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January 2021 Selections


Dozens of Doughnuts

by Carrie Finison, illustrated by Brianne Farley

LouAnn (a bear) is making a doughnut feast in preparation for her long winter's nap. But just before she takes the first bite, DING DONG! Her friend Woodrow (a woodchuck) drops by. LouAnn is happy to share her doughnuts, but as soon as she and Woodrow sit down to eat, DING DING! Clyde (a raccoon) is at the door. One by one, LouAnn's friends come over — until it's one big party. LouAnn welcomes her surprise guests and makes batch after batch of doughnuts, always dividing them equally among her friends. But she makes one BIG miscalculation. Soon LouAnn's kitchen is bare, winter is near, and she has had nothing to eat at all!


Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando

by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz

Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab — a little shed in his backyard. For years, he had dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty for the hungry people he had seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Peace follows from a full stomach, he believed.

Day after day, Ando experimented. Night after night, he failed. But he kept experimenting.

With persistence, creativity, and a little inspiration, Ando succeeded. This is the true story behind one of the world's most popular foods.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

The Power of One: Every Act of Kindness Counts

by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Mike Curato

When one child reaches out in friendship to a classmate who seems lonely, she begins a chain reaction of kindness that ripples throughout her school and her community. One kind act begets another, small good deeds make way for bigger ones, and eventually the whole neighborhood comes together to build something much greater than the sum of its parts.

From acclaimed bullying expert Trudy Ludwig, The Power of One  not only conveys a message of kindness — it offers concrete steps that kids can take to make a difference in their own communities.

As Trudy says in the final line of the book, "Acts and words of kindness do  count, and it all starts with one."


Inside My Imagination/Dentro de mi imaginación

by Marta Arteaga, illustrated by Zuzanna Celej, translated by Jon Brokenbrow

We all have a door through which we can access our imagination . . . Do you dare to participate in the most wonderful journey to your interior?

This story, for children and adults alike, invites us to open the doors of our imagination and to discover the way it works. What lies there?


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

The Best of Iggy

by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sam Ricks

Meet nine-year-old Iggy Frangi. He's not a bad kid, he's really not. Okay, so he has done a few (a few is anything up to a hundred) bad things. And, okay, he's not very sorry about most of them. People make a big deal about nothing. What's a little pancake here and there? Is that something to get mad about? Iggy doesn't think so. No one got hurt, so there's no problem. No one got hurt except for that one time — that one time when the Best Idea Ever turned into the Worst Idea of All Time.

Iggy is sorry he did it. He is really, really, really sorry.

"For what?" you might ask. "What did he do?"

Well, you'll have to read the book to find out.


Becoming Muhammad Ali

by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile

Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict in both prose and verse Cassius's life up to age seventeen, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius's family and neighbors in Louisville, Kentucky, and how — after a thief stole his bike — Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve. Before long, he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali.


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Efrén Divided

by Ernesto Cisneros

Efrén Nava's Amá is his Superwoman — or "Soperwoman," named after the delicious Mexican sopes  she often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for their family, making sure Efrén and his younger siblings, Max and Mía, feel safe and loved.

But Efrén worries about his parents; although he is American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn't return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México.

Now, more than ever, Efrén must channel his inner Soperboy to help take care of and try to reunite his family.

A glossary of Spanish words is included in the back of the book. 


When Stars Are Scattered

by Victoria Jamieson, author/illustrator, and Omar Mohamed, author

Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care that Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day.

Heartbreak, hope, and gentle humor exist together in this graphic novel about a childhood spent waiting and a young man who is able to create a sense of family and home in the most difficult of settings. It is an intimate, important, unforgettable look at the day-to-day life of a refugee as told to New York Times bestselling author/artist Victoria Jamieson by Omar Mohamed, the Somali man who lived the story.


High School (Grades 9–12)

Today Tonight Tomorrow

by Rachel Lynn Solomon

It's the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school — clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she would love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.

Tonight she puts up with him.

When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: "howl," a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning that a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they are the last players left — and then they'll destroy each other.

As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes that he is much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she has sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.


Miss Meteor

by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

There hasn't been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history.

But that's not the only reason why Lita wants to enter the contest or why her ex–best friend, Chicky, wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn't about being perfect; it's about sharing who you are with the world and loving the parts of yourself that no one else understands.

So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough — they are everything.


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

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