MCC Reads encourages all students, staff, faculty and community friends to read the same book and share it with their family and friends. The program is hosted by the MCC Library from Jan. 14 through March 12, 2019.
2019 Book Selection
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
Book summary courtesy of Amazon.
About the Author
Markus Zusak is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief , which spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, and is translated into more than forty languages – establishing Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia.
To date, Zusak has held the number one position at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, the New York Times bestseller list, as well as in countries across South America, Europe and Asia.
His books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, When Dogs Cry (also titled Getting the Girl ), The Messenger (or I am the Messenger ) and The Book Thief have been awarded numerous honours ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers.
Zusak’s much-anticipated new novel, Bridge of Clay , is set for release in October 2018 in the USA, the UK and Australia, with foreign translations to follow.
MCC Reads Events
"One Survivor Remembers"
(Not Rated, Runtime 40 min.)
Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in room G129 in the Stanley and Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center (Ash TLC) on MCC’s Greenville campus
Wednesday, Feb. 27 at noon in rooms D303-305 in the Beatrice E. Doser Building on MCC’s Sidney campus
In the winter of 1945, on the day of her liberation from six years of Nazi rule, Gerda Weissmann clung to life at the end of a 350-mile death march. She weighed 68 pounds, her hair had turned white, and she had not had a bath in three years. She survived with courage, grace and dignity. This is her story. Pizza and pop will be provided for all attendees.
Evil and the Philosopher
Thursday, March 7 at noon in rooms D303-305 in the Beatrice E. Doser Building on MCC’s Sidney campus
MCC Philosophy and Religion Instructor Dr. Lance Miller explores the meaning of “evil” through a philosophical and historical lens, from the Holocaust to today. Dr. Miller will lead a discussion on the evolving nature of what we consider evil and how individuals and groups have been motivated to behave in ways that shaped history. Pizza and pop will be provided for all attendees.
"Confronting and Documenting the Holocaust: Mid-Michigan Men as Liberators, 1945"
Tuesday, March 12 at noon in rooms D303-305 in the Beatrice E. Doser Building on MCC’s Sidney campus
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellow and Fulton High School Teacher Jim Goodspeed will explore the life of Holocaust survivor George Salton and how his imprisonment and liberation dovetail with the issue of confrontation and documentation of the Holocaust. At age 17, Salton was liberated from a camp called Wobbelin by the 82nd Airborne and 8th Infantry Divisions on May 2, 1945. Goodspeed will share his stories of meeting three area men – two from Montcalm and one from Ionia counties – and their experience as liberators at this camp. Goodspeed will also discuss why confronting and documenting liberations was a goal of the U.S. Army. It meant photographing, filming and recording what happened in local camps to make Germans see what was going on, so they and others would not forget. Goodspeed met Salton on two occasions and he encouraged Goodspeed to teach about Wobbelin in his high school classes. Refreshments will be provided for all attendees.
Thoughts to Consider
Spoiler Alert! These questions will give away portions of the storyline.
- Why did the author choose Death as a narrator? Is this a trustworthy narrator? Does Death see things a human narrator might not?
- What is ironic about Liesel’s obsession with stealing books?
- The Grave Digger’s Handbook is the first book Liesel steals. Why did she take the book? Why is this the first of many turning points for her?
- Knowing that Liesel is called a “thief,” how does the book complicate our ideas of justice and judgment? Which characters do you view as just/unjust or brave/cowardly, and why?
- What is the significance of color in the book?
- Abandonment is a recurring theme. Liesel feels abandoned by her mother and by her brother’s death. How does she equate love with abandonment? Who else abandons Liesel?
- Liesel believes that Hans’s eyes show kindness, and from the beginning she feels closer to him than to Rosa. How does Hans gain Liesel’s trust? Is Liesel a substitute for Hans’s own children?
- Why is it so difficult for Rosa to show Liesel the same warmth, and how does their relationship change by the end of the novel?
- How does Zusak use the literary device of foreshadowing to pull the reader into the story?
- Liesel lived to be an old woman. Death says that he would like to tell the book thief about beauty and brutality, but those are things that she had lived. How does her life represent beauty in the wake of brutality?
- Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Rememberance by Martin Goldsmith
- The Seamstress: A Memoir of Survival by Sarah Tuvel Bernstein
- Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
- Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family by Miep Gies with Alison Leslie Gold
- Anne Frank: The Book. The Life, The Afterlife by Francine Prose
- Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography by Sidney Jacobson and Ernie Colon
by Ellie Wiesel
- Day (Previously titled The Accident)
- Open Heart
- And the Sea is Never Full: Memoirs, 1969
- After the Darkness: Reflections on the Holocaust
Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson
The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian
Margot by Jillian Cantor
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
Schindler’s List/Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally
The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman
Voices from the Holocaust by Harry James Cargas
The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Saved 1,200 Jews, and Built a Village in the Forest by Peter Duffy
A Holocaust Reader: Responses to the Nazi Extermination by Michael L. Morgan
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Born Survivors: Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage, Defiance and Hope by Wendy Holden \
A Noble Treason: The Story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Revolt Against Hitler by Richard Hanser
At the Heart of the White Rose: Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl by Hans and Sophie Scholl
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
MCC Food Pantry
You are invited to join us in collecting non-perishable food for the MCC Food Pantry, which provides food to current MCC students. It is located in the Student Services Department in the upper level of the Donald C. Burns Administration/Library Building. Donations are accepted at the MCC Library and at each MCC Reads event.
Enjoy a free continental breakfast and learn more about the MCC Food Pantry and other community resources from 8 to 10:30 a.m. in the lobby area of the Library in the lower level of the Donald C. Burns Administration /Library Building on the following dates:
- Wednesday, Jan. 23
- Tuesday, Feb. 5
- Monday, Feb. 18
- Wednesday, March 6 in the MCC Library Mastodon area.
This event is hosted by MCC Reads.