Summary and Analysis
Part 1: The Grave Digger's Handbook:
The Other Side of Sandpaper
NSDAP, the Nazi Party, marches down Himmel Street, and the residents are expected to applaud. Death tells us that Hans Hubermann does not support Adolf Hitler, and for good reason, which will be revealed later.
Liesel continues to have nightmares about her brother, and she wets her bed. Hans changes her sheets and discovers The Grave Digger's Handbook. They have their first midnight class. He reads some of the book to her, and then he teaches her the alphabet, drawing letters and pictures on the backside of sandpaper sheets.
The parade illustrates that Himmel Street is not immune to the Nazi Party. Its presence is strong here, and there is clear tension between Hans and the Nazi Party. Liesel's hunger to learn to read grows; she is so certain that there is something in these words that will provide her with a new sense of identity and purpose. Hans, with his patient and quiet ways, will help give her this new world. Back in the first chapter of the book, there is discussion of obtaining the proper equipment for the job, which is exactly what Liesel is doing now.