Section 1: Chapters 1-3
- flurry: a brief period of excitement or activity
- hut: a small, roughly made shelter
- grime: dirt that covers a surface
- ivory: a hard, creamy-white material that forms the tusks of mammals
- rickshaw: a small, two-wheeled vehicle pulled by a person on foot or on a bicycle
- threshold: the sill of a door
- On our trip to India last summer, we toured part of the city on a rickshaw.
- The grime on the kitchen sink needed to be scrubbed clean with bleach.
- Paige wore her vintage ivory dress to the piano recital.
- Lila asked to peek inside the mud hut to see how all the family members lived in such close quarters.
- Eddie enjoyed watching a flurry of snowflakes rush past his bedroom window.
- The groom carried his bride across the threshold.
- The homes in the village look different from each other on holidays, when girls decorate their family’s path and threshold with painted patterns called alpanas. p. 8
- International Mother Language Day is when the whole country celebrates the beauty of their Bangla language and the leaders give a prize to the girl who paints the best alpanas. p. 8
- Naima was only able to attend school for three years, because her parents couldn’t afford to pay for two girls to attend school, and now it is her sister Rashida’s turn to go. p. 11
- Naima tells Rashida that even though sarees are pretty, they are yards and yards of cloth that wrap around and make her feel like she is wearing a bandage. p. 12
- Naima’s father had to borrow money to buy the new rickshaw, so he needs to work long hours every day to make sure he can pay back the loan or else he might lose the rickshaw. p. 15
- Girls are not only allowed to cook, clean, wash clothes, and decorate. p. 19
- Naima begins to wish she had been born a boy so that she could help earn some money for her family. p. 21
Section 2: Chapters 4-6
- careless: done, made, or said without being careful
- coiled: a series of wound circles, like in a spring
- disguise: to change the usual appearance of someone or something
- grim: harsh in action or appearance
- lotus: a type of flowering plant that grows on the surface of water
- recognize: to know and remember someone or something
- When Jamie saw the rattlesnake coiled near the bush, she remembered to stay still and wait for it to slither away.
- After Katie got her braces off, I almost didn’t recognize her with that new smile.
- When Finn put on his Hulk costume, he decided to talk in a deeper voice in order to disguise his true identity.
- Olivia realized she had been careless with her words, when she jokingly called her sister a smelly dog.
- The lotus flower glowed in the moonlight.
- Justine made a grim face after swallowing a mouthful of sour milk.
- Naima wants to disguise herself as a boy so that she can earn money by driving the rickshaw so her father can get more rest. p. 25
- Saleem doesn’t think Naima’s idea will work because he thinks someone will recognize her and getting caught will bring shame on her family. p. 27
- Naima pictures her parents and Rashida being pleased with the gifts she could bring them if she was allowed to drive the rickshaw for her father. p. 30-31
- After Naima jumps off of the rickshaw, it crashes into thorny bushes. p. 31
- The first thing Naima’s mother asks is if she is bleeding. p. 33
- Naima’s father is relieved that the rickshaw still works. p. 34-35
- Naima’s mother offers to trade her gold bangle in order for money to pay for the rickshaw to be repaired. p. 37
Section 3: Chapters 7-10
- dim: not bright or distinct
- disgrace: the condition of feeling ashamed or becoming unworthy of respect
- idle: to spend time doing nothing
- numb: unable to feel anything
- scarce: very small in amount or number
- symmetry: having two sides or halves that are the same
- There is hardly a Saturday or Sunday where I have time to sit around and be idle.
- Laura felt disgraced when her father caught her lying about getting her homework finished before she played outside.
- It is fun to look in the mirror and see the symmetry of my facial features.
- After being bitten by the vicious dog, Jay felt numb and couldn’t talk about it for a few days.
- The fish in the shallow pond were quire scarce.
- Sophie dims the light in her room just before she takes a nap.
- Naima’s father no longer comes home from lunch because he looks for passengers while other rickshaws sit idle. p. 40
- Naima’s mother explains that everyone makes mistakes and that Naima was only trying to help. p. 40-41
- Naima can only picture the bruised and beaten rickshaw when she closes her eyes. p. 42
- Naima allows herself to admit that the revised alpanas are even better than a design she might have created from scratch. p. 49
- Naima plans to earn the money for the rickshaw’s repairs by painting rickshaws at the repair shop. p. 53
- Naima gives Salem the white ribbon as a keepsake to remind him that they will always be friends, even if they can’t meet as much as they would like. p. 54
- Naima forces herself not to think about her father’s reaction when he finds her in the repair shop. p. 57
Section 4: Chapters 11-Author’s Notes
- decent: polite, moral, and honest
- fierce: wild or threatening
- frantic: feeling or showing fear and worry
- jubilant: feeling or expressing great joy
- labor: to move or work with effort
- scold: to find fault noisily or angrily
- The fierce dog barked wildly when the mail carrier delivered the package.
- Nate felt sad after being scolded for playing a mean trick on his little sister.
- A decent person does not lie, cheat, or steal in order to get what they want.
- The mom is frantic when her kids dawdle around the house in the morning, making her late to work.
- Everyone felt jubilant at the wedding!
- The water buffalo labored under the heavy load.
- Naima is shocked to discover that the widow is the owner and painter of the rickshaw repair shop. p. 61
- The women’s bank is where women put their money together to help other women have a place to borrow money in order to start a business. p. 64
- The widow allows Naima to work on touching up four faded panels. p. 68
- The widow tells Naima’s father not to scold her because she was brave to come to the repair shop and offer to work to help pay for the rickshaw repairs. p. 70
- Naima’s father is so shocked to discover the widow’s identity that he is no longer angry. p. 71
- The widow lets Naima’s father borrow her rickshaw for the day so that people will know that Hassan’s is back in business. p. 76
- Naima and Saleem’s secret-keeping policy is that secrets are only shared if one of them might be in trouble. p. 77