to some extent when I was quite young, but it was always more supervised than this. But I think that's a sign of the times. Neighborhoods aren't units the way they used to be. To hear my grandmother talk of growing up in the German neighborhood of NYC, the kids were just all together all the time. Every family knew everyone else.
    And then my mom and dad were the baby boomer generation, and they lived outside with all the other kids until it was time to go in to dinner. My childhood was certainly not like that.

    He is totally adorable.

  8. lindseytinsey says:

    Rudy sounds so cute 🙂
    I know I said I was going to read with you Mark but ahhhh… I wanna read the next chapter now!

  9. potlid007 says:

    Rudy, be more adorably obnoxious please!!! Seriously, this kid is wonderful.

  10. coughdrop01 says:

    Rudy is so cocky and little boyish, it is very hard not to love him completely. The boy's got balls.

  11. knut_knut says:

    Awww, I love Rudy <3 Liesel and Rudy's friendship melts even my cold heart

  12. jujubes says:

    Rudy and Liesal = Most Awesome Friends Ever!

    Beside the wonderful soccer game and Rudy/Liesal part of this chapter, I loved all the insight into what life was like in Hitler/Nazi Germany at that time, what people were like……its a really good story but I think its a really amazing historical novel too.

    • erin says:

      Haha, your "most awesome friends ever" comment just gave me a wonderful mental image of Liesel, Rudy and Death linking arms, skipping down a street, all "And we're the three best friends that anybody could have!"

  13. jennywildcat says:

    Again, some bleak and stunning imagery here. I don’t want to suggest that Collins or Rowling were bad writers at all (they’re not), but it’s nice to read a book with a different tone and feel to the way these words are strung together.

    I really don't need to point this out to you Mark, but every writer has their own style of writing and I find myself able to enjoy different writers' styles equally. It's like asking "Which 'Doctor Who' companion is your favorite?" – it's really hard to choose just one because I love them all for different reasons.

    What I love about this chapter is the innocence of Liesel making a new friend and playing in the streets… just as a troop of Nazi guards marches by. I enjoy reading children's and YA historical fiction, but most of what I've read is based on events in America (anyone here a fan of the American Girl books or the Dear America series?) It's almost jarring to read something that could easily be a scene of kids in America, but then be reminded this is set in the beginnings of Nazi Germany. The storytelling is so brilliant and wonderful – so far, I love it!


    • Hotaru-hime says:

      Oh man, I loved American Girl, Dear America, and The Royal Diaries. Just loved them.

    • tethysdust says:

      I used to love the American Girl books when I was a kid!

    • canadadian says:

      Well, I was a big fan of the Dear Canada series when I was little… 😉 But I did read some of the Royal Diaries too, which I believe were published by the Dear America people.
      Actually, some of the Dear Canada books are very close to this one. I can't remember her name, but I believe there was one author who wrote a diary from the perspective of a Jewish girl in Canada with a cousin who she recieved letters from that was living in… France, maybe? It was a while ago. That author – oh, Carol Matas, I just remembered it – wrote some other stories about the events of WWII for kids that I remember reading. This book immediately reminded me of those when I started reading it.

  14. doesntsparkle says:

    I just want to reach into my kindle and give Rudy a hug. I can't fight the feeling that this book will end up absolutely gutting me in the end.

    When I was a kid, I had this strange obsession with books about the Holocaust. It's really interesting to read something about this period from a different prospective

  15. hungriestgame says:

    i love this book so many times

  16. Joanie says:

    I forgot how ADORABLE this chapter was! 😀
    Haha, I love strong of a character Liesel is.

  17. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I'm a bit ambivalent about the Jesse Owens Incident that Death describes in this chapter. It's pretty obviously going to be something that Zusak remarks upon later, and I'm not sure if I actually want that to happen.

    On the one hand, it'll be a way of exploring German attitudes about Jesse Owens and how they reconciled his race with his massive success at the time, which is something that I don't really know much about.

