Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres Vocabulary list, Chapters 1-5

Stef Soto, Taco Queen Vocabulary List

  1. cautious | see definition»

    careful about avoiding danger or risk

    “Sorry,” I whispered as I squeezed past knees and stepped cautiously over toes. “Excuse me.”

  2. congratulate | see definition»

    to tell (someone) that you are happy because of his or her success or good luck

    As Arthur goes back to devouring his burrito, Papi locks Tía Perla’s kitchen door and gives it a quick tap—the way you might congratulate an old friend with a pat on the back—then hops into the cab and settles into his seat.

  3. crave | see definition»

    to have a very strong desire for (something)

    Somehow Papi always prepares exactly what I’m craving.

  4. devour | see definition»

    to quickly eat all of (something) especially in a way that shows that you are very hungry

    Arthur considers the burrito for a moment, then devours almost half of it in one enormous bite.

  5. disbelief | see definition»

    a feeling that you do not or cannot believe or accept that something is true or real

    I look over at Amanda, whose eyes are wide with envy or disbelief.

  6. eager | see definition»

    very excited and interested

    Papi rolls his eyes at us, but we know he’s just as eager as we are to find out what happens next.

  7. flicker | see definition»

    to burn or glow in an unsteady way : to produce an unsteady light

    He had to leave the house early, sometimes before the streetlights had flickered out, and he always came home with aching shoulders.

  8. flourish | see definition»

    a dramatic or fancy way of doing something

    “Prepared especially for you,” he announces with a flourish.

  9. furious | see definition»

    very active or fast

    My heart is still racing, but now its thump, thump, thump is low and furious.

  10. glamorous | see definition»

    very exciting and attractive

    It’s like she’s living the seventh-grade version of the glamorous lives we used to act out on my front porch.

  11. grubby | see definition»

    dirty or messy

    Tía Perla, huffing and wheezing and looking a little bit grubby no matter how clean she actually is.

  12. impatient | see definition»

    not willing to wait for something or someone : not patient

    Amanda, impatient now, takes my wrist and shakes it. “Come on, Stef. Look! Read!”

  13. independence | see definition»

    freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent

    Amanda has her soccer team, Arthur has his music, Julia has her independence, and it seems like all I have is Tía Perla.

  14. insist | see definition»

    to demand that something happen or that someone do something

    She’s the only seventh grader who’s allowed to take it out of her backpack in the classroom—her parents had insisted.

  15. mental | see definition»

    existing or happening in the mind

    I keep my mouth shut while I sift furiously through my mental glossary of irritation, searching for words to tell him exactly how frustrated I am.

  16. negotiate | see definition»

    to discuss something formally in order to make an agreement

    I’ve been negotiating for months, trying to persuade Mami and Papi to let me walk alone—not even all the way home, just to the gas station a few blocks away from Saint Scholastica where Papi parks the truck most afternoons.

  17. nudge | see definition»

    to encourage (someone) to do something

    Once, at a red light, Papi starts tapping nervously on the steering wheel until I nudge him to quit.

  18. overreact | see definition»

    to respond to something with an emotion that is too strong or an action that is unnecessary : to react to something too strongly

    Aaaand it’s possible I overreacted about the whole gas station thing.

  19. persuade | see definition»

    to cause (someone) to believe something

    Then, when we got to seventh grade, Julia decided she was too old for a babysitter and persuaded her parents to let her take the bus to school.

  20. plead | see definition»

    to ask for something in a serious and emotional way

    “Come on,” Maddie pleads. “Tell us. What’s going on?”

  21. qualify | see definition»

    to have all the necessary qualities to be thought of or described in a particular way

    “All right, all right. That’s enough, everyone. Julia, I’m not sure Viviana Vega qualifies as urgent—put the phone away, please.

  22. scrimp | see definition»

    to spend as little money as you can : to be careful about spending money

    Scrimping was harder than I thought it would be, but also a little like a game with all of us pitching in to pinch pennies.

  23. scruffy | see definition»

    not neat, clean, or orderly

    This truck looked more like a scruffy shelter rescue, in need of a warm bath and a loving home.

  24. vanish | see definition»

    to disappear entirely without a clear explanation

    I can’t convince my parents of anything. I feel like I have plenty to say about today’s question, but every time I bring my pen down to write something, the words vanish.

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