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August 2021 Selections


Jabari Tries

by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is making a flying machine in his backyard! "It'll be easy. I don't need any help," he declares. But it doesn't work! Jabari is frustrated. Good thing that Dad is there for a pep talk and that his little sister, Nika, is there to assist, fairy wings and all. With the endearing father–child dynamic of Jabari Jumps  and engaging mixed-media illustrations, this tale shows that through perseverance and flexibility, an inventive thought can become a brilliant reality.


Strictly No Elephants/No se permiten elefantes

by Lisa Mantchev, illustrations by Taeeun Yoo

Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn't understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.

Strictly No Elephants  has been sold around the world and is heralded as a pitch-perfect book about inclusion. Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

Camp Tiger

by Susan Choi, illustrations by John Rocco

Every year, a boy and his family go camping at Mountain Pond.

Usually, they see things like an eagle fishing for his dinner, a salamander with red spots on its back, and chipmunks that come to steal food while the family sits by the campfire.

But this year is different. This year, the boy is going into first grade, and his mother is encouraging him to do things on his own, just like his older brother. And the most different thing of all . . . this year, a tiger comes to the woods.


The Rock from the Sky

by Jon Klassen

There is a spot.
It is a good spot.
It is the perfect spot to stand.
There is no reason to ever leave.
But somewhere above, there is also a rock.
A rock from the sky.

Here comes The Rock from the Sky,  a hilarious meditation on the workings of friendship, fate, shared futuristic visions, and that funny feeling you get that there's something off somewhere, but you just can't put your finger on it. Merging broad visual suspense with wry wit, celebrated picture book creator Jon Klassen gives us a wholly original comedy for the ages.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer (A Legendary Alston Boys Adventure)

by Lamar Giles, illustrations by Dapo Adeola

Otto and Sheed are the local sleuths in their zany Virginia town, masters of unraveling mischief using their unmatched powers of deduction. And as the summer winds down and the first day of school looms, the boys are craving just a little bit more time for fun, even as they bicker over what kind of fun they want to have. That is, until a mysterious man appears with a camera that literally freezes time. Now, with the help of some very strange people and even stranger creatures, Otto and Sheed will have to put aside their differences to save their town — and each other — before time stops for good.


La montaña de libros más alta del mundo (The Highest Mountain of Books in the World)

by Roco Bonilla

Lucas estaba convencido de que había nacido para volar. Miraba los aviones, intentaba fabricarse alas de todo tipo, ¡incluso pidió poder volar como regalo de Navidad! Pero nada parecía funcionar   . . . Un día, su madre le explicó que había otras formas de cumplir su sueño y le puso un libro en las manos. Ese mismo día, sin darse cuenta, Lucas empezó a volar . . . 



Middle School (Grades 6–8)


by Jason Reynolds

Lu was born to be co-captain of the Defenders. Well, actually, he was born albino, but that's got nothing to do with being a track star. Lu has swagger plus the talent to back it up, and with all that — not to mention the gold chains and diamond earrings — no one's gonna outshine him.

Lu knows he can lead Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and the team to victory at the championships, but it might not be as easy as it seems. Suddenly, there are hurdles in Lu's way — literally and not so literally — and Lu needs to figure out fast what winning the gold really means.


Los chicos sí que lloran

by Leah Konen

Hola, soy el Amor y — oh, casualidad — estoy aquí para contaros una historia de amor. En algún momento apareceré en vuestra vida y, si me dejáis, os ayudaré. Como a Gael Brennan. Es un romántico de tomo y lomo, un Romeo convencido de que ha encontrado a su Julieta. Pero no es así, y por eso tengo que intentar llevarle hasta su media naranja. Porque hay una razón por la que Gael me necesita, y digamos que no se trata precisamente de si tendrá o no pareja en la fiesta de fin de curso  . . . Os lo advierto: no puedo obligar a la gente a que haga nada. No tengo un carcaj lleno de flechas ni un armarito lleno de pociones. Pero eso no significa que no tenga mis métodos . . . 


High School (Grades 9–12)

Piecing Me Together

by Renée Watson

Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has: Every day, she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn't really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Just because her mentor is Black and graduated from the same high school doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. Jade is tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. She wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain, and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.


The Contender

by Robert Lipsyte

Alfred Brooks is scared. He's a high school dropout, and his grocery store job is leading nowhere. His best friend is sinking further and further into drug addiction. Some street kids are after him for something he didn't even do.

So Alfred begins going to Donatelli's Gym, a boxing club in Harlem that has trained champions. There he learns that it's the effort, not the win, that makes the boxer — and that before you can be a champion, you have to be a contender.


To access the books on our monthly MPS Reads book lists, 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 book lists, 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.

Suggest a book

If you would like to recommend a book title, please fill out this form:


Reading Curriculum Specialist:

Tanya D. Evans
Phone: 414-475-8110

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2022
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