    On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that most people think of Jesse Owens as the black man whose hand Hitler refused to shake, which is actually not how it happened, and I'm worried that Zusak is probably going to repeat that myth. There was a black athlete who Hitler snubbed, but it wasn't Jesse Owens, it was Cornelius Johnson. In fact, Hitler got in trouble for snubbing Johnson and was told that from then on he had to either shake everyone's hands or shake no one's hands, to give the impression of impartiality. So, the next day (the day that Jesse Owens was supposedly snubbed), Hitler decided not to shake anyone's hands at all. I'm guessing that that decision might have had a lot to do with unwillingness to shake a black man's hands in particular, but Owens himself was never singled out as believed.

    At the same time, I really can't see Rudy's Jesse Owens Incident having much of a role to play in the upcoming events of this novel, and as such it seems like it's just an easier (and less painful) way of characterizing the level of racism of Germans in general and Rudy in particular*. And if that's all the Incident shapes up to be, I think it'll feel rather artificial in the grand scheme of the entire novel. (*Obviously, I could be completely wrong here, and I really hope I am.)

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Thanks for this. I'll keep this mind (and probably quote/reference you) in my review for Monday.

      • Kelly says:

        From what I undestand, Hitler actually only shook the hands of German victors at first. Certainly he didn't think blacks should be allowed to compete in the Games, but he snubbed whites as well as blacks until the Olympic Committee insisted he aknowledge all victors or none. He choose none.
        Jesse Owens was very popular in Berlin during the Games, and enjoyed many rights there that were denied to him in the US at the time-he signed autographs, stayed in hotels and traveled with white competitors. I believe in Germany, his race was reconciled with his success by saying that since black people were more primitive, and came from the jungle, their bodies were stronger because of the need to survive in such savage conditions. Whites, who were civilized and didn't have to spend every minute scrapping in the dirt like animals, didn't have the brute strength of blacks. Germans at the time, however, did greatly appreciate athletic prowess and added to the fact that Germany did win more medals in those Games than anyone else, I think Germans were probably just too excited about their athletes' success to get too offended about a black man winning.

  18. vermillioncity says:

    I'm reading along with your reviews, Mark, so I has no knowledge. But “One day, Liesel,” he said, “you’ll be dying to kiss me.” smacks SO HARD of foreshadowing. Like, club-you-round-the-head-with-a-future-relationship hard. But watch me be totally wrong about this now, haha.

  19. lilygirl says:

    Viggo Mortenson and Jason Isaacs, Ahhhh, Jason and Viggo, OH Yeah I had a point here. They are in the movie "Good" It is about how a meek mild German professor finds himself a high-ranking SS official. As Death would say, it is just a small story about decision and/or indecision and where you find your self. OH, and did I mention it stars Viggo Mortenson and Jason Isaacs, yes Viggo and Jason, Jason and Viggo. Must go now

  20. NopeJustMe says:

    I'm guessing that Rudy is the boy who was with Liesel when she went to the pilot…

    Anyway. Real reason I love Rudy? I knew him. At least, I knew someone exactly like him when we were that age. Right down to the racing and demanding kisses (I lost the race).

  21. cheri says:

    The first time I read this book, I sped through it wanting to know what happens. Now I can slow down and really appreciate the way its written. Beautiful. After reading the jarring rythem of the hunger game (which I loved) this book is so different and refreshing. I love the fluid rythem.

    • Cheri says:

      sorry for spelling rhythm wrong. Both of my boys are home sick today, and between the nose blowing, vomit splashing, and gunfire coming from Black Ops, it's hard to concentrate!

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        It's ok!!! I totally get it though. The rhythm is entirely different from The Hunger Games and I like that the change is so varied.

  22. TheKimler says:

    Rudy!!!! Rudy For President of Everything Ever.

    • hpfish13 says:

      Why? Why would you do this?! Now I'm terribly worried about his chances for survival! Nothing good ever happens to characters nominated for President on this blog….

  23. andreah1234 says:


    That was my thoughtful review to this chapter. HE'S JUST TOO CUTE OKAY?!?! Thank you. 😉 .

