Part 3

In this novel, a boy with facial anomalies tries to navigate the sometimes treacherous world of public school. Learn these words from R.J. Palacio's heartwarming and thought-provoking bestseller.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. unstable
    disposed to psychological variability
    It’s not that she was unstable or anything: just distant.
  2. insist
    be emphatic or resolute and refuse to budge
    But she insisted I go away.
  3. blurt
    utter impulsively
    Then one day I blurted out that I had a little brother who was deformed.
  4. bungalow
    a small house with a single story
    And, of course, the reaction I got from the little girls in the bungalow was dramatic.
  5. regret
    feel sorry for; be contrite about
    I regretted saying this the moment it escaped from my lips, of course: I felt like such a fake.
  6. entitled
    qualified for by right according to law
    But, I have to admit, there was a part of me that felt a little entitled to this lie.
  7. mutter
    talk indistinctly; usually in a low voice
    I muttered, looking down, “I don’t feel well."
  8. restrain
    hold back
    Davenport took a deep breath, like he was trying to restrain himself.
  9. mayhem
    violent and needless disturbance
    It was that crazy backstage theater mayhem where sweaty actors stand euphoric while people come worship them for a few seconds.
  10. euphoric
    characterized by a feeling of well-being or elation
    It was that crazy backstage theater mayhem where sweaty actors stand euphoric while people come worship them for a few seconds.
  11. detached
    no longer connected or joined
    When I was really little, that was mainly because there were too many medical issues, like my trache tube needing to be cleared every hour, or reinserting my feeding tube if it got detached.
  12. obsession
    an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something
    Like Max G and Max W will never live down their Dungeons & Dragons obsession.
  13. incantation
    a ritual reciting of words believed to have a magical effect
    But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation.
  14. concession
    a contract for the right to operate a subsidiary business
    There were concession stands there, too, like at a farmers’ market, selling roasted peanuts and cotton candy.
  15. gossip
    light informal conversation for social occasions
    That was the big gossip that went around: the jock and the brainiac.
  16. resource
    a new or reserve supply that can be drawn upon when needed
    The Broarwood Nature Reserve, as you know, is dedicated to preserving our natural resources and the environment.
  17. venture
    proceed somewhere despite the risk of possible dangers
    Do not venture beyond the orange cones at the edges of the fairgrounds.
  18. reimburse
    pay back for some expense incurred
    Broarwood would reimburse us the cost of the hearing aids, he said.
  19. perch
    sit, as on a branch
    Mom and I didn’t talk much the whole walk home, and when we got to the front stoop, I automatically looked in the front bay window, because I forgot for a second that Daisy wasn’t going to be there like always, perched on the sofa with her front paws on the windowsill, waiting for us to come home.
  20. devour
    eat immoderately
    I started devouring the sandwich.
  21. mangle
    destroy or injure severely
    The right piece was completely gone and the left one was mangled.
  22. assume
    take to be the case or to be true
    “Is it safe to assume that it was because of the story of the . . . um, the duckling that turns into a swan?”
  23. metaphor
    a figure of speech that suggests a non-literal similarity
    "Here I was looking for symbolism and metaphors and, um . . . sometimes a duck is just a duck!”
  24. revelation
    an enlightening or astonishing disclosure
    I mean, to me this was a major revelation, and he was acting like it was no big deal.
  25. glimmer
    shine brightly, like a star or a light
    It glimmered in their kindness to him, it glowed in their keenness, it hinted in their caring, indeed it caressed in their gaze.
  26. impart
    transmit, as knowledge or a skill
    “Children, what I want to impart to you today is an understanding of the value of that simple thing called kindness."
  27. verbosity
    an expressive style that uses excessive or empty words
    I know I’m kind of infamous for my .. . um . . . verbosity .
  28. exemplary
    worthy of imitation
    “The final award this morning,” said Mr. Tushman, after the kids onstage had returned to their seats, “is the Henry Ward Beecher medal to honor students who have been notable or exemplary in certain areas throughout the school year."
  29. ruminate
    reflect deeply on a subject
    “While reading up on his life in preparation for this award, I came upon a passage that he wrote that seemed particularly consistent with the themes I touched on earlier, themes I’ve been ruminating upon all year long."
  30. inscription
    letters engraved or carved on something
    Your deeds are your monuments.— inscription on an Egyptian tomb
Created on August 24, 2013 (updated November 15, 2017)

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