The Latte Rebellion
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The Latte Rebellion

4.0 9
by Sarah Jamila Stevenson

Hoping to raise money for a post-graduation trip to London, Asha Jamison and her best friend Carey decide to sell T-shirts promoting the Latte Rebellion, a club that raises awareness of mixed-race students.

But seemingly overnight, their "cause" goes viral and the T-shirts become a nationwide social movement. As new chapters spring up from coast to coast, Asha


Hoping to raise money for a post-graduation trip to London, Asha Jamison and her best friend Carey decide to sell T-shirts promoting the Latte Rebellion, a club that raises awareness of mixed-race students.

But seemingly overnight, their "cause" goes viral and the T-shirts become a nationwide social movement. As new chapters spring up from coast to coast, Asha realizes that her simple marketing plan has taken on a life of its own—and it's starting to ruin hers. Asha's once-stellar grades begin to slip, threatening her Ivy League dreams, while her friendship with Carey hangs by a thread. And when the peaceful underground movement spins out of control, Asha's school launches a disciplinary hearing. Facing expulsion, Asha must decide how much she's willing to risk for something she truly believes in.


The Latte Rebellion is a wonderful, conceptual story from a new author with strong promise of becoming established in the YA genre."—VOYA

The Latte Rebellion] is more than the typical high school story. [It] will strike a chord with those students who are trying to find their place in society."—LIBRARY MEDIA CONNECTION

"A thoughtful taste of one girl's attempt at being a world-traveling, latte-drinking, singularly awesome individual in a world determined to herd her into being classified as either coffee or milk."—TANITA S. DAVIS, AUTHOR OF MARE'S WAR, A CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR BOOK

"Get ready to start your own rebellion after gulping down Sarah Stevenson's deftly written, multi-layered story about growing a voice, growing apart, and most of all, growing up girl."—JUSTINA CHEN, AUTHOR OFNORTH OF BEAUTIFUL

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Stevenson's debut novel explores the complexities of mixed ethnicity, advocacy versus self-interest, and finding one's voice. Asha Jamison is at the top of her senior class and ready to attend any number of selective schools, until her focus shifts from academia to racial prejudice after being called a "towel head" at a pool party. The comment was meant as a joke (she indeed had a towel on her head at the time), but Mexican/Irish/Indian Asha and her half-Chinese best friend, Carey, see it as emblematic of a broader insensitivity. Shortly thereafter, they found the Latte Rebellion (complete with manifesto and Web site) promoting mixed-race pride--and ideally funding a postgraduation trip through T-shirt sales. Their group quickly gains national popularity, but despite this success, Asha's schoolwork suffers, her relationships with her family and with Carey are strained, and the group's militaristic tone attracts the attention of school administrators. As Stevenson alternates between the day-to-day dramas surrounding the advent of the rebellion and scenes from an eventual disciplinary hearing, she offers a thought-provoking account of a girl's search for identity. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
VOYA - Ursula Adams
Stevenson takes on the issue of multiracialism in her debut novel The Latte Rebellion. Told in first person through the voice of multiracial high school senior, Asha Jamison, the story revolves around the obstacles she and her multiracial friends confront daily. One day, an idea is born. Making the analogy that race is like a latte—a mixture of light and dark—the concept of the Latte Rebellion begins. At first a money-making prospect of selling graphic t-shirts to finance Asha and friend, Carey's, summer trip to London, it spirals out of control. The Latte Rebellion gains national recognition, tests their friendship and threatens Asha's acceptance into college. Stevenson presents believable supporting characters and a protagonist with whom readers will identify and empathize. The novel speaks directly to teenagers who are beginning to find their place in their world and figuring out how to make the world a better place for others. This concept is enhanced throughout the book by inserts of the Latte Rebellion posters and cartoon drawings. This coming-of-age story is craftily written, fast paced and delivers a message of doing the right thing under difficult circumstances. The Latte Rebellion is a wonderful, conceptual story from a new author with strong promise of becoming established in the YA genre. Reviewer: Ursula Adams
VOYA - Paisley Adams
The Latte Rebellion is extremely well-written. I liked the way Stevenson transferred between two time settings—real time and the future. The characters are well-developed and very realistic. This a quick, entertaining, hard-to-put-down book. The plot sustained interest with a satisfying solution to the climax. The Latte Rebellion will appeal to teenage girls, particularly those of multiethnic backgrounds. Also, it will have great appeal for those teenagers who are active in supporting a cause. Reviewer: Paisley Adams, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—After a classmate hurls a racial slur at her, Asha Jamison, who is half Indian, a quarter Mexican, and a quarter Irish, and her best friend, Carey, who is half Chinese and half Caucasian, use the experience as inspiration for a moneymaking enterprise to raise funds for a graduation trip. At first, the girls sell T-shirts emblazoned with the logo of their new venture, "The Latte Rebellion," hoping to promote awareness about students of mixed ethnicity. But business soon turns political, and Asha finds herself at the center of a burgeoning social movement. As her involvement in it deepens, she becomes more self-reflective in her search for identity, resisting categorization. Stevenson's debut novel expertly handles complex issues around race and ethnic identity without seeming pedantic, and her authentic descriptions of the San Francisco Bay Area complement the story well. Teens will relate to Asha's typical adolescent struggles with her parents, as well as her attempts to mend a heartbreaking rift with Carey. A welcome addition to a rapidly evolving genre of multiethnic young adult literature.—Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews

Shy Asha Jamison is snowed under with AP classes, college-application essays and the sky-high expectations of her Indian-American mom and Mexican-Irish-American dad. Digs from classmates at her mixed-race status don't help, but they give Asha an idea. Voilà, the Latte Rebellion is born, a scheme to promote blended ethnicity (like lattes, mixed people come in many hues and flavors) by selling T-shirts. The profits will fund a graduation trip with biracial friend Carey Wong. The cause quickly takes on a life of its own; Rebellion chapters spring up across the country, generating publicity good and bad. As Asha discovers a latent gift for leadership and passion for social justice (and for college activist Thad Sakai), her grades and college hopes, along with her friendship with Carey, deteriorate. While this debut skims over thornier issues of blended identity, and the Rebellion's strategy of social change through viral marketing is questionable, Asha is engaging and the depiction of her journey—a realistic mess of vague hopes, serendipitous events, serious missteps and gutsy choices—compellingly original. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Sarah Jamila Stevenson (Modesto, CA) is a writer, artist, graphic designer, and occasional world traveler. Her debut novel, The Latte Rebellion, was featured on National Public Radio’s Tell Me More program. Visit her online at

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Latte Rebellion 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
When Asha, a soon-to-be senior, gets called a towel head at the local community pool because she is: A) part Indian and B) has a beach towel on her head, she realizes the inequities that continue to abound in her world. On a whim and a joke, Asha and her best friend Carey conspire to create t-shirts to sell with The Latte Rebellion printed on them. The girls love lattes and joke that they themselves are lattes - the more ingredients, the better! Their money-making venture spins out of control and becomes an actual movement; a movement that Asha cares about, but not everyone has the same opinion. The Latte Rebellion starts off slow, much like any grassroots group would. I enjoyed getting to know Asha and her family, and seeing how the Rebellion grew from being just a way to make some cash for a post-graduation vacation, into a movement that not only ignited the minds of others, but transformed Asha as well. The issues of race and inequality are tackled seriously, but never in a way that makes The Latte Rebellion an 'issues' book. Asha becomes the de facto leader of something that is so much bigger than her. And even though it gets out of control and it becomes too much for her to handle, living through that, growing through that, allows her to figure out who she is and who she can be. Sarah Jamila Stevenson's writing is realistic and fun. Each character brings something to the story, good or bad. I couldn't help but be drawn to Asha's sudden passion for the Rebellion and the realization that a single idea can wield so much power. Miranda's go get-em' attitude and overall awesomeness made me love her. Even the characters who I disliked contributed to the story and Asha's growth. One of my favorite aspects of the book is how it tells the story about how the Rebellion gets built up, but opens each chapter with snippets of its aftermath and the disciplinary hearing that results from some momentous occurrence. Throughout the book, the Rebellion becomes this tangible movement. Sarah's propaganda drawings help to pull the Rebellion together and really make it feel like a real movement and I loved the code names Asha and her friends use. The Latte Rebellion is a different kind of contemporary story that explores what it means to be proud of who you are and how to be that person in the midst of something so huge, with such polarizing sides. The book made me want to join in the movement, go to the rallies, and fight for what I believe in. It also left me smiling, and if a book can do that, it can't be a bad thing. Opening line: The jeering male voice came from somewhere behind me, waking me up from a heatstroke-induced doze. ~ pg. 1 Favorite lines: What mattered was that people believed in the Rebellion, and if enough people believed, then we, like Thad and Greg with their clinic, might actually be able to change the world. ~ pg. 230
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a wonderful blend of sweetness, humor, and truth. There are lots of racial defence books, but very few mixed race ones. A must-have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book...i read it in less than three hours it so was good! And people like them are more important than you think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book for free from my teacher, and it's really good!!! (Recommended for Young Adults though!!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really got into this book. A must read for everyone who is a latte color. Very good for people who like stories with adventure and inspirational activites. Read this book today!
ABookDork More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like "The Latte Rebellion", but the book just didn't do it for me. I originally got into the book thinking it would be an interesting read about girls banding together to make a difference in the world, but there seemed to be very little of this. It didn't really bother me that Asha and Carey's plan stemmed from a marketing scheme to help them plan a summer trip, the fact that they did believe in what they were putting on the shirts made it okay for me. What I didn't like was how Asha and Carey fought the entire book. I get not wanting to lose an important friendship, but when your friend only has contact with you when it is beneficial for them, then that is a one sided relationship. I kind of felt like Carey was only Asha's friend to bum rides off of her to school, help her study for tests, and so she had somewhere to sit at lunch. Asha's character was also driving me nuts. She kept ignoring her schoolwork and then was shocked when she got back grades. It was also annoying because she kept whining about how unfair her parents were being, but she is the one who let her grades slip. There was a lot of time spent on Carey and Asha's friendship, on Asha's grades, and on love interesting- this just really detracted from the overall story to me. Another thing I really didn't like was the portrayal of adults in the book. Almost every single adult thought the Latte Rebellion was a terrorist group or that teenagers were wasting time on something that wasn't important. I have to say that if my child were to start a group to raise awareness of important social issues, I would be so proud of them. I would not be ashamed and disappointed. I would of course warn them that sometimes acting on your beliefs could cause trouble, even if you have the best of intentions, but I would still stand up for them if the school tried to expel them. I can't believe no parent stepped in to talk to the school about how exclusive they were being to groups of students. I know this is a teen book and maybe teens wouldn't like adults taking charge, but that is usually what happens. Especially in a circumstance such as this where the school system is overreacting to a peaceful group trying to bring social awareness about mixed races. The schools reaction was actually pretty disgusting; I'm surprised more wasn't done in this area. Overall, the book was okay, but honestly I could have skipped reading this one. Even though Asha did seem to want to bring awareness about mixed races to the world, I just thought "The Latte Rebellion" would have been a more successful book if more focus had been spent on the issues instead of Asha's personal life. I know that other people have really enjoyed this book, but I'm just not one of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i wish i could read this book but my mom says there is too many sware words in it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the paper copy and it had bad languge like ass and bich