  24. Spugsy says:

    I'm reading this book along with you Mark, and I really really want to like it, but it's just not interesting (to me.) I actually am enjoying the writing style and it is certainly a welcome change, but we're quite a way in already and I don't feel like anything has happened, we've only had a couple of hints of what is to come.

    I genuinely hope I come to like this book, but I'm not sure if I would've stuck with it if it weren't for this blog.

  25. BradSmith5 says:

    Yes, Rudy's friendship with Liesel is a wonderful thing, but Death's narration is just killing this book for me. Why does he spoil his own story and tell us that Rudy and Liesel will become best friends before they ever meet? The final pages showing us the race express their meaning well––why do you need to foreshadow it? There is no need to tell us what will happen with bland narration; there is no reason to repeat (SNOWBALL=FRIENDSHIP) zillions of times. Yes, Death, I see it happening! Wow! You are as useful as the repetitive friend that tells me to "Remember this part!" whenever I sit down to watch a new film. RRRRGH.

    And then there are the lists of characters and the summaries of their personalities. First, I read it in the book: those parts bore me to tears. Then I come here and see Mark sum up the events, in half the space, all while being far more entertaining than the Grim Reaper's version of things. I mean, Mark didn't even find a way to relate to the characters today and I still enjoyed his writing more!

    Mark, please play a Lego Starwars duel with Death and take his place or something. :p

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I've actually gotten quite good at Lego Star Wars lately. It's all about quickly blocking fire back at enemies and then using force to send them flying.

      • @widerspruch says:


        All the Lego videogames are actually made of win ♥!

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Ha,ha,ha. Do you have any advice for playing with other people? I was doing co-op with my friend's son, and he will attack me if I change into the wrong character. He also insists that we stay in a stage until we find EVERY ship piece and hidden thing. It's still a hilarious game, though.

    • Why does he spoil his own story and tell us that Rudy and Liesel will become best friends before they ever meet?
      I touched on this in an earlier comment, but the idea I had was that Death doesn't experience time linearly. He can't help seeing the future and the present intermingled, and he doesn't care whether you know what's coming because that's not really the point. Maybe this is his way of making sense of it all. This book isn't really about specific things that happen, I don't think. I mean, it is. There are important plot developments and such. But I think it's more about the little moments. Like a snowball or a (lack of) kiss.

      I also think Zusak is deliberately contrasting his poetic, elegant writing style with the direct, matter-of-fact ANNOUNCEMENTS. I can't quite articulate WHY or what the intended effect is (besides annoying you), but there has to be a reason. It's very effective at times.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        Oh, right, I remember seeing that post earlier; he could be kinda like Dr. Manhattan from "Watchmen." There are some interesting things you could do with a narrator like that, but for now all he seems to be doing is getting in the way of the story. I wonder if I'll end up changing my mind….

    • lecielazteque says:

      This bothered me a bit too in the beginning. But then I realized it made it seemed more realistic, like Death was really telling me a story set in WWII. People don't usually tell you a story/anecdote from beginning to end, or at least not the people I know, they jump around and tell you certain bits they like the most first and then fill it all in. Besides, while death might be spoilerish, it's not like you don't know what happens at the end of WWII as well. Death just doesn't like to pussy-foot around, I guess.

      In the end I forgot about the hints and such and got well into the story and the emotional impacts were not lessened at all by the foreshadowing. I was pretty UNPREPARED even though Death tried to prepare me ;]

      • Not only that, but Death giving us spoilers actually built the suspense for me. I was in a constant state of "how/when is that going to happen?" and when things that were "spoiled" did actually happen, the emotional impact was in no way lessened, like you said.

    • I enjoy non-linear story-telling, so it works for me. It's like when a TV episode starts with the main character hanging off a cliff, and then you get the "24 HOURS EARLIER" text on the screen and see everything that led up to it.

      Sometimes it's about the WAY things happen rather than simply about the things themselves.

      • @widerspruch says:

        This comment sort of reminds me of LOST.

