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Middle Grade Novelist
Longlisted for the National Book Award
Travels from: Orlando, FL

“Through the eyes of a sprightly, determined student, Winston delivers a powerful message about anti-Blackness, bullying, and institutionalized prejudice.” — Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

Sherri Winston is a children’s author and proud mama. She and her daughter, Kenya, are based in Orlando with hopes of one day exploring the world.

Ms. Winston, author of Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution, as well as the Wednesday and Woof early readers series and her bestselling President of the Whole Fifth Grade, is a lover of cakes, sarcasm and wish fulfillment. Jada Sly, Artist & Spy, The Sweetest Sound and President of the Whole Sixth Grade: Girl Code, (Little, Brown for Young Readers) are among her books. Great Escapes: Journey to Freedom, 1838, is Ms. Winston’s only non-fiction book.

Her accolades include: The Sweetest Sound and President of the Whole Fifth Grade, were chosen for the Sunshine State Young Readers Award list of recommended reading for grades 3-5th   in Florida; President of the Whole Fifth Grade was also selected to Tennessee’s recommended list and the Sound Summer Recommended Reading List for the New York Public Library. Ms. Winston, a former professional journalist and lifetime doodler, continues to be amazed that people call her “author” and buy her books. She thanks you. All of you!

Winston, a native of Michigan, spent several years as a newspaper columnist and journalist in sunny South Florida at the Sun-Sentinel newspaper. She was the recipient of the Clarion Award for journalists, as well as winner of a journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan. Winston was also a multiple-nominee for a Pulitzer Prize for her lifestyle column in South Florida.

The Braid Girls

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers |
Middle Grade Fiction

Perfect for fans of From the Desk of Zoe Washington, Maggie, her best friend Daija, and her new half-sister Callie team up to create the ultimate hair-braiding business, but the Braid Girls aren’t the only hairstylists on the scene—available simultaneously in paperback.

Maggie’s world is turned upside down when she learns that her father, whom she admires, has a second daughter, Callie, whom no one knew existed. But she won’t let a new family member get in the way of her summer plans with best friend Daija. They’re determined to make tons of money braiding hair for kids around the neighborhood.

Daija’s always felt like she had a sister in Maggie. So she can’t let new half-sister Callie take her place! And she can’t let her interfere with their new Braid Girls business, either. She needs the money to pay for extra ballet lessons so she can go en pointe and earn a spot in the fall dance showcase, making her distant father proud at last—if she pulls this off, he’ll have to pay attention to her.

Callie’s still grieving her late mom. Now she’s leaving her old home in the Bahamas behind, including her old school and friends to move in with the father she’s never met, plus his family. When she hears of Maggie’s and Daija’s business, she sees a chance to prove her skills and a way to be accepted.

With three very different girls on board, the Braid Girls arrive to a summer camp full of kids with locs begging to be braided. Business is booming, until rival Angela shows up with her friends and starts a new braiding business—the Sistahs Who Braid. With competition heating up, the Braid Girls are sure to have an unforgettable summer.

Wednesday and Woof #3: The Runaway Robot

HarperCollins |
Middle Grade Fiction

It’s a double mystery when a robot and a hamster go missing before the science fair in the third book of this full-color early chapter book series about the best detectives in the Midwest!

Detective Tip #3: Use your imagination and stay calm!

When a classmate’s DIY robot goes missing right before the school Science Fair, Detective Wednesday Nadir and her service dog, Woof are sure they can find it…until the class hamster also disappears! Now the pressure is on! Can Wednesday and Woof use the scientific method to solve two cases at once—or will the stress cause a mess?

HarperChapters build confident readers one chapter at a time! With short, fast-paced books, art on every page, and milestone markers at the end of every chapter, they’re the perfect next step for fans of I Can Read!

Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution

Bloomsbury Children’s Books |
Middle Grade Fiction

From the beloved author of President of the Whole Fifth Grade, a story about a young Black girl who summons the courage to fight against a discriminatory dress code–and stand up for herself.

Lotus Bloom just wants to express herself–with her violin, her retro style, and her peaceful vibe, not to mention her fabulous hair.

