"Walk Two Moons," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-11

You will take a compelling road trip through the south with Salamanca, a young girl in search of her run-away-mom, in Sharon Creech's Newbury Award winning young adult fiction novel, "Walk Two Moons."

Learn these word lists for the novel: Chapters 1-11, Chapters 12-22, Chapters 23-33, Chapters 34-44

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. peculiar
    markedly different from the usual
    I didn’t know it then, but that face belonged to Phoebe Winterbottom, a girl who had a powerful imagination, who would become my friend, and who would have many peculiar things happen to her.
  2. ornery
    having a difficult and contrary disposition
    Sometimes I am as ornery and stubborn like an old donkey.
  3. lunatic
    an insane person
    And that is how I happened to suspend my tree prayers and tell them about Phoebe Winterbottom, her disappearing mother, and the lunatic.
  4. particularly
    to a distinctly greater extent or degree than is common
    I was being particularly ornery.
  5. approximately
    imprecise but fairly close to correct
    When at last we left Mrs. Cadaver and Mrs. Partridge, we drove for approximately three minutes.
  6. parched
    toasted or roasted slightly
    There were Megan and Christy, who jumped up and down like parched peas, moody Beth Ann, and pink-cheeked Alex.
  7. enormous
    extraordinarily large in size or extent or degree
    She had a pleasant round face and huge, enormous sky-blue eyes.
  8. tumor
    an abnormal new mass of tissue that serves no purpose
    For example, I was terrified of car accidents, death, cancer, brain tumors, nuclear war, pregnant women, loud noises, strict teachers, elevators, and scads of other things.
  9. sturdy
    substantially made or constructed
    Grandmother and Grandfather Pickford stand straight up, as if sturdy, steel poles ran down their backs.
  10. respectable
    deserving of esteem
    "It takes a lot of concentration to be that respectable."
  11. defiance
    an act boldly resisting authority or an opposing force
    My mother said that Grandmother Pickford's one act of defiance in her whole life as a Pickford was in naming her.
  12. gnarled
    old and twisted and covered in lines
    A thick, gnarled cane with a handle carved in the shape of a cobra's head lay across her knees.
  13. yelp
    a sharp high-pitched cry
    My father gave a little yelp, and all around people were automatically saying, ‘Oh!’ and ‘Amazing’ and all that.
  14. peer
    look searchingly
    The woman was peering at her engine and dabbing a white handkerchief at various greasy items inside.
  15. dangle
    hang freely
    The woman's white handkerchief, now spotted with black grease, dangled from her fingertips as she smiled down on the back of Gramps, who had taken her place leaning over the engine.
  16. pasture
    a field covered with grass and suitable for grazing
    And then I started thinking about the blackberries, and I remembered a time my mother and I walked around the rims of the fields and pastures in Bybanks, picking blackberries.
  17. dew
    water that has condensed on a cool surface overnight
    The next morning when I went into the kitchen, my father was standing beside the table looking at two small dishes of blackberries—still shiny and wet with dew—one dish at his place and one at mine.
  18. swerve
    turn sharply; change direction abruptly
    Gramps swerved across two lanes of traffic and onto the exit ramp, and faster than you could milk a cow we were standing barefoot in the cool water of Lake Michigan.
    Compare with the vocabulary word "veer".
  19. outskirts
    outlying areas, as of a city or town
    We stopped that night on the outskirts of Chicago.
  20. veer
    turn sharply; change direction abruptly
    Our plan was to curve across the lower part of Wisconsin, veer into Minnesota, and then barrel straight on through Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, sweep up into Montana, and cross the Rocky Mountains into Idaho.
    Compare with the vocabulary word "swerve".
  21. intend
    have in mind as a purpose
    He didn’t intend to stop too much until we reached South Dakota, and he was really looking forward to South Dakota.
  22. detect
    discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
    “Sal, do you detect any signs of lunacy?"
  23. potential
    existing in possibility
    We were sitting on the floor of Mary Lou’s room, and Phoebe was telling Mary Lou about the mysterious potential lunatic.
  24. shrapnel
    shell containing lead pellets that explodes in flight
    “Do you really have German shrapnel in your leg?”
  25. gullible
    naive and easily deceived or tricked
    My father once said I was as gullible as a fish.
  26. native
    relating to people inhabiting a region from the beginning
    My mother had not liked the term Native Americans.
  27. primitive
    used of preliterate or tribal or nonindustrial societies
    She thought it sounded primitive and stiff.
    In this example sentence, the word is used with an insulting tone.
  28. intriguing
    capable of arousing interest or curiosity
    Mary Lou thought the messages (this one and the other one) were intriguing.
  29. accumulate
    get or gather together
    I thought it was going to be only me and Phoebe and Mary Lou going, but by the time we left the house, we had accumulated Tommy and Dougie as well.
  30. rummage
    search haphazardly
    I looked over to where Ben was standing, but he and Mary Lou were busy rummaging around in the chocolate bars.

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