Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution

by Sherri Winston (Author)

Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution
Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

From the beloved author of President of the Whole Fifth Grade, a story about a young Black girl who summons the courage to fight against a discriminatory dress code--and stand up for herself.

Lotus Bloom just wants to express herself--with her violin, her retro style, and her peaceful vibe, not to mention her fabulous hair.

This school year, Lotus is taking her talent and spirit to the seventh grade at a new school of the arts. The one where she just might get to play under the famous maestro, a violin virtuoso and conductor of the orchestra. But Lotus's best friend, Rebel, thinks Lotus should stay at their school. Why should this fancy new school get all the funding and pull the brightest kids out? Rebel wants Lotus to help her protest, but Lotus isn't sure. If she's going to be in the spotlight, she'd rather it be for her music.

Then, when boys throw paper wads and airplanes into Lotus's afro, Lotus finds herself in trouble for a dress code violation. Lotus must choose--should she stay quiet and risk her beloved hair, or put aside her peaceful vibe and risk everything to fight back?

Inspired by real stories of Black girls fighting dress codes that discriminate against their hair and culture, beloved author Sherri Winston introduces a memorable character who finds her way to speak up for what's right, no matter what it takes.

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Review quotes

"Winston employs rich descriptions through Lotus' first-person narration, conveying her love of music. The text brings themes of racism and protest to the forefront, making it a solid conversation starter. . . . A relatable novel that will encourage readers to fight for their rights." —Kirkus Reviews

"A sweet confection for middle graders... will be a hit with readers who like Wendy Mass and Lauren Myracle." —Booklist on President of the Whole Fifth Grade

"Brianna's determination and follow-through make her a great role model, but the true value here is the very real depiction of the ebb and flow of middle-school friendships and the difficulties that come with growing up. An important resource for anyone who's ever been in Brianna's shoes." —Booklist on President of the Whole Sixth Grade

"Winston does an excellent job highlighting the complex race issues that African-American children face. ...Thought-provoking and smart and a great springboard for discussions on race and class." —Kirkus on President of the Whole Sixth Grade: Girl Code, starred review

"Rich and winning... Readers will be rooting for both Cadence as she claims her gift and the community who supports her." —Kirkus Reviews on The Sweetest Sound, starred review

"A gorgeous song of a book - a story about faith, confidence, finding your voice, and singing out loud to lift up the people around you... [Cadence is] a character who will stay with me for a long, long time." —Kate Messner, author of The Seventh Wish, on The Sweetest Sound

Sherri Winston

Sherri Winston is the author of National Book Award longlist title Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution, President of the Whole Fifth Grade (a Sunshine State Young Readers Award selection), President of the Whole Sixth Grade (a Kids' Indie Next pick), President of the Whole Sixth Grade: Girl Code, The Sweetest Sound (a Kirkus Best Book of the Year), Jada Sly: Artist & Spy, and The Kayla Chronicles. Before Sherri was an author, she was a longtime newspaper writer and columnist. She grew up in Michigan and now lives with her daughters in Orlando, Florida.
Twitter: @sherriwinston
Instagram: @iamsherriwinston

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date
September 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV039140 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
JUV011010 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JUV031040 - Juvenile Fiction | Performing Arts | Music
JUV039120 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Prejudice & Racism
JUV039290 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Activism & Social Justice
Library of Congress categories
African Americans
Middle schools
Student movements

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