“The Treasure of Lemon Brown” Walter Dean Myers “We need to teach family caretakers that language is a gift that they possess, and that it is their duty to pass it on to their charges. We need to create a demand for reading by reengaging the affected communities. And, yes, we have to go to where the children are and address their needs. Walter Dean Myers August 12, 1937-July 1,2014 I want to reach the children we are so clearly missing and hope you will join me in this pursuit. So read to them, read with them, and let them read to you because reading is no longer optional.” What can you infer about his life experiences based on the above quote? Myers wrote over 100 books! “Every man got a treasure. You don’t know that, you must be a fool!” What is treasure? What is your treasure? Dialect A dialect is a version of a language spoken by the people of a particular place, time, or social group. It is different than standard language. Authors use grammar, vocabulary, cadence, and phonics to show dialect. One reason for doing this is to make the characters appear more authentic. Dialect Examples (Story) “You ain’t one of them bad boys looking for my treasure, is you?” “What you doing here? How come you don’t go on home when the rain come? Rain don’t bother you young folks none.” “Had them big eyes like you got”…“Didn’t give it up,”… “Used to feed them good, too”…”Broke my heart, it truly did.” Parallels-Myers and the character of Greg Ridley • • • • • Where did they live? Describe the area. What did their parents have in common? How did they perform in school? What did they both grow to appreciate? SWBS Somebody… wanted…but…so… Character Greg Goal or desire wanted to play basketball Conflict but his father thought Greg needed to spend his time studying Resolution so Greg wasn’t allowed to play basketball. Explain Excerpts “Every man got a treasure.You don’t know that, you must be a fool.” When Greg first meets Lemon Brown, Greg tells him he’s not looking for Lemon Brown’s treasure even if he has one. Greg doubted that Lemon Brown could have a treasure since he was homeless. Lemon Brown is stating that treasures are not always related to monetary wealth. Explain Excerpts “His father had been a postal worker for all Greg’s life and was proud of it, often telling Greg how hard he worked to pass the test.” Explain Excerpts “All I know is that I heard him talking about some kind of treasure.You know they found that shopping bag lady with that load of money in her bags.” Explain Excerpts “He thought of the lecture his father would give him, and smiled.” Mood In literature, mood is a literary element that gives the reader certain feelings or vibes through words and descriptions. (Hint=Think ME for mood. It is how the author wants me to feel.) Mood is developed through the setting, theme, tone, descriptive language and dialect. Mood Examples Exuberant Cheerful Depressing Scary Reflective Hopeful Heartbroken Mood Examples “The river, reflecting the clear blue of the sky, glistened and sparkled as it flowed noiselessly on.” Mood: Peaceful, relaxing, idyllic, refreshing Select the Mood! “The dark sky, filled with angry, swirling clouds, reflected Greg Ridley’s mood as he sat on the stoop of his building. “ Amused Energetic Hopeful Discontented Aggravated Annoyed Select the Mood (Choices on desk) “It was beginning to cool. Gusts of wind made bits of paper dance between the parked cars. There was a flash of nearby lightening, and soon large drops of rain splashed onto his jeans.” Select the Mood “He reached the house just as another flash of lightening changed the night to day for an instant, then returned the graffiti-scarred building to the grim shadows.” Select the Mood “Nothing that ain’t been hurt before,” Lemon Brown said. “When you get as old as me all you say when something hurts is, ‘Howdy, Mr.Pain, sees you back again.’ Then when Mr. Pain see he can’t worry you none, he go on mess with somebody else.” Select the Mood “Greg pushed the button over the bell marked Ridley, thought of the lecture he knew his father would give him, and smiled.” Select the Mood “The night had warmed and the rain had stopped, leaving puddles at the curbs.” Select the Mood “Him carrying it around with him like that told me it meant something to him. That was my treasure, and when I give it to him he treated it just like that, a treasure. Ain’t that something?” Select the Mood “His stomach tightened as he held himself still and listened intently. There weren’t any more scraping noises, but he was sure he had heard something in the darkness—something breathing!” Text Evidence Text-Dependent Question Reread paragraphs 1-5. What is meant by the sentence in paragraph 5, “His father’s words, like the distant thunder that now echoed through the streets of Harlem, still rumbled softly in his ears”? Evidence-Based Answer Greg is recalling the argument he had with his father two nights before. He uses a simile to compare his father’s words to “distant thunder” meaning that his father’s voice still resonates in his head; Greg cannot forget his father’s lecture about his poor efforts in math. In other words: Greg is still hearing the words of his father “thundering” in his mind. Comprehension Questions 1. Why does Greg smile at the thought of the lecture he will get from his dad? 2. In your opinion, why does Greg decide not to tell his father about Lemon Brown? 3. What do you think Greg has learned from Lemon Brown? Comprehension Questions 4. What does Lemon Brown mean when he says that everyone’s got a treasure? 5. Lemon Brown says, “If you know your pappy did something, you know you can do something too.” What does he mean? 6. Now that you’ve read the story as well as Walter Dean Myer’s own words about his life, how is the writer’s background reflected in his story? Comprehension Questions 7. How does the weather serve as a metaphor for Greg’s mood? 8. Greg recognizes Lemon Brown. What do you think he thought of him before? Has that changed? 9. Describe Lemon Brown’s treasure. Why is it so important to him? Comprehension Questions 10. How does Greg’s encounter with Lemon Brown change his point of view toward his problem with his father? 11. How did Greg’s feelings toward his father change at the end of the story?