An error (Object reference not set to an instance of an object.) was encountered trying to format content from PageUrl=/en/Static-Content/alert.htm Close Message
Milwaukee Public Schools Logo: High-quality school options for 3-year-olds to high school seniors
Main Content

December 2020 Selections


Under My Hood I Have a Hat

by Karla Kuskin, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka

Winter is here, and it's time to put on your gloves and mittens and scarf and hat and . . . In Under My Hood I Have a Hat,  a child describes the many layers of clothing needed to brave the winter weather.


Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border

by Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Sara Palacios

It's almost time for Christmas, and Maria is traveling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico.

For the few minutes that they can share together along the fence, Maria and her brother plan to exchange stories and Christmas gifts with the grandmother they haven't seen in years. But when Juan's gift is too big to fit through the slats in the fence, Maria has a brilliant idea. She makes it into a kite that soars over the top of the iron bars.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

I Promise

by LeBron James, illustrated by Nina Mata

I Promise  follows a diverse group of children and encourages them to be resilient, respectful, imaginative, and — above all — true to themselves. No matter who you are or where you are from, kindness and acceptance can lead to excellence.



The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illustrated by Oge Mora

In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

Something to Say

by Lisa Moore Ramée

Eleven-year-old Jenae doesn't have any friends, and she's just fine with that. Then a new student shows up at school — a boy named Aubrey with fiery red hair and a smile that won't quit. Jenae can't figure out why he keeps popping up everywhere she goes. The more she tries to push him away, the more he seems determined to be her friend. Despite herself, Jenae starts getting used to having him around.

But when the two are paired up for a class debate about the proposed name change for their school, Jenae knows that this new friendship has an expiration date. Aubrey is desperate to win and earn a coveted spot on the debate team.

There's just one problem: Jenae would do almost anything to avoid speaking up in front of an audience — including risking the first real friendship she has ever had.


The Musician (Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water)

by Xuefeng Liu, illustrated by Gunter Grossholz and Yuxi Wan

In ancient China, a young musician named Yu Boya gained fame for his talents. On the night of the Moon Festival, he encounters a mysterious woodcutter who is also a musician and admires Boya's most famous song, "Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water." Their friendship deepens, and Boya vows to play the song for his new friend every year on the festival night. But the next year, upon hearing of his friend's death, Boya smashes his instrument and never plays again. To this day, the word for "close friendship" means "understanding the music."


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Before the Ever After

by Jacqueline Woodson

For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone's hero. But lately, life at ZJ's house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ's mom explains that it's because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his football career. ZJ can understand that, but it doesn't make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name. As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions and recollections of the glory days, all the while wondering what their past amounts to if his father can't remember it. And, most importantly, can those happy feelings ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?


Y luego ganas tú: Cinco historias contra el bullying

Varios autores

Uno de cada cinco niños en España sufrirá bullying a lo largo de su vida escolar.

Cinco influencers de éxito se unen en este libro para contar cinco historias de superación del acoso, algunas de ellas autobiográficas.


High School (Grades 9–12)

Dear Justyce

by Nic Stone

Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, though, Justyce walks the illustrious halls of Yale University . . . and Quan sits behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center.

Through a series of flashbacks, vignettes, and letters to Justyce — the protagonist of Nic Stone's bestseller, Dear Martin — Quan's story takes form. Troubles at home and misunderstandings at school give rise to police encounters and tough decisions. But then there's a dead cop and a weapon with Quan's prints on it. What leads a bright kid down a road to a murder charge? Not even Quan is sure.


Strange the Dreamer/Strange el soñador 

by Laini Taylor

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around — and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was just five years old, he has been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself in the form of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he must seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? And who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams?

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
To top