Hans wakes Liesel up in the middle of the night. The air raid sirens are going off. They say goodbye to Max and leave him in their basement. Outside, people carry their belongings and run to the designated shelters. Liesel and her family go to the Fiedlers' basement; Liesel takes her books, but Hans forgets his accordion. The Steiner family is there, too, along with Frau Holtzapfel and Pfiffikus, and many others. Liesel recognizes fear on the adults' faces. When the all-clear signal is given, Liesel, Hans, and Rosa go home and find Max in the basement. He apologizes for what he did while they were away; he went upstairs to look outside the window and says that "the stars set fire" to his eyes.
Death defines fear in this chapter, illustrating how Liesel can read the word fear on a page as well as on the faces of those around her. The reader feels sympathy for Max at how it's a treat for him simply to look outside at stars when everyone heads underground. His guilt continues, though, with how he continues to endanger the Hubermanns and Liesel, taking risks with their lives.