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Close Reading . Page 407-408 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Even Rudy stood completely erect, feigning nonchalance, tensioning himself against the tension. Arms and elbows fought for room. Some of the adults tried to calm the infants. Others were unsuccessful in calming themselves.

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close reading

Close Reading

Page 407-408 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

slide2

Even Rudy stood completely erect, feigning nonchalance, tensioning himself against the tension. Arms and elbows fought for room. Some of the adults tried to calm the infants. Others were unsuccessful in calming themselves.

‘Shut that kid up!” Frau Holtzapfel clamoured, but her sentence was just another hapless voice in the warm chaos of the shelter. Grimy tears were loosened from children’s eyes, and the smell of night-breath, underarm sweat and over worn clothes was stirred and stewed in what was now a cauldron swimming with humans.

Although they were right next to each other, Liesel was forced to call out. ‘Mama?’ Again. “Mama, you’re squashing my hand!”

‘What?”

“My hand!”

Rosa released her, and for comfort, to shut out the din of the basement, Liesel opened one of her books and began to read. The book on top of the pile was The Whistler and she spoke it aloud to help her concentrate. The opening paragraph was numb in her ears.

“What did you say? Mama roared, but Liesel ignored her. She remained focused on the first page.

When she turned to page two, it was Rudy who noticed. He paid direct attention to what Liesel was reading, and he tapped his brother and his sisters, telling them to do the same. Hans Hubermann came close and called out, and soon, a quietness started bleeding through the crowded basement. By page three, everyone was silent but Liesel.

She didn’t dare to look up, but she could feel their frightened eyes hanging on to her as she hauled the words in and breathed them out. A voice played the notes inside her. This, it said, is your accordion.

The sound of the turning page carved them in half.

Liesel read on.

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 crime scene. Liesel did not. The book thief only saw 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 full stop and the next capital letter, there was also Max. She remembered reading to him when he was sick. Is he in the basement? She wondered. Or is he stealing a glimpse of the sky again?

mood what is it
Mood – What is it?
  • Moodrefers to the general sense or feeling which the reader is supposed to get from the text. i.e. Happy, exciting, fearful etc
    • So, the writer is trying to make you feel something, In what ways can he do this? Heaps of ways, but today we’ll look at....
  • Dialogue
  • Word choice
  • Sentence structure
  • Figurative Language
slide4
Mood

What kind of mood is present in this section? Generate some words that you think describe the mood of this passage.

  • Mysteriousness + fear
  • Tension
  • Panic
  • So what is Zusak doing to show the mood.....?
dialogue
Dialogue
  • Is when anyone speaks in a text.
  • With a partner or by yourself,go through this section with a pen/highlighter and find all the parts where someone is speaking (dialogue)
  • How is Zusak’s use of dialogue affecting the mood?
slide6

Even Rudy stood completely erect, feigning nonchalance, tensioning himself against the tension. Arms and elbows fought for room. Some of the adults tried to calm the infants. Others were unsuccessful in calming themselves.

‘Shut that kid up!” Frau Holtzapfel clamoured, but her sentence was just another hapless voice in the warm chaos of the shelter. Grimy tears were loosened from children’s eyes, and the smell of night-breath, underarm sweat and over worn clothes was stirred and stewed in what was now a cauldron swimming with humans.

Although they were right next to each other, Liesel was forced to call out. ‘Mama?’ Again. “Mama, you’re squashing my hand!”

‘What?”

“My hand!”

Rosa released her, and for comfort, to shut out the din of the basement, Liesel opened one of her books and began to read. The book on top of the pile was The Whistler and she spoke it aloud to help her concentrate. The opening paragraph was numb in her ears.

“What did you say?” Mama roared, but Liesel ignored her. She remained focused on the first page.

When she turned to page two, it was Rudy who noticed. He paid direct attention to what Liesel was reading, and he tapped his brother and his sisters, telling them to do the same. Hans Hubermann came close and called out, and soon, a quietness started bleeding through the crowded basement. By page three, everyone was silent but Liesel.

She didn’t dare to look up, but she could feel their frightened eyes hanging on to her as she hauled the words in and breathed them out. A voice played the notes inside her. This, it said, is your accordion.

The sound of the turning page carved them in half.

Liesel read on.

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 crime scene. Liesel did not. The book thief only saw 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 full stop and the next capital letter, there was also Max. She remembered reading to him when he was sick. Is he in the basement? She wondered. Or is he stealing a glimpse of the sky again?

sentence structure
Sentence structure

The last technique we will learn about is sentence structure. This is the size and content of the sentences in a passage

What do you think about the sentences in this passage?

“A voice played the notes inside her. This, it said, is your accordion.

The sounds of the turning page carved them in half.

Liesel read on.”

These short sentences help to not only describe the scene but also help to convey ………………………..

word choice
Word choice

Here are a selection of words chosen from the text. Why do these influence the mood? Note down each word and with your partner, also note down what kind of ‘feeling’ they have.

  • Feigning nonchalance
  • Tensing himself
  • Clamoured
  • Din
  • Numb
  • Didn’t dare
  • Frightened
  • Soothed
  • Comfort
  • Quietness
  • Crowded
  • Chaos

We can see that Zusak has purposefully chosen words that emphasise a mood of……………………………………

Does the mood change at all? If so, when?

slide9

Figurative LanguageFigurative LanguageZusak used figurative language throughout the text to help describe characters, events and also to establish MOOD.Identify these figurative devices used in the following quotations.Comment on the image it creates and try and link this image to MOOD.“………..was stirred and stewed in what was a cauldron swimming with humans.”“ ….. a quietness started bleeding through the crowded basement.” “The book thief only saw the mechanics of the words – their bodies stranded on the paper, beaten down for her to walk on. “