WORD LISTS

"Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution" by Sherri Winston, Prologue–Chapter 4

November 2, 2022
Lotus Bloom, a seventh-grade girl who loves the vintage style of the 1970s, learns to speak up and fight for the freedom of expression after facing a dress code violation at school.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Prologue–Chapter 4, Chapters 5–10, Chapters 11–16, Chapters 17–22
angst
Filled with preteen angst and a revolutionary spirit, she is quite talented in the skill of scowl.
array
She’s got an impressive array, perfect for morning, noon, or night. She even has very special scowl-snarl combos for things like pep rallies, teen heartthrobs, and people who make hearts with their hands.
mantra
“Look, I know you think you can clear away ‘bad vibes’ by saying mantras or manifesting good stuff, and I usually like your throwback peace-and-love vibe like everything is ‘groovy’ or whatever, but this is important and it hurts that you don’t seem to get it.”
manifest
“Look, I know you think you can clear away ‘bad vibes’ by saying mantras or manifesting good stuff, and I usually like your throwback peace-and-love vibe like everything is ‘groovy’ or whatever, but this is important and it hurts that you don’t seem to get it.”
flair
“You know, Rebel, with your flair for drama, I told you to audition, too. You would have been accepted”—I snap my fingers—“just like that.”
knack
She has the amazing knack for reading my mind.
intricacy
I feel the power of the song, the intricacies of the finger work along the slender neck of my instrument.
palette
She’s with two other ladies, all of them dressed in workout clothes and carrying brightly colored gym bags in a palette of primary colors.
muse
His first words to me: “Girl! You are my new muse!”
swoon
Piano lab.
It’s enough to make me swoon.
dingy
At my old school we were lucky to have a dingy room that smelled like pee and Pine-Sol with a piano in it and walls that didn’t have mold.
humble
“I...didn’t have to audition.”
I say it very humbly so I won’t come off like I’m stuck up.
insignificant
But I am merely an insignificant seventh grader, and nobody gives me a second look.
virtuoso
Former Cuban refugee turned international violin virtuoso.
bohemian
Someone cracks about my throwback outfit—jeans, pegged above the ankle, with a totally ’70s bohemian peasant blouse, white with yellow flowers.
lilt
His slight Spanish accent made his words sort of lilt at the ends like flower petals bending toward the light.
maestro
This isn’t the same as playing on the sidewalk, or for people my age. If I had to make a list of what would be my most stressful situations EVER, playing for Maestro Vasquez—unprepared—would be at the top!
cummerbund
In my fantasy, hundreds of guests are sitting in the audience, wearing their evening gowns and cummerbunds and fancy jewels.
baroque
He pauses for a minute, then says, “Where did you learn to play baroque style so well?”
caliber
“You are exceptionally gifted. Musicality is so hard to teach. You possess remarkable musicality for a musician of your age and experience. The ability to feel the music and make others feel it, too. I believe you would make an excellent concertmaster for our orchestra, as others here would benefit from watching someone of your caliber.”
subtle
Once the whispering and not-so- subtle looks calm down, Maestro gets down to business.
clout
He has clout, and he doesn’t like to lose!
resent
I call out before she leaves, “Do you resent that I got leapfrogged over you, too? I don’t want anyone to be mad at me.”
involuntarily
But then Mom pops into my head and I wince involuntarily.
distinct
Most of me looks about as distinct from her as possible. But I do look just like him.
staunch
Although, while I am the captain of #TeamAfro, Mom is a staunch believer in relaxers.
maintain
But she doesn’t understand my commitment to maintaining my afro, which feels like a huge part of my identity to me.
delicate
The Sibelius piece always feels like a question. So urgent and delicate and necessary. The notes move over one another in a slow buildup of agony and longing.
resounding
At a key moment in the concerto, I imagine the deep-throated bassoon’s resounding interjection that comes when an orchestra plays the piece.
interjection
At a key moment in the concerto, I imagine the deep-throated bassoon’s resounding interjection that comes when an orchestra plays the piece.
audacious
I just hope one day my ’fro is as audacious as yours.
default
I’m being extra smiley and upbeat. It’s my default. The setting I turn on when I’m in doubt.
blunt
It means I am about to have a fight with my best friend. It means I can already hear my heart splintering from the bluntness I know is coming.
dismissive
“You shouldn’t be so dismissive, Rebel.” I’d learned that word “ dismissive” from a counselor at school last year. Mrs. Jones. She overheard one of my and Rebel’s disagreements and saw how Rebel reacted to me not agreeing with her. “She’s being rather dismissive of your feelings, don’t you think?” she’d said.
ignorant
“All I know is you leaving gives the county one more reason to think they’re doing the right thing. And the fact that you want to act like it doesn’t matter at all, well, it makes you look really ignorant and unfeeling!”

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