a substance that produces a fragrant odor when burned
“Yes, it is. And my mother burns sandalwood
incense. She says it’s good for meditation and the spirits like it too.”
contemplation of spiritual matters
“Yes, it is. And my mother burns sandalwood incense. She says it’s good for
meditation and the spirits like it too.”
being or dressed in clothes that are worn or torn
ragged girl arrives and announces, “I’ve come to help the princess cry.”
turned or twisted toward one side
Mrs. Sarota wears her hair in a big bird nest on top of her head and today it’s
feel or express sympathy or compassion
“Very well, young lady. Which of you can spell the word ‘
having worldly knowledge and refinement
Danielle is from Belgium and acts very
of a light grayish-brown color
Today she has on a lace-trimmed
beige blouse and a pleated blue skirt.
lacking brightness or color; dull
Danielle crosses the street, walking so elegantly in her black go-go boots to a building as
drab and dreary as ours.
lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise
Danielle crosses the street, walking so elegantly in her black go-go boots to a building as drab and
dreary as ours.
distinctive manner of oral expression
She says the word “hopscotch,” extending the shhhh sound at the end of the word with a French
accent and it sounds glamorous.
having an air of allure, romance and excitement
She says the word “hopscotch,” extending the shhhh sound at the end of the word with a French accent and it sounds
a portable box-shaped free-reed instrument
And every morning, she turns it back into a sofa, folding it up like an
someone who travels about selling his wares
She misses standing on the balcony and lowering the basket down with a rope for the
peddler to fill with pineapples and coconuts.
having decorative ruffles or similar ornamentation
I decide to put on my
frilly dress that has layers of lace.
(Judaism) a braided loaf of white bread containing eggs
We aren’t very religious, but today Mami bought a
gloomy or depressing
I’m breaking my back taking the subway every day! Working all week in a
dingy office that has no windows and is the size of a jail cell where they treat me like I’m nobody!
a rattle-like instrument that is shaken to make noise
The store is under the Number 7 train and rattles like a
coarse cloth with a bright print
She squeezes my hand with both of hers, which are rough from cutting
calico and canvas all day.
a heavy, closely woven fabric
She squeezes my hand with both of hers, which are rough from cutting calico and
canvas all day.
short and plump
She has tiny gold balls in her pierced ears and a gold bracelet that says “Rosa” wrapped around her
of a strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect
Papi nods with a
I curl my legs under me so as not to crowd Izzie and
peer up at the roof of the car.
a long cylindrical self-propelled underwater projectile
He kneels next to me and says, “I saw it! I saw a car flip the divider! It turned into a
torpedo! I saw it crash into the car in front of us! Then we crashed into them. Then a bunch of cars crashed into us! Bam, bam, bam.”
a medical device to immobilize and protect a body part
“But she’s tangled up in metal. This is going to take a while. Put a
splint on that girl. Take her and her family to the hospital. See if any of them can speak English.”
block consisting of a thick piece of something
He brings out a
slab of wood from the ambulance.
fall down, as if collapsing
Mami and Baba and Izzie and Papi stand around me like bowling pins about to
a disorderly outburst or tumult
Then there’s a big
“It hurts, it hurts,” I
stammer as loud as I can to get his attention.
a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
“Or are you pretending? How about if I untie you from this
contraption and take you home?”
draw back, as with fear or pain
wince and he says to me, “Hurts, doesn’t it?”
loss of bodily sensation
“We’re going to give you
anesthesia and you won’t feel a thing.”
characterized by a buoyant rhythm
He has a kind and
inclined to shake as from weakness or defect
Mami is crouched on the
rickety bench next to me.
a country person
She’s wearing bell-bottom pants and a
peasant blouse with puffy sleeves, and she has shiny dangling earrings.
tending or intended to rectify or improve
“Far-out,” Joy says after I get all the words right. “You’re so smart! I’m surprised they kept you in the
remedial class for so long.”
walk through relatively shallow water
wade into the deep end without being afraid.
water containing salts
There was the ocean on all sides, endless, and the smell of salt and
brine was so strong all the food tasted like a sour pickle.
an exile who flees for safety
We thought our home would always be in Cuba...and then we had to leave Cuba and come here to New York. I have been a
refugee not once but twice.
a detective who follows a trail
And there she comes, strawberry-haired Nancy Drew, the girl
sleuth, so American and so sure of herself, wearing a round collared blouse and a pencil skirt, wielding her magnifying glass.
capable of arousing interest or curiosity
Nancy Drew smiles down at me, raising an eyebrow. “It certainly sounds
intriguing! And I’ve been longing for another case!”