feel desirous of another's advantages
envy you for being able to believe that none of this ever happened.
strongly motivated to succeed
This trip, I was
determined to be good.
thin and weak
He must’ve been held back several grades, because he was the only sixth grader with acne and the start of a
wispy beard on his chin.
urgently needed; absolutely necessary
“What you learn from me,” he said, “is
vitally important. I expect you to treat it as such. I will accept only the best from you, Percy Jackson.”
impaired ability to learn to read
But Mr. Brunner expected me to be as good as everybody else, despite the fact that I have
dyslexia and attention deficit disorder and I had never made above a C- in my life.
joyful and proud especially because of success
There was a
triumphant fire in her eyes, as if I'd done something she'd been waiting for all semester.
make into a powder by breaking up or cause to become dust
It’s weird being alone with a teacher, especially Mrs. Dodds. Something about the way she looked at the frieze, as if she wanted to
lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
She was a
shriveled hag with bat wings and claws and a mouth full of yellow fangs, and she was about to slice me to ribbons.
turn into gas
She exploded into yellow powder,
vaporized on the spot, leaving nothing but the smell of sulfur and a dying screech and a chill of evil in the air, as if those two glowing red eyes were still watching me.
My lunch must’ve been
contaminated with magic mushrooms or something.
having the attention diverted especially because of anxiety
He looked up, a little
distracted. “Ah, that would be my pen. Please bring your own writing utensil in the future, Mr. Jackson.”
occurring from time to time
I was used to the
occasional weird experience, but usually they were over quickly.
persuaded of; very sure
The students acted as if they were completely and totally
convinced that Mrs. Kerr—a perky blond woman whom I'd never seen in my life until she got on our bus at the end of the field trip—had been our pre-algebra teacher since Christmas.
pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness
When I mentioned the name Dodds to him, he would
hesitate, then claim she didn’t exist.
sudden violent winds, often accompanied by precipitation
One of the current events we studied in social studies class was the unusual number of small planes that had gone down in sudden
squalls in the Atlantic that year.
I started feeling cranky and
irritable most of the time.
a chronic drinker
Finally, when our English teacher, Mr. Nicoll, asked me for the millionth time why I was too lazy to study for spelling tests, I snapped. I called him an old
sot. I wasn’t even sure what it meant, but it sounded good.
causing disapproval or protest
I wanted to be with my mom in our little apartment on the Upper East Side, even if I had to go to public school and put up with my
obnoxious stepfather and his stupid poker parties.
the lack of knowledge or education
Let him enjoy his
ignorance while he still can.
when the sun is at its greatest distance from the equator
“My nerves haven’t been right since the winter
He looked at me
mournfully, like he was already picking the kind of flowers I’d like best on my coffin.
feeling about to vomit
He just kept on collecting paychecks, spending the money on cigars that made me
nauseous, and on beer, of course.
I told her she was
smothering me, and to lay off and all that, but secretly, I was really, really glad to see her.
In this sentence,
smother has the sense of "overwhelm with too much love, care, or concern."
witty language used to convey insults or scorn
His tiny brain was probably trying to detect
sarcasm in my statement.
a vague unpleasant emotion in anticipation of a misfortune
For a moment, I thought I saw
anxiety in her eyes—the same fear I’d seen in Grover during the bus ride—as if my mom too felt an odd chill in the air.
I knew I should tell my mom about the old ladies at the fruit stand, and Mrs. Dodds at the art museum, about my weird
hallucination that I had sliced my math teacher into dust with a sword.
(used of hooves) split, divided
Because where his feet should be, there were no feet. There were
in a hurried manner
“Keeping tabs on you. Making sure you were okay. But I wasn’t faking being your friend,” he added
turn sharply; change direction abruptly
swerved onto a narrower road, racing past darkened farmhouses and wooded hills and PICK YOUR OWN STRAWBERRIES signs on white picket fences.
“Percy,” my mother said, “we have to...” Her voice
move heavily or clumsily
In a flash of lightning, through the mud-spattered rear windshield, I saw a figure
lumbering toward us on the shoulder of the road. The sight of it made my skin crawl.
become or cause to become soft or liquid
Then, with an angry roar, the monster closed his fists around my mother’s neck, and she
dissolved before my eyes, melting into light, a shimmering golden form, as if she were a holographic projection.
break into parts or components or lose cohesion or unity
He flailed, clawing at his chest, then began to
disintegrate—not like my mother, in a flash of golden light, but like crumbling sand, blown away in chunks by the wind, the same way Mrs. Dodds had burst apart.