Lola Levine and the Ballet Scheme


By Monica Brown

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When new classmate Bella, a ballet dancer, walks into Lola’s class at Northland Elementary, all Lola can see is pink everywhere–pink ribbons, a pink sweatshirt, and pink tennis shoes. Yuck! Pink is Lola’s least favorite color. Plus, Ballet isn’t nearly as hard as soccer, is it?

Lola and Bella can’t seem to stop squabbling. But when a mishap during class lands them in Principal Blot’s office, Lola’s mom comes up with a scheme–a ballet scheme–that just might make these classroom rivals realize that ballerinas and soccer players have more in common than they ever thought possible.

But is it too late for Lola to make a new friend?


Begin Reading

Table of Contents

Copyright Page

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Dear Diario,

During class today, I noticed that Makayla Miller, Alyssa Goldstein, and Olivia Lopez all had the same nail polish on. It seemed like every girl in my class did. They were whispering, but I heard them talking about a slumber party. I've never been to a slumber party, or even been invited to one.

I like nail polish, too. I use it for what my dad calls "creative expression." When I have a soccer game, I paint my nails orange to match my uniform. When I'm happy, I sometimes paint my nails all the colors of the rainbow. Once, when I was sad, I used a permanent marker to draw frown faces on each finger, but Mom said that wasn't a good idea at all. How was I supposed to know that permanent marker was, well, permanent?

I'm glad I have soccer practice tomorrow because soccer always makes me feel better.


Lola Levine

Chapter One

The New Girl

"I wonder where Ms. Garcia is?" I ask Josh Blot as we walk into the second-grade classroom. Ms. Garcia is my favorite teacher ever. In fact, last week I wrote her an acrostic saying just that:







I can't think of a word that begins with I


A poem is acrostic when each letter of a word begins each line in the poem. Guess who taught me that? Ms. Garcia! I taught my brother, Ben, how to write an acrostic, but I sure didn't like his very much.

Loud voice


Large ears

Afraid of me on the soccer field

Mom didn't like it, either.

"Words are powerful," she told Ben. Mom is a journalist for the newspaper, so she knows words are pretty important. She sat down with Ben, and they made another acrostic for me.


Orange Smoothies soccer team



  • "Readers already familiar with Lola will be happy for a return visit, while newcomers--like Bella--will learn to appreciate her vim and charm."—Booklist Online
  • Praise for Lola Levine Is Not Mean!:
    * "Brown introduces a smart, young protagonist with a multicultural background in this series opener for chapter-book readers. Celebrate a truly accepting multicultural character."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
  • "If you've never had a best friend, Lola Levine will undoubtably become your first. Her appeal is boundless."—Rita Williams-Garcia, Coretta Scott King Author Award winner for One Crazy Summer
  • "Lola Levine is a joy, and even though she stops goals at soccer games, she could never stop readers from smiling as they eagerly wait for her next adventure."—Diana López, author of Confetti Girl andAsk My Mood Ring How I Feel
  • "Readers will cheer as Lola balances her troubles at school with the same smart skills that she uses to dominate the soccer field. A lovely bicultural character--and her richly drawn group of peers--promises a cherished new series."—Meg Medina, Pura Belpré winner for Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
  • "This first entry in a smartly crafted new series introduces Lola, best friend Josh Blot, and her family. The appealing protagonist is energetic and enthusiastic [and] with as much about family and friends as about sports, this chapter book should have broad appeal." —Booklist
  • "Beginning chapter book readers will enjoy Lola's spunk and humor. A good choice for chapter book collections."—School Library Journal

On Sale
Jul 5, 2016
Page Count
112 pages

Monica Brown

About the Author

Monica Brown, Ph.D. is the author of many award winning books for children, including Waiting for the Biblioburro and Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina. Her books have received starred reviews, Pura Belpre honors, an NCTE Orbis Pictus honor, Americas Awards, and a Christopher Award. Monica’s books are inspired by her Peruvian and Jewish heritage and her desire to bring diverse stories to children. Monica is a professor of English at Northern Arizona University, where she teaches multicultural literature. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two daughters, and she invites you to visit her website at

Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City, grew up in the great state of Texas, and now lives in Brooklyn. She is the author of Knit TogetherLet’s Go, Hugo!, Maria Had a Little Llama, and Santiago Stays.

Learn more about this author