This school year, Lotus is taking her talent and spirit to the seventh grade at a new school of the arts. The one where she just might get to play under the famous maestro, a violin virtuoso and conductor of the orchestra. But Lotus’s best friend, Rebel, thinks Lotus should stay at their school. Why should this fancy new school get all the funding and pull the brightest kids out? Rebel wants Lotus to help her protest, but Lotus isn’t sure. If she’s going to be in the spotlight, she’d rather it be for her music.

Then, when boys throw paper wads and airplanes into Lotus’s afro, Lotus finds herself in trouble for a dress code violation. Lotus must choose–should she stay quiet and risk her beloved hair, or put aside her peaceful vibe and risk everything to fight back?

Inspired by real stories of Black girls fighting dress codes that discriminate against their hair and culture, beloved author Sherri Winston introduces a memorable character who finds her way to speak up for what’s right, no matter what it takes.

Wednesday and Woof #2: New Pup on the Block

HarperCollins |
Middle Grade Fiction

Could a friend really have taken Wednesday’s brother’s prized possession? Wednesday and her service dog, Woof, take the case in the second book of this full-color early chapter book series about the best detectives in the Midwest!

Detective Tip #2 Don’t forget to use your eyes, ears, and even your nose. Wednesday’s brother’s drone went missing in their own backyard. And that can mean only one thing—the thief is one of their friends! Can the neighborhood’s newest service dog help Wednesday and Woof sniff out the bandit? Or will the case of the missing drone be a doggone disaster?

HarperChapters build confident readers one chapter at a time! With short, fast-paced books, art on every page, and milestone markers at the end of every chapter, they’re the perfect next step for fans of I Can Read!

Wednesday and Woof #1: Catastrophe

HarperCollins |
Middle Grade Fiction

Can Wednesday and her service dog, Woof, sniff out Mrs. Winter’s missing cat before her big trip? This is the first book of a fun full-color early chapter book series about the best detectives in the Midwest!

Detective Tip #1 Try not to jump to conclusions. Wednesday and her service dog, Woof, are the best detectives in the whole world—or at least their neighborhood. But can they find Mrs. Winters’s missing cat before her big trip? Or will the case of the cat-napped kitty be their first unsolved mystery?

HarperChapters build confident readers one chapter at a time! With short, fast-paced books, art on every page, and milestone markers at the end of every chapter, they’re the perfect next step for fans of I Can Read!

Jada Sly, Artist & Spy

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers |
Middle Grade Fiction

Jada Sly, a hilarious and spunky artist and spy, explores New York City on a mission to find her mom in this “fast paced, fun” illustrated novel from an acclaimed author (School Library Connection).
Ten-year-old Jada Sly is an artist and a spy-in-training. When she isn’t studying the art from her idols like Jackie Ormes, the first-known African American cartoonist, she’s chronicling her spy training and other observations in her art journal.
Back home in New York City, after living in France for five years, Jada is ready to embark on her first and greatest spy adventure yet. She plans to scour New York City in search of her missing mother, even though everyone thinks her mom died in a plane crash. Except Jada, who is certain her mom was a spy, too.
With the stakes high and danger lurking around every corner, Jada will use one spy technique after another to unlock the mystery of her mother’s disappearance — some with hilarious results. After all, she’s still learning.

President of the Whole Sixth Grade: Girl Code

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers |
Middle Grade Fiction

Go-getter Brianna Justice is back and on assignment with her local newspaper in this third book in the popular President series!

When budding middle school journalist Brianna Justice learns that Yavonka Steele, rising star of the nightly news broadcast, is looking to mentor a student as part of a program at her school, she’s thrilled! That is until she’s paired instead with a “boring” reporter from the community news desk.

But when she’s asked to interview students from a girls’ coding program at Price Academy, an inner-city middle school, this suburban girl has no idea what to expect. Will Brianna learn to ignore stereotypes and embrace the world around her?

Sherri Winston crafts another winning story in the President series, full of humor, heart, and a deeper examination of stereotypes and how they can throw a wrench in middle school life.

The Sweetest Sound

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers |
Middle Grade Fiction

A story of family, faith, and following your heart

For ten-year-old Cadence Jolly, birthdays are a constant reminder of all that has changed since her mother skipped town with dreams of becoming a singing star. Cadence inherited that musical soul, she can’t deny it, but otherwise she couldn’t be more different – she’s as shy as can be.

