Part 5 Summary

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Death does not like mystery, so he reveals the fact that Rudy will die from a bombing and that Liesel will kiss Rudy’s dusty lips as he lies in the wreckage. But for now, Death decides to detail the events leading up to the book The Whistler floating down the Amper River before Rudy jumped into the frigid water to save it.

Max needs his hair cut, so Liesel obliges. Later, while at Frau Hermann’s library, Liesel imagines telling her that a Jew is hiding in her basement. At home, Liesel is fascinated by Max, and she watches his mannerisms. She asks him to quiz her on the words that she continues to spell wrong. In return, Max asks her to describe the condition of the weather outside. Although Hans and Rosa go to the basement on occasion to see and speak to Max, the times when Liesel comes into the basement are most appreciated. Alone for most of the day, Max decides that he needs new projects to occupy his mind and body, so he takes to exercise and fantasizing about being a boxer in the ultimate fight against the Fuhrer. Another project includes ripping the remaining pages from Mein Kampf to be painted and written over. Together, Max and Liesel write The Word Shaker on the newly painted pages.

One day, Liesel finds a newspaper and brings it home for Max to read. In one article, Heinz Hermann, the mayor, is quoted as saying that all responsible Germans should prepare for hard times. A week later, Liesel goes to Frau Hermann’s house, and Frau Hermann insists that she keep the copy of The Whistler. She also gives Liesel an envelope with money for Rosa. Liesel knows that this sign means that the mayor’s wife must cancel Rosa’s washing service. Liesel is angered by Frau Hermann’s pity, so she returns to the house, tells the mayor’s wife that she should be ashamed of herself because she lives in a mansion while others are poor, and throws the book at her feet. When the door closes in front of her, Liesel balls up the letter that Frau Hermann has written for Rosa and flings it at the door. At home, Liesel tells Rosa that she insulted the mayor’s wife and that is why Rosa was fired, but Rosa does not believe her lie. Later, Liesel tells Hans that she thinks she is going to hell for her bad actions.

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