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August 2023 Selections


A girl with a smile on her face holding a book titled "The Library Book"The Library Book

by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark, illustrations by Chuck Groenink

The rain is pouring, Dad is snoring, and the same old stuff is on TV — boring.
What is there to do today?
Go to the library, of course!
Who will we meet there? Let's find out!


A girl looking intently at an object that comes from her grandmother's gardenWhere Wonder Grows

by Xelena González, illustrations by Adriana M. Garcia

When Grandma walks to her special garden, her granddaughters know to follow her there. Grandma invites the girls to explore her collection of treasures — magical rocks, crystals, seashells, and meteorites — to see what wonders they reveal. "They are alive with wisdom," Grandma says. Grandma and the girls find stories in the strength of rocks shaped by volcanoes, the cleansing power of beautiful crystals, the mystery of the sea that houses shells and shapes the environment, and the long journey that meteorites took to find their way to Earth.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

Penelope standing in the library being loud, while two kids run from the noiseThe Loud Librarian

by Jenna Beatrice, illustrations by Erika Lynne Jones

Penelope is perfect for the job of student librarian. Friendly? Check. Helpful? Check. Book lover? Check. There's just one snag: Penelope is . . . LOUD. Bookcases may topple and the ground may quake at the sound of her voice, but Penelope is determined to prove that she is perfect for the job while staying true to herself. Can a little librarian with a big voice find a place where she belongs?


Mermaid Kenzie swimming in the ocean with a smiling seal next to herMermaid Kenzie: Protector of the Deeps

by Charlotte Watson Sherman, illustrations by Geneva Bowers

When Kenzie puts on her mermaid tail, she becomes Mermaid Kenzie, protector of the deeps. One day as Kenzie snorkels around a shipwreck, she discovers more plastic bags than fish. Grabbing her spear and mermaid net, she begins to clean up the water and the shore — inspiring other kids to help.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

Four eight-year-olds looking through a telescopeYour Place in the Universe

by Jason Chin

An exploration of relative size and distance opens with four average eight-year-olds looking through a telescope and then comparing their height to that of an ostrich, which is twice as tall as the children but still not as tall as a giraffe, which is more than twice as tall as an ostrich or more than four times taller than the children if they were all standing on each other's shoulders.

Each succeeding page shows progressively taller and taller comparisons — redwood trees, skyscrapers, mountains, and then into space, where the comparisons turn to distance. Outer space expands to the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy, galaxy clusters, and the universe. In addition to illustrating the concepts of relative size and distance, the author also introduces elemental astronomy and physics, but all is on a level that is comprehensible to the average eight-year-old who serves as the starting place and the anchor in this intriguing look at comparisons and fascinating exploration of the vastness of space. Jason Chin's realistic watercolor and gouache illustrations are at once whimsical and scientific.


An old photograph of the author Alma Flor Ada holding a book when she was a girl in CubaUnder the Royal Palms: A Childhood in Cuba

by Alma Flor Ada

The author offers young readers an inspiring collection of stories and memoirs drawn from her childhood in Cuba. Heartwarming, poignant, and often humorous, these memories encourage children to discover the stories in their own lives.


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Five kids hanging out in the school cafeteriaInvisible

by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, illustrations by Gabriela Epstein

Can five overlooked kids make one big difference?

They are stuck together when they're forced to complete their school's community service hours. Although they are sure that they have nothing in common with one another, some people see them as all the same — just five Spanish-speaking kids.

Then they meet someone who truly needs their help, and they must decide whether they are each willing to expose their own secrets to help . . . or whether remaining invisible is the only way to survive middle school.


Minni, in the poorest part of Mumbai, searching for waterThirst

by Varsha Bajaj

Minni lives in the poorest part of Mumbai, where access to water is limited to a few hours a day and the communal taps have long lines. Lately, though, even that access is threatened by severe water shortages and thieves who are stealing this precious commodity. Meanwhile, in the high-rise building where she just started to work, she discovers that water streams out of every faucet, and there's even a rooftop swimming pool. What Minni also discovers there is one of the water mafia bosses. Now she must decide whether to expose him and risk her job — and maybe her life. How did something as simple as access to water get so complicated?


High School (Grades 9–12)

The shape of a head drawn by pencil, the pencil, and SCRAWL written across the headScrawl

by Mark Shulman

Tod Munn is a bully. He's tough, but times are even tougher. The wimps have stopped coughing up their lunch money. The administration is cracking down. Then, to make things worse, Tod and his friends get busted doing something bad. Something really bad.

Lucky Tod must spend his daily detention in a hot, empty room with Mrs. Woodrow, a no-nonsense guidance counselor. He doesn't know why he's there, but she does. Tod's punishment: to scrawl his story in a beat-up notebook. He can be painfully funny, and he can be brutally honest. But can Mrs. Woodrow help Tod stop playing the bad guy before he actually turns into one for real?

Read Tod's notebook for yourself.


Evelyn Serrano's hand reaching toward the sun in her neighborhood of Spanish HarlemThe Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

by Sonia Manzano

There are two secrets that Evelyn Serrano is keeping from her Mami and Papi: her true feelings about growing up in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother who has come from Puerto Rico to live with them. Then, like an urgent ticking clock, events erupt that change everything. The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group, dump garbage into the street and set it on fire, igniting a powerful protest. When Abuela steps in to take charge, Evelyn is thrust into the action. Tempers flare, loyalties are tested. Through it all, Evelyn learns important truths about her Latino heritage and the history makers who shaped a nation.


Books in Spanish

Margot Sanchez, who has been grounded, looking annoyedLa educación de Margot Sánchez

de Lilliam Rivera (mayores de 12 años)


  • Mami, por destruir mi vida social
  • Papi, por dejar que Junior se convierta en un neandertal
  • Junior, por convertirse en un neandertal
  • Este supermercado
  • Todo lo demás

Después de "tomar prestada" la tarjeta de crédito de su padre para renovar su vestuario con más estilo, Margot Sánchez se encuentra de repente castigada. Y eso significa pasar el verano trabajando en el supermercado de su familia para pagar sus deudas.

Y cada vez que rebana una orden de fiambres Margot siente cómo la reputación que ha ido cultivando cuidadosamente en su escuela privada se le escapa entre las manos, y está dispuesta a hacer cualquier cosa para escapar de esa tortura. Mentir, engañar, y hasta robar . . . 

Pero Margot está invitada a la mega fiesta en la playa de uno de los chicos de la escuela, y no tiene intenciones de permitir que el drama de su familia, ni Moisés, el apuesto y sincero chico del vecindario, le impidan alcanzar su objetivo.


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

*Some titles are not available through Sora.

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

*Some titles are not available through Sora.

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 2023
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