Section 1: Chapters 1-3
- gulp: to swallow quickly
- secure: to feel safe and sound
- jut: to stick up or out
- eager: enthusiastic for something
- shrill: having a sharp, high sound
- ebb: to flow away from the shore
- Wesley was eager for the camping trip with his Boy Scout troop to begin.
- The seagulls made a shrill sound when the dog chased them off the beach.
- After hours in a small row boat, Jenna felt secure standing on dry land.
- The mountains seemed to jut out of the vast desert scenery.
- The ebb and flow of the ocean tide is very calming.
- Jack had to gulp down his chocolate milk so he wouldn’t be late for practice.
- Maria Isabel’s mother says to her, “May God be with you,” when she leaves for school. (p. 3)
- Aunt Aurea made Maria Isabel’s favorite yellow dress. (p. 6)
- The teacher decides to call her Mary since there are already two Marias in the class. (p. 8)
- Maria Isabel started school in Puerto Rico. (p. 13)
- Marta Perez is the name of the girl who takes Maria Isabel by the hand. (p. 14)
- Maria Isabel wishes her teacher would stop calling her Mary. (p. 17)
Section 2: Chapters 4-5
- librarian: a person in charge of the library
- pilgrims: newcomers to a place
- annoy: to bother
- pendant: a hanging ornament
- soot: fine black dust
- glare: to stare in an angry way
- The large steam ship carried many Irish pilgrims to New York City.
- The diamond pendant sparkled on the Queen’s neck.
- The mean dog would glare at the mailman if he forgot to bring a treat.
- Mrs. Smith, the librarian has a really fun story time every Saturday morning.
- The neighborhood dogs annoy me when they bark all the time.
- Cities were covered in dirty soot all through the industrial revolution.
- Marta Perez takes Maria to the library during lunch. (p. 19)
- Maria Isabel is worried that the kids think she is dumb because she didn’t answer the teacher’s question. (p. 22)
- The family moves to the apartment because Mr. Salazar has a new job taking care of apartment buildings. (p. 23)
- Antonio is happy to live in the apartment because he can have his own room. (p. 24)
- Maria Isabel makes salad, rice, beans, and meat for dinner. (p.26)
- The students are going to stage the play called Amahl and the Night Visitors. (p. 29)
- Maria Isabel is reading the book called “Charlotte’s Web.” (p. 30)
Section 3: Chapters 6-7
- barrette: a clasp for holding hair
- magazine: a monthly publication
- wreath: a circle shaped decoration
- menorah: a holder for nine candles
- rehearsal: a practice time
- shy: timid
- Avery always looks forward to receiving his LEGO magazine in the mail.
- The actors have to go to rehearsal every night leading up to the play.
- The Johnson’s front door has a festive Christmas wreath on it.
- My sister loves to wear a sparkly barrette in her hair and dance around the house.
- Every Hanukkah our family lights the menorah and sings songs together.
- Helen feels very shy when she meets new people.
- The Salazars visit their old neighborhood on Thanksgiving Day. (p. 32)
- Maria Isabel’s friend Virginia wasn’t there when she went to visit. (p. 33)
- Carmen wants to make Maria Isabel prettier with makeup as soon as she meets her. (p. 33)
- Carmen wants to be a makeup artist for movie stars when she grows up. (p. 34)
- Maria Isabel does not tell Clara about her new school and her teacher who seems angry with her. (p. 36)
- Suni Paz teaches the class to sing the song, “The Candles of Hannukah.” (p. 39)
- Maria Isabel daydreams about becoming a famous singer. (p. 42)
Section 4: Chapters 8-10
- pajamas: clothes for sleeping in
- drizzle: very light rain
- manger: a feed box for horses or cattle
- pageant: a public performance of a historical event
- volunteer: to freely offer to do something
- essay: a short piece of writing on a particular subject
- Everyone should learn to write a great essay.
- Everyone gets to play a part in this year’s Christmas pageant.
- I forgot to bring my pajamas to the sleep-over, so I had to sleep in my clothes.
- Even though it was barely a drizzle, it was still too wet to go out and play.
- The volunteer workers built an entire house in one day.
- The farm worker put enough hay in the manger to last all night.
- Maria Isabel’s father is most looking forward to hearing her sing. (p. 43)
- Maria goes to her room, puts on her pajamas, and goes to bed after helping with the dishes. (p. 44)
- The teacher asks the students to write an essay titled “My Greatest Wish.” (p. 48)
- Maria Isabel’s first wish is to make a snowman. (p. 48)
- Maria Isabel’s third wish is that her teacher would call her Maria Isabel Salazar Lopez. (p. 50-51)
- Maria Isabel says if she’s called by her real name, then she can listen better in class and have a part in the play. (p. 51)
- The teacher asks Maria Isabel to lead the song about the Hanukkah candles. (p. 54)