Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres Vocabulary list, Chapters 11-15

Stef Soto, Taco Queen Vocabulary List

  1. assure | see definition»

    to tell someone in a very strong and definite way that something will happen or that something is true

    It’s a good thing that the supply closet is looking so empty, he assures us.

  2. clue | see definition»

    something that helps a person find something or solve a mystery

    “Papi?” I glance up, searching his face for clues about whether we should worry.

  3. conjure | see definition»

    to make (something) appear or seem to appear by using magic

    Papi drops handfuls of tomato, onion, and bell pepper onto the grill, then squeezes half a lemon over them, conjuring a little cloud of steam.

  4. contagious | see definition»

    capable of being easily spread to others : causing other people to feel or act a similar way

    By lunchtime, I’ve caught her contagious optimism and can almost see myself at the arena with her.

  5. demand | see definition»

    a forceful statement in which you say that something must be done or given to you

    Finally, I had resolved to demand an answer to the Viviana Vega question this morning, before leaving for school.

  6. describe | see definition»

    to write or tell about

    Before she can say anything else, class begins, and Ms. Barlow prints today’s writing exercise on the board: “Describe what it feels like to be wrong."

  7. deserve | see definition»

    used to say that someone or something should or should not have or be given something

    I’ve been right about deserving some independence, and especially about deserving to go to the Viviana Vega concert.

  8. dwindle | see definition»

    to gradually become smaller

    When the flea market winds down and the line outside Tía Perla finally dwindles, Papi packs up the folding chairs while I wipe down the countertops.

  9. ensure | see definition»

    to make (something) sure, certain, or safe

    "...You are invited to attend a public hearing to discuss the attached proposals that we hope will maintain a quiet and clean environment throughout the city and will ensure the health and safety of all citizens.”

  10. generous | see definition»

    freely giving or sharing money and other valuable things

    “That’s certainly an option. All of you have very generous parents,” Mr. Salazar says.

  11. impassioned | see definition»

    showing or feeling very strong emotions

    I’ve been up for hours, tossing and turning and playing out long, impassioned arguments in my head.

  12. inappropriate | see definition»

    not right or suited for some purpose or situation

    The cover is ripped off, probably because his mom thought the picture was inappropriate for school.

  13. inform | see definition»

    to give information to (someone)

    "...We are writing to inform you of proposed regulations that, if adopted, could affect your business..."

  14. jinx | see definition»

    to bring bad luck to (someone or something)

    Not to jinx anything, but this feels like a good sign.

  15. miracle | see definition»

    a very amazing or unusual event, thing, or achievement

    And then, at the end of the day, an actual miracle actually happens.

  16. optimistic | see definition»

    having or showing hope for the future : expecting good things to happen

    “Well, they haven’t said no,” I tell her, trying to sound optimistic. In my head I add, “Yet. ”

  17. overprotective | see definition»

    trying too hard to protect someone (such as a child) from danger

    “I know you think we’re overprotective, but can you imagine what it was like for us, for Papi and me, when we first got here? We were older than you, but not by much. We didn’t speak the language. We knew almost no one. We had almost nothing..."

  18. privilege | see definition»

    a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others

    This phone is a privilege. You’ve earned it.

  19. quest | see definition»

    a long and difficult effort to find or do something

    We serve a steady dribble of customers as the sun slowly sinks—early birds hoping for a glimpse of Viviana Vega and maybe even an autograph, desperate fans on a quest for last-minute tickets, even if it means paying a fortune.

  20. remotely | see definition»

    to a very small degree

    It takes me less than ten minutes to get there, and just like I’ve always said, absolutely nothing even remotely dangerous happens along the way.

  21. resentful | see definition»

    having or showing a feeling of anger or displeasure about someone or something unfair

    I might as well start decorating, since I’m never going to get to leave, I think resentfully.

  22. tantrum | see definition»

    an outburst of bad temper

    For a second, I’m embarrassed about my taco truck tantrum.

  23. unison | see definition»

    If people do something in unison, they do it together at the same time.

    “What?” we say in unison.

  24. warn | see definition»

    to tell (someone) about possible danger or trouble

    “You better be prepared if she says yes,” he warns. “You’re in for a lot of work.”

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