WORD LISTS

"Dactyl Hill Squad" by Daniel José Older, Chapters 1–3

May 7, 2019
In this historical fantasy novel set during the Civil War, orphan Magdalys Roca attempts to rescue her friends from a slave trader — with the help of some domesticated dinosaurs.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–3, Chapters 4–6, Chapters 7–11, Chapters 12–18, Chapters 19–28, Chapters 29–39

Here is a link to our lists for Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older.
satchel
Her day satchel was packed, her uniform was on, shoes buckled; she’d wrestled her hair into a tight bun the way the matrons insisted she do.
banter
“Slow down, Speeds McGee!” Sweety Mae called after her. But Magdalys didn’t have time to stop and banter.
provisional
Mr. Calloway had escaped a provisional farm in upstate New York long before Magdalys was born, and she tried to be as nice to him as she could.
dollop
Up ahead, Varney, the orphanage’s huge old triceratops, grunted and stomped his feet. Great big folds of flesh hung down from his massive belly and dangled in dollops over each other along his four thick legs.
docile
In the orphanage library’s tattered edition of The Field Guide to North American Dinos, Pteros & Other Assorted –Sauria (which everyone just called the Dinoguide), Dr. Barlow Sloan described triceratopses as noble and docile beasts who wanted nothing more than to sit around chewing on grass and leaves all day, but were perfectly willing to ride into battle and march for weeks on end if called upon to do so by their masters.
bristle
But it was only a few years ago that New York had passed a law granting black citizens the right to dinoride, and white people in Manhattan still bristled and stared when they saw someone with brown skin astride those massive scaly backs.
astride
But it was only a few years ago that New York had passed a law granting black citizens the right to dinoride, and white people in Manhattan still bristled and stared when they saw someone with brown skin astride those massive scaly backs.
ward
Magdalys had no idea why anyone would want to keep her from dinoriding just because of the color of her skin, but she knew the orphanage certainly wouldn’t let any of its wards near any dinos, except Varney, and him only every once in a while.
cavort
So Magdalys mostly had to be content with watching the great beasts cavort along outside her window: The lamplighter’s iguanodons would pass first thing in the morning, extinguishing the lanterns as the day broke.
ornate
No! Magdalys thought, sprinting through the big ornate gates enclosing the orphanage. A stitch opened up in her side. Wait!
smug
“So you decided to accept your name after all, Margaret,” Henrietta Von Marsh said, a smug smile sliding across her face.
chide
“Oh, do sit down, young man,” Old Mother Virginia Brimworth chided.
sullen
On the bench across from her, Amaya was staring out into the city around them, a sullen frown painted across her face, brow furrowed.
furrow
On the bench across from her, Amaya was staring out into the city around them, a sullen frown painted across her face, brow furrowed.
undulate
Two Step spun once, then slid all the way to one side of the cart and made his whole body undulate like a wave.
plod
Magdalys closed her eyes, tuned into the wagon wheels rumbling through muddy cobblestone streets beneath her, the rocking cart, Varney’s grunts and plodding footfalls, Sabeen and Mapper’s laughter as Two Step fell into another round of dancing.
guffaw
On a normal summer night, Manhattan sizzled with hollers, guffaws, and arguments, a million tidbits of gossip that warbled and bassooned down alleyways and over rooftops, across bustling avenues and through dingy saloons, back out into the streets where they were chewed on until all the juice was extracted, and then discarded to make room for the next morsel.
warble
On a normal summer night, Manhattan sizzled with hollers, guffaws, and arguments, a million tidbits of gossip that warbled and bassooned down alleyways and over rooftops, across bustling avenues and through dingy saloons, back out into the streets where they were chewed on until all the juice was extracted, and then discarded to make room for the next morsel.
dingy
On a normal summer night, Manhattan sizzled with hollers, guffaws, and arguments, a million tidbits of gossip that warbled and bassooned down alleyways and over rooftops, across bustling avenues and through dingy saloons, back out into the streets where they were chewed on until all the juice was extracted, and then discarded to make room for the next morsel.
harangue
Farmers and Fishmongers would be packing up for the night, cursing and haranguing each other by way of saying see you tomorrow, and various merchants would be standing outside their stores, waiting for that one last customer to round out the day’s sales.
apothecary
Dinos of all shapes and sizes should’ve been trundling down the throughway, skittering across intersections, hauling cargo along for a late delivery at some grocer or apothecary.
pretense
She liked that Two Step didn’t feel like he had to keep up some pretense of bravery around her.
gloat
“Oh,” the matron declared, the slightest hint of a gloating smile curving her thin lips, “you’re Margaret now?”
perturbed
Von Marsh looked perturbed for a moment, then simply shook her head. “I’m not going over this with you again, young lady.”
chortle
“If you had really wanted to know,” Von Marsh chortled, “you would’ve answered when I called you the first time.”
petulant
Dr. Barlow Sloan spent a whole chapter of the Dinoguide trashing knuckleskulls. Ugly, irrelevant, useless, lazy, good-for-nothing, abrupt, flatulent, and petulant were some of the choice adjectives he’d selected for them.
titter
“Ah, Officer,” Von Marsh tittered, hurrying to the front of the cart. “Pay no mind to Marietta. She’s quite fiery, you know. We’re simply taking them to the theater, young sir...”
sallow
A middle-aged white man with a clipped, sallow face stood looking up at them.
nebulous
Tufts of white hair sprouted from either side of his otherwise bald head like some distraught nebulous fungi.
medallion
A shiny medallion punctuated his long black magistrate robes: a roaring tyrannosaurus inside a circle with some writing around it that Magdalys couldn’t make out.
magistrate
A shiny medallion punctuated his long black magistrate robes: a roaring tyrannosaurus inside a circle with some writing around it that Magdalys couldn’t make out.
deliberate
Magdalys took a step back as Riker walked a slow, deliberate strut toward the back of the wagon.
manumission
“Now, Miss Henrietta Von Marsh—of the Ladies’ Manumission Society, is it?”
drawl
“And Miss Von Marsh of the Ladies’ Manumission Society, I believe I overheard you say you’re going to the theater.” The magistrate drawled the word out with a soft lilt.
lilt
“And Miss Von Marsh of the Ladies’ Manumission Society, I believe I overheard you say you’re going to the theater.” The magistrate drawled the word out with a soft lilt.
fugitive
“To prove that they’re not fugitive slaves, of course. You know we’ve had terrible trouble with that these days: contraband. It’s illegal to harbor fugitives, particularly in a time of war.”
contraband
“To prove that they’re not fugitive slaves, of course. You know we’ve had terrible trouble with that these days: contraband. It’s illegal to harbor fugitives, particularly in a time of war.”
scoff
“Why, Magistrate!” Von Marsh scoffed. “That’s not true! But I assure you, these are free children and not fugitive slaves in the least! I give you my word as a member of one of the noblest families of New York City.”
plantation
Would she survive plantation life?
magnanimous
Riker whirled around, suddenly magnanimous. “Nothing at all, dear lady. Which theater was it you said you were attending?”

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