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Unformatted text preview: art of snickering.
The sister had had enough. “No, you cannot! . . . What are you doing?”
—For Liesel was out of her chair and walking slowly, stiffly toward the front of the room. She picked up the
book and opened it to a random page.
“All right, then,” said Sister Maria. “You want to do it? Do it.”
“Yes, Sister.” After a quick glance at Rudy, Liesel lowered her eyes and examined the page.
When she looked up again, the room was pulled apart, then squashed back together. All the kids were mashed,
right before her eyes, and in a moment of brilliance, she imagined herself reading the entire page in faultless,
A KEY WORD
“Come on, Liesel!”
Rudy broke the silence.
The book thief looked down again, at the words.
Come on. Rudy mouthed it this time. Come on, Liesel.
Her blood loudened. The sentences blurred.
The white page was suddenly written in another tongue, and it didn’t help that tears were now forming in her
eyes. She couldn’t even see the words anymore.
And the sun. That awful sun. It burst through the window—the glass was everywhere—and shone directly onto
the useless girl. It shouted in her face. “You can steal a book, but you can’t read one!”
It came to her. A solution.
Breathing, breathing, she started to read, but not from the book in front of her. It was something from The
Grave Digger’s Handbook. Chapter three: “In the Event of Snow.” She’d memorized it from her papa’s voice.
“In the event of snow,” she spoke, “you must make sure you use a good shovel. You must dig deep; you cannot
be lazy. You cannot cut corners.” Again, she sucked in a large clump of air. “Of course, it is easier to wait for
the warmest part of the day, when—” It ended.
The book was snatched from her grasp and she was told. “Liesel—the corridor.”
As she was given a small Watschen, she could hear them all laughing in the classroom, between Sister Maria’s
striking hand. She saw them. All those mashed children. Grinni...
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- Winter '13