She did make a promise last year that she would try to break out of her shell, just a little. And she prayed that she’d get the courage to do it. As her eleventh birthday draws near, she realizes time is running out. And when a secret recording of her singing leaks and catches the attention of her whole church, she needs to decide what’s better: deceiving everyone by pretending it belongs to someone else, or finally stepping into the spotlight.

In a story filled with whimsy and hope, Sherri Winston inspires readers to embrace the voice within.

President of the Whole Sixth Grade (President Series #2)

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers |
Middle Grade Fiction

In this follow-up to President of the Whole Fifth Grade, Brianna navigates her toughest challenge yet: middle school!

Brianna Justice is determined to raise enough money for the big class trip to Washington, D.C., but she’s up against a lot: classmates who all pretend to be something they’re not, a new nemesis determined to run her out of office, and the sinking feeling she’s about to lose her two best friends for good. But just when she begins to lose hope, she comes to realize that sometimes surprises can turn out even better than the best-laid plans.

Sherri Winston tells a story brimming with humor and heart as Brianna navigates the ins and outs of middle school, discovering that inspiration can come when you least expect it.

President of the Whole Fifth Grade (President Series #1)

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers |
Middle Grade Fiction

Start counting your votes . . . and your friends.
When Brianna Justice’s hero, the famous celebrity chef Miss Delicious, speaks at her school and traces her own success back to being president of her fifth grade class, Brianna determines she must do the same. She just knows that becoming president of her class is the first step toward her own cupcake-baking empire!

But when new student Jasmine Moon announces she is also running for president, Brianna learns that she may have more competition than she expected. Will Brianna be able to stick to her plan of working with her friends to win the election fairly? Or will she jump at the opportunity to steal votes from Jasmine by revealing an embarrassing secret?

This hilarious, heartfelt novel will appeal to any reader with big dreams, and the determination to achieve them.


I take students through my writing process, getting their help on a Work In Progress. We examine choices I’ve made, and why. Then I question the students to get recommendations on where to go next with the story. We will discuss possible outcomes.


Using an overhead projector, I go through a PowerPoint presentation of different photos and ask students to choose their favorite. For smaller groups, I let students work on writing a paragraph or two about their chosen photo. If it’s a big group, we will choose a photo together, then select a genre, then workshop a book idea based on what we choose as a group.


Students are split into groups. We give a “press release” to each group and hold a press conference. Then give the students a certain amount of time to answer craft a story based on the information. It’s fun to make the press conference fantastical, such as announcing an alien invasion on the school’s playground. With older kids, it may be beneficial to hold press conference as a historical figure, or literary figure. It can be tailored for infinite applications based on the need.


If I have three to four hours with the students, I like to walk them through the process creating their own stories using LEGO pieces. LEGO sets provide an excellent medium for storytelling, and built-in prompts. Using a variety of LEGO sets (I owned many, many sets), break the class into groups and have them work together. Usually, to make this type of program successful, I will need help from the classroom instructor to modulate the children’s behavior and keep them on task. Part I, is to have them come up with a story based on the set they have. The must write the story down. Part II, allow them to take pictures in an app called Stop Motion Studio, which is highly intuitive and kid and classroom friendly. They can then arrange their movie and prepare for a “showing” before the end of the period.


Even though I’ve never written one, I often confide in my young people my desire to one day create a graphic novel. Some kids love them, love trying to create them because they love to draw. Other kids are self-conscious of their artistic skills and therefore are not excited about it. Instead of trying to write an entire graphic novel, I focus on creating a character. I show them how to make these pages where they sketch or draw their character but also use creative type to tell us something about them. What is their name? Age? Who are they angry with? What do they want to do? What has them scared? It’s a great way to highlight how authors create the characters who populate our literary world.


In this program, we focus on creating a relationship between characters. The students must create two to three characters, draw them, and build the relationship between the characters. It’s one thing to come up with a main character, it’s another to get to know the most important people in his or her orbit. We highlight personality traits, likes and dislikes, fears, goals, and how they work together or against one another.

Southern Festival of Books | In Conversation: Kristin Tubb, Sherri Winston

Fairfax County Public Schools | Meet the Author with Sherri Winston

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Longlisted for the National Book Award
New York Public Library Recommended Summer Reader
Clarion Award for Journalists
Three-time nominee, Pulitzer Prize in Commentary

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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