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April 2020 Selections


Cartoon image of a smiling monster and a mouseThe Gruffalo

by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

When Mouse takes a stroll through the woods, he meets a fox, an owl, and a snake who all want to eat him! So Mouse invents a gruffalo, a monster with "terrible tusks and terrible claws, terrible teeth and terrible jaws." But will Mouse's frightful description be enough to scare off his foes? After all, there is no such thing as a gruffalo . . . is there?


Cartoon image of a panda bear under a tree of cherry blossomsHi, Koo! A Year of Seasons

by Jon J. Muth

With a featherlight touch and disarming charm, Jon J. Muth and his delightful little panda bear, Koo, challenge readers to stretch their minds and imaginations with twenty-six haiku about the four seasons.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

Cartoon image of a girl flying in the air with an umbrellaBookSpeak! Poems about Books

by Laura Purdie Salas and Josée Bisaillon

A collection of wacky, whimsical poems about books and all the treasures they contain. In BookSpeak!, each poem gives voice to a group that seldom gets a voice: the books themselves! Characters plead for sequels, book jackets strut their stuff, and we get a sneak peek at the raucous parties in the aisles when all the lights go out at the bookstore!


Cartoon image of a little boy surrounded by slips of paper with words on themThe Word Collector/El coleccionista de palabras

by Peter H. Reynolds

Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words . . .

In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

Art image of a woman with outstretched armsOut of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, Marjory Wentworth, and Ekua Holmes

Newbery Award–winning author and poet Kwame Alexander along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors' hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning  mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.


Photo of little children reading books on the backs of camelsMy Librarian Is a Camel/My bibliotecaria es un camello

by Margriet Ruurs

Do you get books from a public library in your town or even in your school library? In many remote areas of the world, there are no library buildings. In many countries, books are delivered in unusual ways: by bus, boat, elephant, donkey, train — even by wheelbarrow. Why would librarians go to the trouble of packing books on the backs of elephants or driving miles to deliver books by bus? Because, as one librarian in Azerbaijan says, "Books are as important to us as air or water!" This is the intriguing photo essay — a celebration of books, readers, and libraries.


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Cartoon of a smiling girl in side profile with a pen behind her earWoke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice

by Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo, Olivia Gatwood, and Theodore Taylor III

Woke  is a collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy and from acceptance to speaking out.

With bright, emotional art by Theodore Taylor and writing from Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Olivia Gatwood, kids will be inspired to create their own art and poems to express how they see justice and injustice.


Art image of shapes and colorsYes! We Are Latinos: Poems and Prose about the Latino Experience

by Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy, and David Diaz

Thirteen young Latinos and Latinas living in America are introduced in this book that celebrates the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the United States. Free-verse fictional narratives from the perspective of each young person provide specific stories and circumstances for the reader to better understand the Latino people's quest for identity. Each profile is followed by nonfiction prose that further clarifies the character's background and history, touching upon important events in the history of the Latino American people, such as the Spanish Civil War, immigration to the U.S., and the internment of Latinos of Japanese ancestry during World War II.


High School (Grades 9–12)

Art image of three people looking at usLet Me Hear a Rhyme

by Tiffany D. Jackson with lyrics by Malik "Malik-16" Sharif

In this striking new novel by the critically acclaimed author of Allegedly  and Monday' s Not Coming,  Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending that he is still alive.

Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn't mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool about letting the music of their best friend Steph lie forgotten under his bed after he's murdered — not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party.

With the help of Steph's younger sister Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph's music under a new rap name: the Architect. Soon everyone wants a piece of him. When his demo catches the attention of a hotheaded music-label rep, the trio must prove Steph's talent from beyond the grave.

As the pressure of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. But each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph's fame, they need to decide what they stand for — or otherwise lose all that they have worked so hard to hold onto, including each other.


Art image of seven facesBravo! Poems about Amazing Hispanics

by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot — the Latinos featured in this collection come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Celebrate their accomplishments and their contributions to a collective history and a community that continues to evolve and thrive today!

Biographical poems include those of Aida de Acosta, Arnold Rojas, Baruj Benacerraf, César Chávez, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, Félix Varela, George Meléndez, José Martí, Juan de Miralles, Juana Briones, Julia de Burgos, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Paulina Pedroso, Pura Belpré, Roberto Clemente, Tito Puente, Ynes Mexia, and Tomás Rivera.


To access the books on our monthly MPS Reads booklists, visit your school library or local library, or go online to OverDrive* and log in with your MPS student ID number.

*Some titles are not available through OverDrive.

To access the books on our monthly MPS Reads booklists, visit your school library or local library, or go online to OverDrive* and log in with your MPS student ID number.

*Some titles are not available through OverDrive.

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