      • BradSmith5 says:

        "Oh man, I am loving this book; Spectral Bovine was so right! Who would have ever thought that I, the biggest complainer in the world, would end up making this book my favorite of all time!?"


      • stefb says:

        If you like non-linear storytelling, I recommend the move '21 Grams' —the acting by the three main characters is probably the best that's been in a movie in quite awhile.

  26. @widerspruch says:


  27. Hotaru-hime says:

    It is a good, healthy relationship, one I didn't have (being very introverted and cautious, one is not likely to make friends) but one I can definitely appreciate.
    Nothing is more fun than running in the mud and getting yourself dirty. It's the wrongness of it that makes it good.

  28. meeoow says:

    It's absolutely killing me to stop at each chapter. I'm dying to skip ahead of you Mark.

  29. Phoebe says:

    Im so upset that i havent been able to post any comments or read any reviews because MY COMPUTER GOT VIRUSES THE DAY THE REVIEWS STARTED but anyway:
    I LOVED THIS CHAPTER!! one of my favorites. i fell in love with rudy right away. he is too adorable.:D

  30. lecielazteque says:

    I'm pretty sure I know which part you're talking about. It's what I had in mind when I wrote that ;x

  31. Sophie says:

    I love Liesel, but Rudy is my favorite character. He is just too adorable!

  32. daisysparrow says:


  33. stefb says:

    I've never heard of this book before, and should probably add it to my to-read list (WHY DO I CONTINUE TO READ SPOILERS?!), I think I like Rudy already.

    Question, if I have a suggestion for Markwatches, does the suggestion HAVE to be a tv show? What about movies? What if they're movies that are automatically awesome because Benicio Del Toro's in them?

  34. t09yavorski says:

    I gotta say I think there is something wrong with Liesel. Why on earth would anyone not want to be goalie. It is the only position where you can intentionally trip people and get away with it. 😛 Seriously though I originally started playing goalie cause I was slow and I had asthma but it is truly my favorite place on a soccer field. Though I suppose it is also stressful as anything so there is that.

    (especially if you do this)
    <img src=""&gt;

    But when you do something like this it is AWESOME:
    <img src=""&gt;

    • lecielazteque says:

      Probably because when you're little, almost everyone wants to be a forward lol

      • t09yavorski says:

        I'm bad at forward nowadays. Even being not as slow, Ive developed the defensive "get that ball away from me" mindset.

        • lecielazteque says:

          Yeah, whenever I feel that way, I end up playing more of a midfield position. When we play, there's no actual cohesion, it's just lots of running forward and then back to defend xD But I don't mind being goalie when I get tired lol. And I think when you're a kid, you don't wanna be keeper cause then you can't show off your ~skillz~ as you don't get much of the ball with your feet.

    • Hotaru-hime says:

      It's not so much that goalie is a bad position, it's that you're forced into it by other kids, thus making it look like a bad position. If no one else wants it, why should you?

  35. Cam says:

    Me too!!!!!!

  36. flootzavut says:

    Oh man I just CANNOT say anything that I want to without risk of spoilers beyond: I love Rudy <3 and I now so badly want to re-read this book and I am a ten minute walk away from home and it's freezing and ten minutes walk is long for me and I forgot to pick it up when I went down there earlier. Drat! Your fault, Mark. Love how much you're loving this 🙂

  37. JessicaR says:

    Rudy Steiner is my favorite character in the book. That is all 🙂

  38. Madeleine says:

    I LOVED this chapter!
    It was nice to have a (mostly) positive chapter, and Rudy is amazing, I can't wait to see how Rudy and Liesel's relationship will progress.
    And I feel like we've seen another side of Liesel's personality and I like it 🙂

  39. pennylane27 says:

    Damn work and university, I haven't been able to comment!
    Anyway, I loved this chapter. I didn't have neighbourhood friends either, but I'm intrigued by Rudy and Leisel's relationship. They seem really adorable.


