For at least twenty minutes she handed out the story. The youngest kids were soothed by her voice, and everyone else saw visions of the whistler running from the scene. Liesel did not. The book thief saw only the mechanics of the words--their bodies stranded on the paper, beaten down for her to walk on. Somewhere, too, in the gaps between a period and the next capital letter, there was also Max. She remembered reading to him when he was sick. It he in the basement? she wondered. Or is he stealing a glimpse of the sky again?