After we left off we learned more about how Werner got into the army. He was accepted to Schlupforta, a higher education school that also trains them for war. There he meets Frederick a boy who cheated his way into the school because he has poor eyesight, Frank Volkheimer a very large intimidating character who is actually a gentle giant, Werner meets him because one of the professors sees Werner's proficiency in physics and engineering and Volkheimer is there to make sure he is indisturbed. Marie-Laure enjoys her time in Saint-Malo because her uncle opens up to her and shares with her all of these sciences. Her father gets a telegram to return to Paris and this scares Marie-Laure because she has never been away from her father. It gets worse because her father is captured by Nazis on the grounds of being a potential spy because he took measurements of the city for a scale model that he made for Marie-Laure.
The relationship between Marie-Laure and Etienne (the uncle) is a very interesting one. It is very childish in nature probably due to the fact that Etienne hasn't had much contact with people and Marie-Laure rubs off on him. They are both curious and have deep rooted memories to different aspects of science and nature. Marie has the ability to calm Etienne down when he gets paranoid and anxious and I think that this is a really special connection. Another very odd yet meaningful connection is that of Werner and Frederick. They start out as normal friends but as the terrible treatment by the commandant towards Frederick increases, he grows distant. Still they visit Frederick's family in Berlin and this excites Werner, but as they get back to the hell of Schlupforta Frederick is picked on more and more and eventually he tries to distance himself from Werner in an attempt to save him from being picked on next. The last interesting relationship in this book is that of Werner and Volkheimer, they are an unlikely friendship but Volkheimer is a pseudo-father figure that protects Werner. He is obviously still there when they are out on the field and Volkheimer still protects and instills hope in Werner. I appreciate that Volkheimer is a gentle giant character because he somehow adds calm to Werner's storyline. If I were to advise the main characters on these relationships I would tell them to keep them close and cherish them because you never know if they could leave from your life, and because they are the best chance of getting through these hard times. I feel that these supporting characters are more important than the main characters themselves because they instill hope and happiness in the otherwise drab and terrible environment around them.