List 1

After the death of his father, Chuck Bell spends the summer with grandparents and finds solace in basketball. Learn these words from the prequel to The Crossover.

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Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. rebound
    securing possession of the basketball after a missed shot
    It was the summer of 1988,
    when basketball gave me wings

    and I had to learn
    how to rebound

    on the court.
    And off.
  2. sleek
    designed to offer the least resistance to fluid flow
    Sometimes, I wish

    I was a superhero,
    like Quicksilver
    down the court
    sleek as a sports car
    faster than NASCAR
  3. elevate
    raise in rank or condition
    Wish I could elevate
    my name
    with game so good
    it’s hall of fame!
  4. muse
    the source of an artist's inspiration
    Air Jordan IIIs would be my muse.
    And these zips would be old news.
  5. alibi
    proof that someone accused of a crime could not have done it
    My game’s so criminal,
    I’d need an alibi.
  6. impending
    close in time; about to occur
    But Thor’s hammer
    KABOOMS them
    outta impending doom,
    right smack in the middle
    of an intergalactic civil war
    between armed battleships
    that makes Star Wars
    look like a playground fight.
  7. intergalactic
    existing or occuring between collections of star systems
    But Thor’s hammer
    KABOOMS them
    outta impending doom,
    right smack in the middle
    of an intergalactic civil war
    between armed battleships
    that makes Star Wars
    look like a playground fight.
  8. mortuary
    a building where bodies are kept before burial or cremation
    My least favorite
    was Dover, Delaware,
    ’cause the major tourist attraction

    was a mortuary
  9. jolt
    move or cause to move with a sudden jerky motion
    Each day I wake to the BOOM BAP of
    my clock radio playing rap
    music, but today I’m blasted
    by a loud siren that
    jolts me awake and
    sends me back to
    that day when
    my life
  10. torment
    make suffer emotionally or mentally
    ...daring us
    to step one foot
    on her property
    or commit a crime
    (like throw trash
    in her yard
    or play hooky
    from school)
    so she can torture
    and torment us.
  11. truant
    one who is absent from school without permission
    If you get caught
    skipping school,
    the truant officers
    put you in jail
  12. incessantly
    without interruption
    My uncle smokes incessantly.

    It means nonstop. CJ kept saying I was talking incessantly, so I looked it up.
  13. motto
    a favorite saying of a sect or political group
    After dinner
    I turn on MTV
    to watch
    the music video

    for “Parents Just Don’t Understand,”
    which is hot
    and funny

    and the motto
    of my life
  14. inappropriate
    not in keeping with what is correct or proper
    I told you I don’t want you watching inappropriate
  15. flare
    become widened, usually at one end
    Her nostril flares up
    her left eyebrow lifts—the look
    when she’s about to trip out—so I
    turn it off.
  16. wring
    twist and press out of shape
    LEAVE YOU ALONE!! Boy, l am this close to wringing your neck.
  17. psychiatrist
    a specialist in the treatment of mental disorders
    Yes, I thought about a psychiatrist, or some sort of camp,
    but I can’t afford—
  18. fortify
    make strong or stronger
    Cereal is “ fortified with iron,” CJ answers, conducting an
    experiment on her cereal.

    Forty-five with iron? What’s that?
    Fortified, Skinny. To strengthen, as in—

    AS IN, he interrupts, flexing his biceps, look at these
    fortified guns I got, right?
  19. geyser
    a spring that discharges hot water and steam
    I feel my face boil
    and then a geyser
    of peanut butter
    and chocolate milk
    shoots out
  20. holler
    call out loudly
    Hey, Charlie, can you run in those busted sneakers?
    Ivan hollers.
  21. delinquent
    a young offender

    used to be
    pretty cool
    and fun
    to be around
    till he started
    and hanging out
    with a group
    of delinquents
    he met
    in juvie.
  22. theory
    a belief that can guide behavior
    Ivan shares
    his theory
    that old people
    take naps at five o’clock
    every day
    right before dinner,
    so they
    can stay up late
    and watch
    The Johnny Carson Show.
  23. suspension
    a temporary debarment from a privilege or position
    Nah! Got caught bouncing my ball in the hallway.
    In-school suspension.
  24. impersonate
    pretend to be someone you are not
    I drift off

    issue #2,
    where the Skrulls
    the Fantastic Four
  25. frantically
    in an uncontrolled manner
    OKAY, OKAY, Mom, I say, frantically.
  26. escort
    ...the front door is open
    and she’s standing
    on the other side
    of it,
    looking as mean
    as a prison dog,
    like she’s about to
    escort me
    to death row.
  27. clench
    squeeze together tightly
    my teeth clench
    and I pray

    there’s not a witch
    or a warlock

    or a woman
    with a shotgun

    on the other side
    of the door.
  28. musty
    stale and unclean smelling
    Her house
    like a cross
    between grass
    when it’s just cut
    and Skinny
    after gym class.

  29. detonate
    burst as through a violent chemical or physical reaction
    The silence is booming.
    Mom doesn’t say a word
    until we get home.

    she detonates.
  30. patience
    good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence
    She says she’s run
    out of patience,
    thinks I’m headed
    down the wrong path
  31. detention
    a punishment in which a student must stay after school

    is a dreadful blur
    ’cause CJ’s not here,
    Skinny’s in detention
    for bouncing his ball
    in school,
    and I can’t stop thinking
    about my mess-up
  32. cautious
    showing careful forethought
    Just come on up here and pet her, like this,
    she says, rubbing her head. C’mon, try it.
    I do, cautiously.
  33. arthritis
    inflammation of a joint or joints
    I used to take
    her to the park every day before my nap, but that arthritis is
    something, I tell ya.
  34. grief
    intense sorrow caused by loss of a loved one
    I have to pack
    and hope it’s not
    for Disney World
    or worse
    some whack
    summer camp
    for kids with
  35. unison
    the act of occurring together or simultaneously
    TO WHAT!?! she and Skinny say in unison.
Created on June 13, 2018 (updated May 1, 2019)

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