Part 1

Soccer goalie Paul Fisher uncovers dark family secrets when he moves to the strange town of Tangerine, Florida.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. exposure
    presentation to view in an open or public manner
    Erik will get the exposure he needs in the press. The Tangerine Times is crazy about high school football.
    The chosen definition can be a nightmare for many, especially if they are shy or have secrets, but here, it is used in a positive way to refer to a high school football player's skills being highlighted in a newspaper.
  2. dominant
    exercising influence or control
    The Lake Windsor Seagulls are now the dominant team in three counties. They’re rewriting all the county record books.
  3. sensation
    someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field
    If Mom had chosen to, she could have explained to him that Mike Costello’s backside would be featured in the local paper often as he held the ball for this new placekicking sensation.
  4. impact
    a strong influence
    I’ve heard Coach Warner talk to Dad enough to know he’s counting on Erik to be an impact player, a star.
    "Impact" also means "the striking of one body against another"--this definition would normally make the phrase "impact player" a pun in football. But as a kicker, Erik would not be faced with much physical contact. He would make his impact only after the rest of his team has thrown, caught, pushed, and run across the field. This image of Erik waiting on the sidelines while others do the heavy work, and then coming in to get the glory, also applies to how he approaches other parts of his life.
  5. specific
    stated explicitly or in detail
    Being vision impaired, Paul is entitled to take part in our IEP program. Basically we identify Paul’s situation, set specific goals for him to achieve, and note any special needs he might have.
    The adjectives "specific" and "special" both come from the Latin noun "species" which means "a particular sort, kind, or type." This does not sound negative, but to Paul, "specific goals" and "special needs" are synonymous phrases that set him apart from his classmates and hurt his goal of being a goalie.
  6. obsessed
    having excessive or compulsive concern with something
    He became obsessed with football, especially with placekicking.
  7. eclipse
    the phenomenon when one celestial body obscures another
    I can’t put all of the details in order now, but it became clear to me later that, for some reason, the big kids on the school bus were calling me Eclipse Boy.
    The big kids called Paul "Eclipse Boy" because Erik told them that his little brother has to wear thick glasses because he had stupidly stared at the sun during an eclipse. But the author is also using the phrase figuratively to describe and foreshadow the way the two brothers relate to each other in the eyes of others.
  8. incapable
    lacking ability
    So there I sat on that yellow school bus—Erik Fisher's younger brother, Eclipse Boy, visually impaired and totally incapable of following in his brother’s footsteps.
  9. materialize
    come into being; become reality
    The Erik Fisher Football Dream seems to be materializing.
  10. accomplish
    achieve with effort
    He has never really accomplished anything, until now.
  11. attempt
    the act of attacking
    It will be Arthur’s backside featured in the newspapers, holding the ball for Erik Fisher’s fifty-yard field-goal attempts.
    "Attempt" could also mean "an effort or try." But this would not be powerful enough to describe a kicker who didn't need to try out for the team because he could drill fifty-yard field goals one after another.
  12. benefactor
    a person who helps people or institutions
    What will Arthur do for Erik, his sponsor, his benefactor, his ticket to the big time?
  13. complicated
    difficult to analyze or understand
    He finally said, “Hey, uh, Fisher... I don’t think lightning is that complicated. I don’t think it knows anything about anything.”
    In these example sentences, Joey is trying to take back his earlier argument: "But the lightning knows. It hits right where it’s always hit." This description personifies lightning and makes it seem similar to Erik and his placekicking. However, because lightning isn't that complicated and does not mean to hit where it hits, it is actually less dangerous than Erik.
  14. retrieve
    go for and bring back
    Gino kept hammering penalty shots into the upper left corner of the goal while a tall kid in a gray sweatshirt retrieved the ball and rolled it back.
  15. penalty
    a handicap or disadvantage that is imposed on a competitor
    He called for the ball and then placed it with care on the penalty line.
  16. deliberately
    in a careful unhurried manner
    Calmly, deliberately, he drilled his field goals between the upright posts in the end zone.
    Doing things calmly and deliberately can lead to success, but here, the adverbs are used to emphasize that Erik has no emotions about the death of his teammate.
  17. determined
    devoting full strength and concentrated attention to
    Mom is determined to call the parents of each and every football player, get them together, and have them refuse to send their sons to any more afternoon practices.
  18. dedicated
    devoted to a cause or ideal or purpose
    I understand that these boys, and you coaches, and we parents, are all dedicated. We can dedicate ourselves to getting the boys to the football field at six-thirty.
  19. eligible
    qualified for or allowed or worthy of being chosen
    “I’m sorry to tell you this, Paul, but you’re not eligible for the program.”
  20. justify
    defend, explain, or make excuses for by reasoning
    I’m sorry, but there’s no way we can justify putting a visually handicapped student in the goal, of all places, where he could get his head kicked in.
  21. appropriate
    suitable for a particular person, place, or situation
    Well, Coach Warner did not think that was appropriate, so he didn’t do it.
  22. fascinated
    having your attention fixated as though by a spell
    I was really fascinated as I prowled through the dark, partitioned rooms of the exhibits.
  23. portable
    easily or conveniently transported
    Stepping carefully, we sloshed and fought our way through the mud to Portable 19.
    The definition is for an adjective, but the example sentence uses "portable" as a proper noun to refer to a small, wooden shack in the middle of a field. The forty portables are not meant to be easily transported, especially since they're all connected by walkways, but in comparison to the main building, these classrooms are more movable.
  24. brigade
    army unit smaller than a division
    We joined some eighth graders in a kind of bucket brigade extending from the field down into the sinkhole.
  25. thoroughly
    in an exhaustive manner
    I heard Dad promise the commissioner that “every new construction site will be thoroughly inspected and regulated from now on.”
  26. remarkable
    worthy of notice
    They, along with our own remarkable middle school staff, have been working nearly round the clock since Tuesday morning.
  27. disaster
    an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
    They helped to keep a natural disaster from becoming a human disaster, and they, too, deserve our applause.
  28. devise
    arrange by systematic planning and united effort
    “All these people, in conjunction with the State Department of Education in Tallahassee, have helped to devise this emergency relocation plan.”
  29. stabilize
    support and make steadfast
    They will make sure that the sinkhole is completely stabilized and that there is zero chance of this ever happening again.
  30. elated
    exultantly proud and joyful; in high spirits
    I was elated, and I wasn’t budging.
Created on September 7, 2014 (updated September 4, 2018)

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