List 2

In this thought-provoking exploration of bias and injustice, a twelve-year-old boy meets the ghost of Emmett Till (an African-American teen who was lynched in 1955) in the afterlife.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. grim
    filled with melancholy and despondency
    The new kid knows. He looks grim.
  2. snicker
    laugh quietly
    Everyone in the class snickers. Carlos’s face reddens.
  3. wince
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    “Hola,” I say, then wince. What's the matter with me?
  4. mushy
    having the consistency of a soft or soggy mass
    “This is how you do it,” I say. “Follow me.” I walk quick and Carlos follows me into the cafeteria. “No mushy food. No plates.”
  5. wary
    marked by keen caution and watchful prudence
    Then, wary, he looks around for Eddie. I don’t tell him Mike punches the hardest.
  6. tentatively
    in a hesitant manner
    “Amigo?” he asks, tentatively.
    Friend? I’m not sure how to answer.
  7. alliance
    an agreement establishing an association between groups
    Middle school is like a country. Alliances are hard, dangerous. Other kids’ fights become your fights.
  8. backup
    someone who takes the place of another
    The only advantage of being lonely is not worrying about being anyone else’s backup.
  9. shudder
    tremble convulsively, as from fear or excitement
    I shudder. I can’t see his face. But I hear the hope.
  10. blurt
    utter impulsively
    Carlos blurts, “I didn’t have friends in San Antonio. It isn’t fair to live in two different cities and not have any friends.”
  11. crow
    brag openly or dwell on with satisfaction
    Bam. The last door flies open. No-no-noooooo. Carlos didn’t lock the stall door.
    “Got you,” Eddie crows.
    “Stop, stop.”
  12. scramble
    move hurriedly
    Eddie pushes me and I fall onto the toilet, scrambling to stay dry.
  13. glare
    look at with a fixed or angry gaze
    “You’re nothing in Chicago. Say it.” Snap twists Carlos’s arm. “Say it, ‘I’m nothing.’”
    Carlos glares.
  14. flail
    thrash about
    Carlos is twisting, his arms flailing.
  15. brace
    prepare for something unpleasant or difficult
    At least Carlos isn’t getting kicked. But they’re going to hurt me. Really hurt me. Scared, I brace myself.
  16. clammy
    unpleasantly cool and humid
    In the courthouse, I feel clammy and cold.
  17. prosecutor
    an official conducting criminal cases on behalf of the state
    Ma, Grandma, and Pop are in the courtroom’s front row behind the prosecutor.
  18. glaze
    become glassy or take on a glass-like appearance
    A policeman is sitting in the dock, below the judge’s chair. He has sandy-brown hair, too. Glazed, blue eyes.
  19. assailant
    someone who attacks
    The prosecutor continues, “How old was the assailant?”
  20. hulk
    appear very large or occupy a commanding position
    “I was surprised. He was big, hulking. Scary.”
  21. gavel
    a small mallet used by a presiding officer or a judge
    The woman judge pounds her gavel.
  22. furiously
    in a manner marked by extreme or violent energy
    The court artist is sketching furiously.
  23. scornful
    expressing extreme contempt
    Scornful, Snap says, “I don’t care about some Texas kid.”
  24. cringe
    draw back, as with fear, pain, or embarrassment
    I cringe, and don’t answer Eddie. I’m nauseous. Sorry I got into this mess.
  25. jut
    extend out or project in space
    Carlos juts the gun toward Eddie.
  26. saunter
    walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
    “Let’s go,” says Eddie and he, Mike, and Snap saunter out the door.
  27. hysterical
    marked by excessive or uncontrollable emotion
    Carlos grins, nodding. Then he laughs, his voice pitching higher and higher. “A good trick. Right?”
    “Trick,” I repeat, doubling over, laughing. We’re both sweating, hysterical.
  28. uphold
    stand up for; stick up for; of causes, principles, or ideals
    “That’s not true. He upholds the law.”
  29. contradict
    be in opposition to
    Her father blinks, like he doesn’t recognize her. Like he can’t believe she’s contradicting him.
  30. humiliate
    cause to feel shame
    “What? You being bullied?” I understand bullying. Being shoved into lockers. Humiliated.
Created on June 15, 2018 (updated June 25, 2018)

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