  40. VictoriaLeigh says:

    I really need to reread this book, but there is nowhere for me to get a copy! OH THE TRIALS OF MOVING! D:

    ANYWAY. Rudy is my favorite thing ever! I loved him so much when I first read the book.

  41. SecretGirl127 says:

    "As long as both she and Rudy Steiner lived, she would never kiss that miserable, filthy Saukerl, especially not this day."
    Gotta be foreshadowing. I think she has to die sooner or later in this book, and Death is there to see Rudy give her a kiss good-bye.

  42. peachpobbler says:

    "I have no personal insight to give any you about what it was like for me to play kickball with my friends or to run around and play tag at dusk until I was so tired I simply couldn’t run another step. My mother was strict and overprotective. "

    It's like you're describing my childhood!! Although I did get to go riding my bike around the neighbourhood with my brother. But the whole not socializing thing, I'm with you. I totally didn't learn to socialize properly until maybe high school. Books were my friends…I love my books…>.> Am I starting to sound a little creepy about my relationship with books?

    Anyway, I love the contrast of the bleak imagery and the hope and joy of Liesel's first friendship. It really sets the tone of the book for me and reminds me that despite the fact that Nazi Germany must've been a nightmare, there were normal people living their life in those grave times just trying to get by.

  43. tethysdust says:

    I just thought I'd chip in as someone who does know what its like to frolic with the neighborhood kids. I'm coming from a different angle, because it was an upper-middle-class closed housing development, but all of us kids wandered around constantly. There was always a street hockey game going on somewhere, and you could just strap on your roller blades, grab your hockey stick, and get yourself invited to the first one you found.

    We also spent a lot of time playing hide-and-seek, which after dark turned into "ghosts in the graveyard". I'm not sure how you're supposed to play "ghosts in the graveyard", but our version was hide-and-seek, where the hiders goal was to scare the seeker so badly that he/she would scream. Anyway, I usually had my big brother with me, so my parents didn't get too worried. They could always call around to the neighbors to see where the kids were playing and send a message for us to come home.

    So, all of that was to say that I can get the sort of socialization that Liesel's participating in here. In a way, its kind of like friendships of convenience. I'm not saying that they aren't going to be BFF, but I think the basis of that kind of friendship is simply whoever is around to play with. None of those friendships of mine really survived the years, and I can only even remember a few of those kids' names.

  44. Gabbie says:

    "YOU WILL BE UNPREPARED"!? They stole your line! :@

  45. Saber says:

    YAY, finally caught up. A friend and I are trying to read this book at the same time, handing it back and forth. It is not working. But neither of us can afford to get her a copy.

    About the socializing: I can't relate either, but for a different reason. Where I grew up there were literally no kids around. Just one other girl, who

    Went to a different school
    Went to her cottage every holiday we got off school
    And every single weekend

    So I was on my own most of the time. Eventually we moved, but I didn't to get along with the other girls. Damage was already done I guess. I still don't like large crowds. But I ended up with a few friends who are loyal as hell.

    And on a different subject, I am starting to like this book more. Something about it still bothers me though. I want to see though Liesel's eyes. Death is cool, yah, but he's not really in the story. I feel like we're not getting everything. And I'm bothered by how he tells us how people are feeling and such. Either he's guessing, which annoys me, or he really does know, which creeps me out and annoys me.

    But the writing is very different from my usual fare. A nice change I think. And I love Death's little announcements.

  46. SecretGirl127 says:

    Mark, a request…The chapters are not numbered. At the beginning you were including the title of the chapter, but you stopped. Now that I spent this rainy California weekend finishing the book (yes, I suck, but I did keep notes so I can comment on my very wrong and some accurate thoughts as you continue to read), I find it difficult with the Kindle to figure out which chapter you are on quickly. Would you please go back to including the title of the chapter? Thank you.

  47. Kelly L. says:

    RUDY + LIESEL. Calling it.

  48. blessthechildren says:

    I want a BFF who hits me with snpwballs in the face! Wait… maybe just a hug? :3

    <img src=""&gt;

Comments are closed.