WORD LISTS

"Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution" by Sherri Winston, Chapters 11–16

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
elaborate
“Can’t,” I say, distracted, already mentally listing out the elaborate array of pre-poo, deep conditioning, and twistups I’ll conduct when I get home, to make sure my hair is the best it ever looks at school tomorrow.
petty
Also, I’m a little ashamed of how petty I’m feeling.
unkempt
Do they look at my hair—which I love—as something dirty and unkempt?
refurbish
We’re all standing around in this back room at the center, which is clean and well stocked despite its shabbiness. The center could use a total refurbishment.
ensemble
The chorus will be on the stairs. Ensemble groups will be set up in different areas.
troubadour
We’ll be like a roving band of troubadours—medieval musicians—going from one area to the next depending on which song we are performing.
seethe
He is working hard to keep his anger in check. He’s not mad—he’s seething.
sophisticated
He continues, “Miss Lee is an eighth grader who began study of the violin at age five. She is a gifted and talented young lady with a sophisticated work ethic.”
oblivious
I feel like my insides are coming undone, and the people I should be able to count on are—what was that vocab word? Oblivious. They haven’t got a clue.
falter
“Is...”—his voice falters—“is Maestro aware of the situation?”
squander
Concentrate on your art, your music. Lead with conviction and keep pushing yourself to do better than you did the day before. I would hate to see a talent as precious as yours squandered.
endorsement
When I tell Tati and Anabel, Tati says, “Well, duh? Who else would get his endorsement? You’re a natural.”
flush
His cheeks flush bright pink, and his floppy brown hair is wild on his shoulders.
gamely
She shrugs, her smirk trying gamely for innocence.
full-fledged
Is she a student of the art or a full-fledged professor?
gingerly
“I like your flower,” she says. I touch it gingerly.
casual
“You should come meet her, too,” I say to YaYa, casual as I can.
dainty
“No, not really. Now, lift your chin a little,” she directs, pausing to take a dainty bite of her sandwich before continuing to scratch lines and curves onto the page.
unruly
Our student dress code is clear—students must maintain a manner of dress and personal style that does not disrupt or engage other students. Lotus’s unruly hair has created a disturbance in the classroom and must be taken seriously.
smug
I picture Adolpho’s smug grin.
defiant
“Mom, they want me to change my hair. My hair! That’s not right. Can’t you see that?” Even as I’m saying it, I hear the whine in my tone. I don’t sound strong. Defiant. More like I’m begging to be heard.
contempt
She eyes my afro with contempt.
rehash
It doesn’t take long before I can’t bear sitting at the table with Mom and Derrick any longer, if she’s just going to rehash my misery for dinnertime amusement.
tenacious
“Closer to home,” the news lady is saying, “a tenacious group of students protest outside a special Thursday-night session of the Miami-Dade school board meeting...”
snooty
“Are you okay? I know when you get stressed out you start hurling. Tell me right now”—her voice rises into the tone she saves for frightening salesgirls or snooty waitstaff—“what is going on with you?”
tirade
My brain keeps bouncing from the sight of those boys’ angry faces as they drilled me with paper planes, to the recommendation from Maestro, to the awful letter from Mr. Mackie, to my mom’s rare tirade, and, finally, to Rebel’s righteous indignation.
indignation
My brain keeps bouncing from the sight of those boys’ angry faces as they drilled me with paper planes, to the recommendation from Maestro, to the awful letter from Mr. Mackie, to my mom’s rare tirade, and, finally, to Rebel’s righteous indignation.
resolve
The absence of his full support crashes like a cymbal, shattering my resolve.
acclaim
“It’s what I’ve always wanted for you, too. We both know how your mother feels. She couldn’t care less if you ever took the stage in a grand hall. Or gained international acclaim,” he says.
compliant
Her own finely relaxed hair is bone straight and plastered into a compliant bun.
blasphemy
Miss a day of school? On purpose? Blasphemy!
installment
One minute she was there, the next, exit stage right. The latest installment of the Rebel Show.
squabble
Had he really thought that my being humiliated on a daily basis was a “petty squabble”?
conspiratorial
“It’s not just them,” I say, lowering my voice and looking around conspiratorially.
stifle
Normally, seeing her like that would automatically flick my protective switch, but instead I stifle a yawn.
metronome
My pulse beats in time with a metronome on Mr. Mackie’s desk.
discreet
Meanwhile, Mr. Cortez fails at discreetly looking at the screen of his phone.
immaculate
He slides his iPhone into a pocket in his immaculate doctor’s coat.
ominous
In the back of my mind, I heard the ominous tones of F and F-sharp alternate. Jaws. Two notes that became a movie classic.
volatile
These Black girls from where she’s from—MacArthur Park, right?—are volatile. What if she snaps during one of the performances and goes off on another unsuspecting student?

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