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December 2019 Selections


Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

by Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal

Native American journalist Kevin Noble Maillard has created a lovely tribute to fry bread, a staple of many native people's diets. Using simple but poetic text, he explores the shapes, colors, sounds, and flavors of fry bread as well as fry bread's importance as a symbol of Native American resilience.


A Piglet Named Mercy

by Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen

Mr. and Mrs. Watson live ordinary lives. Sometimes they wish something different would happen, and one day it does when someone appears at their front door. In a delightful story, a tiny piglet brings love and chaos to the Watsons.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

The Boo-Boos that Changed the World: A True Story about an Accidental Invention (Really!)

by Barry Wittenstein and Chris Hsu

Earle Dickson had a klutzy wife who often cut herself. Earle set out to create an easier way for her to bandage her injuries. Band-Aids were born, but Earle's bosses at Johnson & Johnson weren't convinced. After the Boy Scouts of America tested Earle's invention, Band-Aids were soon selling like hotcakes, and the rest is boo-boo history.


Unicorn Day

by Diana Murray and Luke Flowers

The unicorns are celebrating their favorite day of the year, complete with rainbows, cupcakes, and butterflies. But when it's revealed that there is an imposter in their midst, the party comes to a screeching halt.

Will the unicorns welcome all and continue their glittery fun? This is a clever, colorful, over-the-top picture book about unicorns, celebrations, and friendship.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

Front Desk

by Kelly Yang

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. She lives in a motel, her immigrant parents clean the rooms, and Mia manages the front desk. Her parents hide immigrants, and if the mean motel owner finds out, the Tangs will be doomed. Mia wants to be a writer, but her mom thinks she should stick to math.

Mia will need every drop of her courage, kindness, and hard work to get through the school year. Will she be able to go for her dreams?


Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring/Frida, el misterio del anillo del pavo real y yo

by Angela Cervantes

Paloma Marquez is hoping that spending time in Mexico will help her unlock memories of her deceased father. Paloma meets Lizzie and Gael, who offer a challenge: They want her to help them find a valuable ring that once belonged to beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Finding the ring means a big reward — and the thanks of all Mexico. It would be an amazing way for Paloma to honor her father by returning a piece of jewelry that once had belonged to his favorite artist!

But Lizzie and Gael have a secret . . .


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

by Dan Gemeinhart

Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road for five years in an old school bus, ever since her mom and two sisters died in a car crash.

Coyote learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished — the same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box. She devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days . . . without him realizing it.

Coyote will learn that going home can be the hardest journey of all, but with friends by her side, she just might find her "happily ever after."


Found (The Missing, Book 1)

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who was also adopted, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, "You are one of the missing." The second one says, "Beware! They're coming back to get you."

Jonah, Chip, and Jonah's sister are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere, and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids are caught in a battle between two opposing forces.

Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both options are horrifying?


High School (Grades 9–12)

With the Fire on High

by Elizabeth Acevedo

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago's life has been about making tough decisions — doing what she must for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds something magical to everything she cooks.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it's not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.


Two Can Keep a Secret

by Karen M. McManus

Echo Ridge is picture perfect, but it hides secrets. Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

Only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map after she was killed. Before school even begins for Ellery, someone declares open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; so does her grandmother. The longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something.


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.

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.

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2021
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