THE BOOK THIEF – QUOTES FOR DISCUSSION:
“A pair of train guards.
A pair of grave diggers.
When it came down to it, one of them called the shots.
The other did what he was told.
The question is, what if the other is a lot more than one?” (22)
What does this mean?
How does it apply to the story?
Create a modern scenario that relates to this idea.
“THE CONTRADICTORY POLITICS OF ALEX STEINER:
Point One: He was a member of the Nazi Party, but he did not hate the Jews, or anyone else for that matter.
Point Two: Secretly though, he couldn’t help feeling a percentage of relief (or worse – gladness!) when Jewish shop owners were put out of business – propaganda informed him that it was only a matter of time before a plague of Jewish tailors showed up and stole his customers.
Point Three: But did that mean they should be driven out completely?
Point Four: His family. Surely, he had to do whatever he could to support them. If that meant being in the party, it meant being in the party.
Point Five: Somewhere, far down, there was an itch in his heart but he made a point not to scratch it. He was afraid of what might come leaking out” (59).
Why are Alex Steiner’s politics contradictory?
What do you think of Alex Steiner and his politics?
Think of a modern scenario where someone may have such contradictory politics.
The significance of The Shoulder Shrug
“The protagonist…was a rich man who was tired of letting life pass him by – what he referred to as the shrugging of the shoulders to the problems and pleasures of a person’s time on earth.” (143)
What does it mean to “shrug” the shoulders, literally and symbolically?
Think of when is it acceptable to “shrug” and when isn’t it? (Can relate to book or real life)
“[The Fuhrer] planted [the words] in as many areas of his homeland as possible.
He planted them day and night, and cultivated them.
He watched them grow, until eventually, great forests of words had risen throughout Germany…it was a nation of farmed thoughts.” (445)
What does it mean “to plant words”?
Think of examples from your life where this occurs.
What are ways to fight back against the “farmed thoughts”?
THE BOOK THIEF – PAGE 2
“Liesel…stood and studied the moving pile of mournful Jews – looking for Max. If nothing else, it alleviated the pain of simply watching.
That’s a horrible thought…but she knew it to be true. The pain of watching them. What about their pain? The pain of stumbling shoes and torment and the closing gates of the camp?” (502)
Is Liesel selfish for thinking of her own pain? Why/not?
Is it better to distract or shield ourselves from others’ pain? Why/not?
Think of examples where we might do this in our daily life.
Other discussion points:
We often hear Nazi Germany described as “evil.” As described in this story, is it?
Consider – The Mayor’s Wife (with swastikas on her slippers), Rudy, Liesel, the Hopzaftel family.
Why is it important that Liesel steals books?
Compare the book to the movie.
A WRINKLE IN TIME – INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITY
Which of the following worlds would you like to live in?
A world where there are no diseases.
A world where all people have the same advantages.
A world where there is no anxiety and no stress.
A world where there are no differences.
A world where no one has to make decisions.
A world where everyone is taken care of.
A world where everyone fits in.
LORD OF THE FLIES
Directions: Respond to the following scenarios. You should say what you would do and also what you would feel about your actions. Would you feel guilty, happy, etc? Why would you feel this way?
1. You are sitting in class. A popular guy sitting next to you makes a loud, rude comment about a disabled person in the classroom. What would you do? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
2. After school, a fight breaks out in the hall between your best friend and his arch-enemy, Conrad. Everyone in the hall is screaming for Conrad to smash your friend’s face. What would you do?
3. You are at a concert. People are jumping around and hitting people (playfully, you think). It’s lots of fun! You feel slightly uncomfortable with the hitting, but you jump around trying to blend in. All of a sudden the group you’re dancing with starts to seriously hit some guy – over and over. You are pretty much in the middle of it. What would you do?
4. You are in class using your phone to check your texts. The kid next to you says, “The teacher won’t like it if you’re texting. You’re supposed to be listening! You’ll get sent to the office!” Without saying anything, you put your phone away. You take a snack out of your bag and start to nibble on your goldfish crackers. “ACK!” The kid shrieks, “You can’t have food in class! There are allergies! Don’t you remember the rules!” What would you do?