a loud and disturbing noise
Thunder rumbled through the night, rattling Ivy Aberdeen’s bedroom windows and making a beautiful
arousal of the mind to unusual activity or creativity
Ivy scanned the page for
look angry or sullen as if to signal disapproval
glowered at the picture and flicked the page over so hard, it tore right out of the notebook.
away from the correct or expected course
She nearly balled it up and tossed it toward her garbage can, which was already overflowing with other drawings gone
a hairdo formed by braiding or twisting the hair
In real life, Ivy’s hair was strawberry blond, with frizzy curls her mother used to braid into smooth
having a smooth, gleaming surface reflecting light
Ivy gave the other girl dark hair, the color of a raven’s
hang over, as of something threatening, dark, or menacing
He pulled her toward the door just as the freakiest sound Ivy had ever heard
loomed over the siren.
a self-propelled vehicle that draws a train along a track
It grew louder and louder, a
locomotive that couldn’t possibly exist out here in her family’s little part of rural Georgia.
so thin as to transmit light
gauzy curtains were torn, wrapped around twigs and green-leafed branches.
hot or warm and humid
The air felt
muggier than their normal southern Aprils. It was a choking kind of feeling, like the earth couldn’t breathe.
Ivy saw Layla hovering over their mom, who was on her knees in the yard, screaming and trying to wrap Aaron back in her arms. He
flailed on the grass, but his cries were swallowed up by the storm.
try to solve a problem by thinking intensely about it
She would always
brainstorm with Ivy and Layla, letting them spill all their ideas into her lap.
greatly annoyed; out of patience
“I know it’s serious, Ives.” Layla sounded
exasperated and hurt, and it made Ivy’s stomach feel sour.
inspiring a feeling of fear; strange and frightening
It was over in a blink. All that noise turning into an
unpleasantly harsh or grating in sound
“I don’t know,” he said. His breathing must have just started up again too, because it sounded
raspy and quick.
a light noise, like leaves blowing in the wind
rustling as her dad stood up.
an outline of a solid object as cast by its shadow
It was barely any lighter outside, but Ivy made out Dad’s
silhouette against the greenish-black sky.
inclined to shake as from weakness or defect
Possible translation: That
rickety shutter on the living room window that always smacked against the house whenever the wind blew was gone.
material reducing transmission of sound, heat or electricity
Because there was nothing there. Nothing house-shaped, anyway. Just rubble. Just a mess. Just wood and that pink
insulation stuff and tiles and clothes and food, all the colors of their world thrown together like a giant had had a temper tantrum.
a sheet of waterproofed canvas
“Layla, go shake out that
tarp, and we’ll put everything we find over there.”
marked by excessive or uncontrollable emotion
hysterical laugh bubbled into Ivy’s throat, but she forced it down. No one would understand why a laugh was the best thing right now.
form an arch or curve
“Just looking,” Ivy said, but she stepped on the rubble, right where it started
arcing up into a little hill.
be wide open
Ivy moved forward a bit more, inching here and there to avoid the
gaping holes between planks of wood and broken furniture.
make a spot or mark onto
The chrome faucet was still
flecked with dried toothpaste.
the writing point of a pen
They were nice pens, artist quality and fancy. You could refill the ink and replace the
nibs, and they came with a blender pen.
coat with varnish
Families grouped together, claiming spaces on the shiny
a slight but appreciable amount
“I don’t know,” Layla said, kissing Aaron’s cheek. “I guess Ivy’s old enough to look after herself.” There was a
tinge of hurt in her voice, but Ivy ignored it.
try to manage without help
She waited for Mom to disagree with Layla, to say that Ivy wasn’t that old, because if twelve wasn’t old enough to stay up past nine thirty on a school night, then it certainly wasn’t old enough to
fend for herself in a tornado.
walk in an emphatic or exaggerated way
flounced over in her bright yellow bathing suit to where Ivy’s mom was trying to fit a pair of goggles over Ivy’s head of thick hair.
sit or lie with one's limbs spread out
She sat up and looked around the dim room at the red glow from the EXIT signs and the lumpy shapes
sprawled all over the floor.
the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
Ivy didn't exactly understand everything they were saying, but the
gist was pretty clear.
showing intellectual penetration or emotional depth
“Yeah,” June said, like Ivy had said something
profound. “What was her letter to the world? And why would the whole world write her a letter anyway?”
walk impeded by some physical limitation or injury
hobbled back to June, stretched out on her stomach, and started to draw.
worn away or tattered along the edges
Soon, it was June. Or a mermaid version of June, anyway. But with her diamond-patterned mermaid tail,
frayed tank top, and the little beaded seashell necklace around her neck, the drawing was also Greenleigh.
the large artery carrying blood from the heart to the body
“Used to be,” June said, setting her phone back down, “scientists thought the
aorta in their heart was big enough for a human to swim through. Now we know it’s not, and their whole heart is about the size of a golf cart. I still love the idea, though.”