tall and thin and having long slender limbs
She was a stocky ten-year-old, unlike
"Lanky" is an antonym of "stocky" ("having a short and solid form or stature"). In addition to this physical contrast, Annemarie has silvery blond hair while Ellen has dark pigtails; Annemarie is Christian while Ellen is Jewish; Annemarie excels in running while Ellen excels in drama. But as ten-year-old Danish girls who live in the same apartment building, Ellen and Annemarie are best friends whose differences strengthen their relationship.
severe and unremitting in making demands
“Halte!” the soldier ordered in a
Because the adjective "stern" is describing the voice in which the soldier shouts the German word for "Halt" the chosen definition is the best fit. But "stern" also means "of a strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect" (which is how the soldiers look) and "not to be moved by entreaty" (which is how most of the German soldiers are supposed to act, but the street soldiers are less experienced, so one is softened by Kirsti's babyish behavior and prettiness).
look at with a fixed gaze
That meant two helmets, two sets of cold eyes
glaring at her, and four tall shiny boots planted firmly on the sidewalk, blocking her path to home.
“Are you a good student?” the soldier asked. He seemed to be
in a rebellious manner
She reached down for Kirsti’s hand, but Kirsti, always stubborn, refused it and put her hands on her hips
marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield
Stand still, Kirsti, Annemarie ordered silently, praying that somehow the
obstinate five-year-old would receive the message.
"Obstinate" also means "resistant to guidance or discipline"--both definitions fit Kirsti at the moment, because she is unwilling to yield to the authority of the soldiers and she is resistant to Annemarie's attempt to take her hand to keep her still and quiet.
a single distinct event
She told her mother and Mrs. Rosen of the
incident, trying to make it sound humorous and unimportant.
"Incident" also means "a public disturbance"--while Annemarie is connecting to the chosen definition in order to reassure the worried mothers that their encounter with the soldiers is a single distinct event that would not happen again, the soldiers saw their running as a public disturbance that made them look like "hoodlums" ("aggressive and violent young criminal").
a deliberate act of destruction or disruption
But Annemarie heard Mama and Papa talk, sometimes at night, about the news they received that way: news of
sabotage against the Nazis, bombs hidden and exploded in the factories that produced war materials, and industrial railroad lines damaged so that the goods couldn’t be transported.
having or revealing little emotion or sensibility
She glanced through the window, down to the street corner where the soldiers stood, their faces
impassive beneath the metal helmets.
worthy of being chosen especially as a spouse
He was not like fairy tale kings, who seemed to stand on balconies giving orders to subjects, or who sat on golden thrones demanding to be entertained and looking for
suitable husbands for their daughters.
a special anniversary or the celebration of it
Each morning, he had come from the palace on his horse,
Jubilee, and ridden alone through the streets of Copenhagen, greeting his people.
Because King Christian continues his morning ride during the German occupation of Denmark, the name of his horse takes on both an ironic and symbolic meaning: while there are few reasons and resources to celebrate at the moment, King Christian and his horse Jubilee (especially after the old king survives a fall off the horse) remind the people to remain hopeful and strong for the day when jubilees will be a part of their lives again.
having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate
Her fingers moved rapidly, turning the thin white thread into an
intricate narrow border.
restrict the consumption of a relatively scarce commodity
Like the other families in their building, the Johansens had opened the old chimney and installed a little stove to use for heat when they could find coal to burn. Mama used it too, sometimes, for cooking, because electricity was rationed now.
pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness
hesitated and glanced at her mother, fearful that she had said the wrong thing, the thing that would bring the pained look to her mother’s face.
having or showing arrogant superiority to
“I did not!” Kirsti said haughtily from the bedroom doorway. “I never, ever did that!”
noisy and lacking in restraint or discipline
He was a tall teenager with thick glasses, stooped shoulders, and
expressing or expressive of ridicule that wounds
“And I suppose they took a big basket of pink-frosted cupcakes with them,” Annemarie said sarcastically to her sister.
give or restore confidence in
“We can find another button someplace,” Annemarie
reassured her. “Or we can take one from the bottom of the jacket and move it up. It won’t show very much.”
It is their way of
tormenting. For some reason, they want to
torment Jewish people.
having worldly knowledge and refinement
“All right, Scarlett, I’m coming,” Ellen replied in a
look angry or sullen as if to signal disapproval
The door opened and Kirsti stomped in, her face tear-stained and
“All right, then,” she said. “But you mustn’t tell anyone that they’re fish. I don’t want anyone to know.” She took her new shoes, holding them
disdainfully, and put them on a chair.
laugh at with contempt and derision
scoffed. “You never saw the fireworks.”
in the manner of someone eager to fight
“I did too,” she said
beneath the surface of the water
It had made Annemarie feel sad and proud, too, to picture the tall, aging king, perhaps with tears in his blue eyes, as he looked at the remains of his small navy, which now lay
submerged and broken in the harbor.