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February 2020 Selections

Preschool

We March

by Shane W. Evans

In 1963, more than 250,000 people marched from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech to all for racial harmony. This book's simple yet compelling illustrations bring the thrill of the day to life for even the youngest reader.

 

Under My Hijab

by Hena Khan and Aaliya Jaleel

Grandma's hijab clasps under her chin. Auntie pins hers up with a whimsical brooch. Jenna puts a sun hat over hers when she hikes. Iman wears a sports hijab for tae kwon do. As a young girl observes the women in her life and how each covers her hair, she dreams of how she might express her personality through her hijab.

This book provides a friendly introduction to hijabs and celebrates the many Muslim women and girls who choose to wear them.

 


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

The Undefeated

by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson

This poem is a love letter to Black life in the United States. It highlights the trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text references Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering insights into their accomplishments while bringing attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.

 

My Papi Has a Motorcycle/Mi papi tiene una moto

by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.

With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, this book is a young girl's love letter to her hard-working dad and to memories of home.

 


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World

by Charles R. Smith Jr. and Shane W. Evans

Twenty-eight influential figures in African American history are featured in this book, including Crispus Attucks, who was shot in the Boston Massacre; Madame C. J. Walker, who became the wealthiest Black woman in the United States; and Barack Obama, the country's first African American president. With powerful illustrations by Shane W. Evans, this is a unique look at the influence of African Americans in this country.

 

How High the Moon

by Karyn Parsons

It's 1944. Twelve-year-old Ella gets bullied for her light-brown skin tone, and she misses her mother, who is pursuing a jazz-singer dream in Boston.

When Ella visits her mother in Boston for Christmas, she discovers truths about her mother, the father she never knew, and her family history. Returning home to South Carolina, she is shocked that her best friend, George, has been arrested for murder.

Readers will be moved by this bittersweet tale of a girl determined to understand her own identity.

 


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

March: Book One

by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

This is a vivid firsthand account of John Lewis's lifelong struggle for civil and human rights that reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

The volume spans Lewis's youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and the battle to tear down segregation through nonviolence.

Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." His own graphic novels bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

 

Out of My Mind/Fuera de mí

by Sharon M. Draper

Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can't walk. She can't talk. She can't write. She has cerebral palsy. But she does have a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She's the smartest kid in her whole school, but no one knows it. Her teachers, doctors, and classmates dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can't tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she's determined to let everyone know — somehow.

 


High School (Grades 9–12)

All the Days Past, All the Days to Come

by Mildred D. Taylor

The story of the Logan family — made famous in the Newbery Medal–winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry — concludes in a long-awaited and deeply fulfilling story.

This sweeping saga about the Logan family of Mississippi is also the story of the civil rights movement in America. Cassie Logan is a young woman searching for her place in the world, a journey that takes her from Toledo to California to law school in Boston and ultimately home to Mississippi. She witnesses the Great Migration, the rise of the civil rights movement, and the violent confrontations that bring about change. Taylor brings to a close a stirring family story that has absorbed her for forty years.

 

The Downstairs Girl

by Stacey Lee

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of a wealthy man in Atlanta. By night, Jo moonlights as the author of a newspaper advice column, "Dear Miss Sweetie." She uses the power of the pen to address society's ills, and she's not prepared for the backlash when her column challenges ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama.

 


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.

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2020
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