The Crossing Questions and Answers
by Gary Paulsen

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What is the tone and mood for The Crossing?

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The tone of The Crossing is that of desperation, especially in the early half of the book. The readers are introduced to the two main characters, both of whom are living in despair. The boy is impoverished and is in constant danger from kidnappers whilst the American soldier is trapped in his own mind, possibly indicating he has PTSD from warfare abroad.

The tone is dark but is realistic and not preachy. The scenes featuring Manny on the streets trying to survive and the migrants trying to cross the Rio Grande River, which are depicted realistically. This gives the fictional work a journalistic quality. The mood is somber and intense, especially in action-packed scenes. There is an unrelenting feeling of danger and despair. However, the tone and mood changes to a more positive one at the very end of the story as Manny sprints toward the United States.

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