Short Comprehension Questions Prologue, A Mountain Range of Rubble, Part One 1. Who places Liesel Meminger in foster care? Her mother. 2. Who is the narrator of this novel? Death. 3. How are Liesel and her brother traveling to the foster care system? By train. 4. How many armed guards escort Liesel when she helps to bury her dead brother? Two. 5. To which German city is Liesel being relocated by the foster care system? Munich. 6. Which of the following instruments does Hans Hubermann play?Accordian. 7. What activity does Hans Hubermann convince Liesel to do after she has been in the house for a few weeks?Take a bath. 8. What is the BDM? Band of German Girls. 9. What does Rosa do for a living? She is a laundress. 10. What does Liesel clean off the door frame every day, left by Frau Hollapfel? Spit. 11. What sport does Liesel regularly play with the neighborhood kids? Soccer. 12. Which of the following sports is Rudy most interested in? Track and Field. 13. What does Rudy use to darken his body in the hopes of emulating Jesse Owens? Coal. 14. Which of the following characters teaches Liesel how to read? Hans. 15. What does Hans Hubermann do for a living? He is a painter. Part Two, The Shoulder Shrug 1. At which holiday does Liesel finish reading "The Gravedigger's Handbook"? Christmas. 2. What is the name of the street where Liesel lives with the Hubermann family? Himmel Street. 3. What does Hans sell in order to buy Liesel two new books? Hand-rolled cigarettes. 4. Why is Rosa fired by various customers while Liesel is learning how to read? Because of the declining economy. 5. Why does Liesel steal money from Rosa? To pay for postage stamps. 6. How does Rosa react when she realizes Liesel is stealing from her? Rosa beats her. 7. To which of the following institutions is the Fuehrer most closely tied? Politics. 8. What event does the city stage in celebration of the Fuehrer's birthday? A bonfire. 9. How does Liesel feel about the scheduled book burning? She is excited. 10. Why is Hans Jr. embarrassed to be seen with his father? Because his father has not yet joined the Nazi party. 11. Which of the following books does Hans Jr. think is the most valuable book ever written? Mein Kampf. 12. Which of the following political parties does Liesel think her mother belonged to? Communists. 13. Which body part does Liesel's school friend break while attending the book burning? His ankle. 14. What part of her body is burned when Liesel steals a copy of "The Shoulder Shrug"? Her ribs. 15. Where does Liesel sit and wait for Hans to come and pick her up from the book burning? At the church. 16. How does Liesel describe the sensation of being burned at the book burning? As enlivening. 17. From where does the shadow witness Liesel stealing a book from the bonfire? From an allyway. 18. How does Rosa feel about Liesel writing letters to her mother? Rosa feels it is a waste of time. ENG 1DI - Ms. Vieira Study Questions – Prologue (A Mountain Range of Rubble), Part One (The Grave Digger's Handbook) and Part Two (The Shoulder Shrug) 1. Why is Liesel in a train at the opening of the novel? 2. What happens to Liesel's younger brother while he is on the train at the opening of the novel? 3. What are Liesel's first impressions of Rosa and Hans Hubermann? 4. How does Hans treat Liesel during the first few weeks she is at his home? 5. How does Liesel fare during her first few weeks of school in Munich? 6. What chores is Liesel expected to complete around the house while she is living with Hans and Rosa? 7. How does Rudy Steiner express his admiration for Jesse Owens? 8. How does Liesel celebrate her first Christmas with Hans and Rosa? 9. Where does Rosa get the idea to send Liesel on all of her sales calls for the laundry business? 10. How do Hans and Rosa react when Liesel asks for permission to write letters home to her mother? 11. How do the citizens of Molching decide to celebrate the birthday of the Fueher? 12. Why is the relationship between Hans and Hans Jr. strained? Study Questions - Answer Key (prologue, Part I and II) 1. Why is Liesel in a train at the opening of the novel? At the opening of the novel, Liesel, her mother, and her young brother are being transported to Munich, Germany by a group of armed guards. Liesel's mother is being taken away for being a communist, and Liesel and her brother are going to be placed in foster care. 2. What happens to Liesel's younger brother while he is on the train at the opening of the novel? Liesel's younger brother has been sick for most of the time on the train. He is coughing profusely, until he falls silent. Liesel knows that her brother has died. She and her mother disembark from the train to bury him in a small cemetery they pass along the way. 3. What are Liesel's first impressions of Rosa and Hans Hubermann? Liesel thinks that Rosa is incredibly vulgar and has a foul mouth, but is pleased to realize that she is not cruel. When she meets Hans, she is immediately drawn to him and has a feeling that he has a warm heart. 4. How does Hans treat Liesel during the first few weeks she is at his home? During the first few weeks, Hans treats Liesel with a gentle kindness. He encourages her to take a bath when she hasn't bathed in weeks. He sits with her during the nights when she has nightmares, and even begins to teach her how to read. 5. How does Liesel fare during her first few weeks of school in Munich? During her first few weeks in school, Liesel performs poorly because she cannot read. She finds herself getting into fights on the playground because other children make fun of her illiteracy and the fact that she is in foster care. 6. What chores is Liesel expected to complete around the house while she is living with Hans and Rosa? While living with Hans and Rosa, Liesel is expected not only to help cook and clean around the house, she is expected to balance that with her schoolwork, and helping Rosa with her job as a laundress in the neighborhood. LIesel travels from house to house collecting and returning laundry to their various clients. 7. How does Rudy Steiner express his admiration for Jesse Owens? Rudy is infatuated with Olympic runner, Jesse Owens. To show his admiration, Rudy attempts to blacken his entire body by rubbing a lump of coal on his skin. His father warns him that admiring a black man could have catastrophic effects on the family. 8. How does Liesel celebrate her first Christmas with Hans and Rosa? Liesel finishes reading her copy of "The Gravedigger's Handbook" a few days before Christmas, and this is a huge accomplishment for her. Hans wants to buy Liesel a new book, but he doesn't have the money. He sells some of his hand-rolled cigarettes and raises enough to buy her two new books for Christmas. She is overjoyed. 9. Where does Rosa get the idea to send Liesel on all of her sales calls for the laundry business? As the economy worsens, Rosa is fired by various clients who claim that they simply don't have the money to keep her on staff anymore. Rosa gets the idea to send Liesel to pick up and drop off the laundry because she is an orphan, and Rosa doesn't think anyone is cruel hearted enough to fire an orphan. 10. How do Hans and Rosa react when Liesel asks for permission to write letters home to her mother? Hans tells Liesel that writing letters home to her mother is a good idea, and gives her permission to do so. Rosa, on the other hand, thinks writing letters is a waste of time because no one even knows if Liesel's mother is alive. When she catches Liesel stealing money to pay for postage stamps, she beats the girl with a wooden spoon. 11. How do the citizens of Molching decide to celebrate the birthday of the Fueher? To celebrate the birthday of the Fuehrer, the citizens of Molching decide to host a bonfire burning all the vulgar books that the Fuehrer might not approve of. LIesel is initially excited by all of this, and all of Rosa and Hans' extended family come home for the celebration. 12. Why is the relationship between Hans and Hans Jr. strained? Hans Jr. is a devout member of the Nazi party and is deeply embarrassed that his father, Hans, hasn't joined the party yet. Hans insists that he's on the waiting list, but that the party is still deciding on his application. Hans Jr. is deeply embarrassed by the fact that Hans once helped a Jewish man in danger of losing his house.
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