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Unformatted text preview: KETCHBOOK
A few days before Christmas, there was another raid, although nothing dropped on the town of Molching.
According to the radio news, most of the bombs fell in open country.
What was most important was the reaction in the Fiedlers’ shelter. Once the last few patrons had arrived,
everyone settled down solemnly and waited. They looked at her, expectantly.
Papa’s voice arrived, loud in her ears.
“And if there are more raids, keep reading in the shelter.”
Liesel waited. She needed to be sure that they wanted it.
Rudy spoke for everyone. “Read, Saumensch.”
She opened the book, and again, the words found their way upon all those present in the shelter.
At home, once the sirens had given permission for everyone to return aboveground, Liesel sat in the kitchen
with her mama. A preoccupation was at the forefront of Rosa Hubermann’s expression, and it was not long until
she picked up a knife and left the room. “Come with me.”
She walked to the living room and took the sheet from the edge of her mattress. In the side, there was a sewn-up
slit. If you didn’t know beforehand that it was there, there was almost no chance of finding it. Rosa cut it
carefully open and inserted her hand, reaching in the length of her entire arm. When it came back out, she was
holding Max Vandenburg’s sketchbook.
“He said to give this to you when you were ready,” she said. “I was thinking your birthday. Then I brought it
back to Christmas.” Rosa Hubermann stood and there was a strange look on her face. It was not made up of
pride. Perhaps it was the thickness, the heaviness of recollection. She said, “I think you’ve always been ready,
Liesel. From the moment you arrived here, clinging to that gate, you were meant to have this.”
Rosa gave her the book.
The cover looked like this:
THE WORD SHAKER
A Small Collection
for Liesel Meminger
Liesel held it with soft hands. She stared. “Thanks, Mama.”
She embraced her.
There was also a great longing t...
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- Winter '13