80 pages • 2 hours readMarkus Zusak
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Chapter Summaries & Analyses
Death recalls 1942 as a busy year. He mentions the most appalling instances of human carnage: the extermination camps, the war at the Russian front, and the Normandy beachhead: “Three examples, if nothing else, will give you the ashen taste in your mouth that defined my existence during that year” (97).
On Christmas Eve, Liesel brings a handful of snow down for Max so he can experience the weather outside. She then collects more in pots and buckets. Eventually, her foster parents join in the fun, and the group succeeds in building a small snowman in the basement. Unfortunately, as the snowman melts during the following weeks, Max catches a chill and soon appears to be gravely ill.
Max grows so unresponsive that the Hubermanns fear he is dying, but Liesel doesn’t give up. She reads to him until he regains consciousness and then begins bringing him little presents. These consist of a squashed soccer ball, a ribbon, a button, a pinecone, a stone, a feather, two newspapers, a candy wrapper, a written description of an unusual cloud, a toy soldier, and a leaf. Liesel’s final present is to finish reading The Whistler aloud to Max.
By Markus Zusak