the expected or commonplace condition or situation
But I know
ordinary kids don’t make other
ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds.
look at with fixed eyes
I know ordinary kids don’t get
stared at wherever they go.
highly unusual or exceptional or remarkable
They see me as
a split or indentation in something
They told Mom and Dad I had a
cleft palate and some other stuff going on.
the surface of the mouth separating oral and nasal cavities
I had a surgery to fix my cleft
palate when I was a baby, and then a second cleft surgery when I was four, but I still have a hole in the roof of my mouth.
notify of danger in advance or beforehand
forewarned that some lockers are not right outside this class but down the hall, and before anyone even thinks of asking: no, you cannot switch lockers and you can’t switch locks.
a rule of personal conduct
precept is anything that helps guide us when making decisions about really important things.”
a memorial made of brass
“Did anyone happen to notice the
plaque next to the door of this school?"
adjusting the parts of a something in relation to each other
And even though I had jaw-alignment surgery a few years ago, I have to chew food in the front of my mouth.
alter or regulate so as to conform to a standard
Then she would tell the doctor when he made his rounds what needed
adjusting or things like that.
capable of being transmitted by infection
They would take the longest way around me to avoid bumping into me in any way, like I had some germ they could catch, like my face was
something that people do or cause to happen
That’s why your
deeds are like your monuments.
a structure erected to commemorate persons or events
The things we do are like
monuments that people build to honor heroes after they’ve died.
the quality or state of being subject to death
The things we do outlast our
feeling about to vomit
Apparently, she had checked herself into the hospital because she’d been feeling
something that results
You see movies and TV shows where people receive horrible news in hospitals, but for us, with all our many trips to the hospital with August, there had always been good
have room for; hold without crowding
They bulge outward because his eye cavities are too shallow to
come close to
The top eyelids are always halfway closed, like he’s on the
verge of sleeping.
having a sharply uneven surface or outline
Several surgeries to correct his lip have left a few scars around his mouth, the most noticeable one being a
jagged gash running from the middle of his upper lip to his nose.
fix or set securely or deeply
When he was very little, before a piece of his hip bone was surgically
implanted into his lower jaw, he really had no chin at all.
an imperfection in a bodily system
Most kids born with these types of birth
defects have problems with their middle ears that prevent them from hearing, but so far August can hear well enough through his tiny cauliflower-shaped ears.
a state of extreme ruin and misfortune
Does August see himself as he might have looked without that single gene that caused the
catastrophe of his face?
judge tentatively or form an estimate of
He looks better now, no doubt about that, but the signs we used to
gauge his moods are all gone.
expressing or expressive of ridicule that wounds
It was the first time in his life that I heard him be
sarcastic like that.
make lighter or brighter
The only thing
illuminating her was the blue night-light in August’s bedroom.
direct one's attention on something
pored over grainy sepia pictures of long-dead relatives in babushkas; black-and-white snapshots of distant cousins in crisp white linen suits, soldiers in uniform, ladies with beehive hairdos; Polaroids of bell-bottomed teenagers and long-haired hippies, and not once have I been able to detect even the slightest trace of August’s face in their faces.
occurring among members of a family usually by heredity
There’s that other part of his
genetic makeup that’s not inherited but just incredibly bad luck.
I’d never realized how funny she was (not laugh-out-loud Daddy-funny, but full of great
quips), and she never knew how lighthearted I could be.
any epidemic disease with a high death rate
Anyone who accidentally touches August has only thirty seconds to wash their hands or find hand sanitizer before they catch the
a pattern of symptoms indicative of some disease
But I also have this other
syndrome thing that I can’t even pronounce.