Lola Levine: Drama Queen


By Monica Brown

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Seven-year-old Lola Levine is fierce on the soccer field. She can do a slide tackle (although she’s not supposed to) and even likes gooey worms. Nothing scares Lola! That is, until she is auditioning in front of EVERYONE for her class play. After Lola is overcome with stage fright, she’s cast as Squirrel #2, a non-speaking part!

Lola is more than a little disappointed, and she looks to her bubbe for advice and comfort. But on opening night, the curtain rises, and she finds herself smack in the middle of an exasperating turn of events.

In this fun and heartfelt chapter book, can Lola give Squirrel #2 her own special stamp and make it a play to remember?


Begin Reading

Table of Contents

A Sneak Peek of Lola Levine and the Ballet Scheme

Copyright Page

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Dear Diario,

I can't sleep. I want to juggle my soccer ball, but I'm pretty sure that would wake everyone else up. I could paint on the walls of my room, but I'm not feeling full of what my artist dad calls "creative expression." What I am feeling full of is energy—inside and out.

Sometimes my thoughts are like monkeys jumping up and down in my head saying, "Ooh-ooh, aah-aah!" Sometimes my monkeys are swinging from trees.

I'm excited for school tomorrow because Ms. Garcia says there will be a surprise. I love surprises. I can't imagine anything better than the last surprise, which involved worms and garbage.

My monkeys are getting tired.

Shalom and buenas noches,
Lola Levine

Chapter One

Walk, Don't Run

My name is Lola Levine, and the truth is little brothers are sometimes a pain. At least mine is.

"Lola! Zola! Granola! It's time to get up!" yells Ben right in my ear.

"Ouch," I say, and pull the covers over my head. Usually I am up way before Ben. Why am I so tired? Oh yeah—I couldn't sleep.

"Cow barn," I mumble into my pillow. I can't say "darn" because that's a word Mom would rather I didn't use.

"It just doesn't sound nice," she says.

"Dolores! Boris! Morris! Wake up!" Ben keeps going with his awful rhymes until I'm up and out of bed.

"Ben," I say, "don't try to rhyme, you moldy lime." I like words a lot, and I'm good at rhyming them. I'm much better at rhyming than my brother, Ben, in my opinion, and I have lots of opinions.

"Dolores!" Ben shouts again. He knows I don't like being called that—I like my nickname Lola much better. My middle name is Esther and I like that. According to Grandma Levine, my bubbe, Esther means "star" in Hebrew.

"Wanna hear a joke, Lola?" Ben asks. He likes telling jokes. "What do kitties eat for dessert?"

"I don't know," I grumble.

"Mice cream!" he says. "Get it? Get it? 'Mice' instead of 'ice.'"

"I get it," I say. Ever since Mom and Dad agreed that we could get a kitty this summer, Ben's started with the cat jokes.

I stretch my hands toward the ceiling. If I jump up, I can almost touch the stars Dad and I painted on the ceiling a few weeks ago. It was really fun—until I got paint in my eyes. After that, Mom made sure both Dad and I wore goggles when we decided to paint ceilings. Ben thought our paint goggles looked cool, so now he wears them even when he isn't painting. They're big and round, and I think they make him look like a bug.

Now Ben's trying to touch his hands to the ceiling, too, only he thinks it will be easier if he jumps off my dresser.

Thwunk! He lands on the floor, hard. Thwunk! Kerplunk! He tries again.

This time Dad yells. "What's going on up there? Hurry or you'll be late for school!" He and Mom take turns driving us to school each morning.

Mom must have an early assignment for the newspaper, because she's gone by the time we get downstairs. Dad's making pancakes, but it's taking really long because he is trying to make them into different shapes. Dad's an artist who believes in creative expression—even with pancakes. Sometimes, when I am upset, he gives me a piece of paper and a pencil and tells me to draw my feelings. I like art, but I like words better than pictures when it comes to feelings. Finally, the pancakes are ready.

"Mine looks like an ear," Ben complains.

"It's a whale," Dad says. "See the blueberry eye?"

"I thought that was an earring," Ben says.


  • "Readers will find much to love in Lola and her nurturing family. Dominguez's illustrations provide just the right touch to enhance the story."—School Library Journal
  • "Readers who first met Lola in Lola Levine Is Not Mean will be pleased to see her in a new role. This sequel should win her new fans."—Booklist

On Sale
Jan 5, 2016
Page Count
96 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