Chapter 7

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 1, in observance of Labor Day.

Read by: 
Steve Paul: Senior editor for The Kansas City Star

Steve Paul is senior writer and arts editor of The Kansas City Star, where he has been a staff member since 1975. He's a former officer of the National Book Critics Circle, a onetime bookseller, author of a forthcoming book on Kansas City architecture, co-editor of a future collection of essays on Ernest Hemingway, and editor of Kansas City Noir, a short-story collection scheduled for publication in 2012.

SYNOPSIS: During the school day, Tom is desperate for distraction. For entertainment, he releases a tick from a percussion-cap box – and soon he and his friend Joe Harper are busily chasing the poor insect across a slate with pins, until the schoolmaster busts up the fun. Over the course of the lunchtime break, Tom and Becky Thatcher get “engaged,” but this new relationship is short-lived.