“Go quickly, all of you,” the teacher said, his voice low and urgent. “Into the bush. Do you hear me? Not home. Don’t run home. They will be going into the villages. Stay away from the villages—run into the bush.”
a person who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority (especially in the hope of improving conditions)
In Latin, "re" means "against" and "bellare" means "to make war." Adjectives that could be used to describe the rebels are "bellicose" ("having a ready disposition to fight") and "belligerent" ("characteristic of one eager to fight").
Salva did not understand much about it, but he knew that rebels from the southern part of Sudan, where he and his family lived, were fighting against the government, which was based in the north.
"Sleek" means "having a smooth, gleaming surface reflecting light"--this description and the act of veering don't seem to suggest evil. The simile that compares the jet plane to an evil bird focuses on the similarities between 1) the way they fly; 2) their search for prey to kill. Additionally, a sleek jet plane is not a natural sighting in a dirt-filled village, so this adds to the feeling of evil.
Overhead, a jet plane veered away like a sleek evil bird.
The Latin "tensus" is the past participle of the verb "tendere" which means "to stretch out" (which can also be seen in "extend")--here, the author stretches out the scene and fills the readers with tension by describing how the villagers are tense with fear and uncertainty about the attack, the dark, and what's going to happen next.
At first, everyone stood around uncertainly, speaking in tense whispers or silent with fear.
The antonym of "desperately" is "hopefully" and this can be seen more clearly in the Latin roots: "de" means "reversal" and "sperare" means "to hope" (compare with "despair" in the list for Chapters 9-13).
With every shell that exploded he would think of his family, hoping they were safe, wondering desperately when he would be with them again.