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January 2024 Selections


A child and his grandmother walking through the woods in the winterWinter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

by Sean Taylor and Alex Morss, illustrations by Cinyee Chiu

Follow a child and his grandma through a winter landscape to explore how the Earth goes to sleep for the winter. Spot the sleeping animals as the tale unfolds, then learn about their hibernation habits from the information pages at the end. The authors offer a gentle introduction to the concept of hibernation. In each cutaway scene, see what the child cannot — that underground, below his feet, are dens with sleeping creatures, and within the hollow trunks of trees, animals are nesting. After the story, annotated illustrations explain the hibernation facts for each animal and what the animals will do when they wake up in the spring.

A boy and a penguin sailing in an overturned umbrella through icy watersLost and Found

by Oliver Jeffers

What is a boy to do when a lost penguin shows up at his door? Find out where it comes from, of course, and return it! But the journey to the South Pole is long and difficult in the boy's little boat. There are storms to brave . . . and deep, dark nights. To pass the time, the boy tells stories to the penguin. Finally, boy and penguin arrive. Yet instead of being happy, both are sad. That's when the boy realizes that the penguin hadn't been lost — it had merely been lonely.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

Liam sticking his tongue out trying to catch a snowflakeJust One Flake

by Travis Jonker

It's snowing outside! Liam is determined to catch one perfect snowflake. He tries any number of tricks to complete his mission, but each time he is thwarted. Nothing seems to work. Until, in a final leap of faith, he catches that one flake . . . in a way he never expected. And the snowflake itself is pretty unexpected too.


Hudson Talbott walking through woods in which the trees are covered in wordsA Walk in the Words

by Hudson Talbott

When Hudson Talbott was little, he loved drawing, and it came naturally to him. But reading? No way! One at a time, words weren't a problem, but long sentences were a struggle. As his friends moved on to thicker books, he kept his slow reading a secret. But that got harder every year. Fortunately, his love of stories wouldn't let him give up.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

Miles Lewis skating at an ice rinkMiles Lewis: King of the Ice #1

by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrations by Wayne Spencer

Miles Lewis loves science and sports. But when his teacher announces a class field trip to an ice-skating rink to learn about physics, he isn't so excited. He has never ice skated before, and his friend RJ won't let him forget it. RJ even challenges him to a bet: If Miles skates without falling, RJ will put a "Miles is the man" sign on his backpack. But if Miles falls, he has to put one on his that says the same about RJ. Miles can barely focus on the bet, though, because he suspects that his beloved Nana has plans to move out of his family's house — and that's just too much to bear. Can he keep his cool with all the pressure from RJ while finding a way to make his grandma stay?


Chico Mendes in the Amazon rainforest, surrounded by a parrot, toucan, monkey, frog, and insectForest Fighter: The Story of Chico Mendes

by Anita Ganeri, illustrations by Margaux Carpentier

Chico Mendes lived in the Amazon rainforest. He worked with his father collecting sap from trees that could be sold to make rubber. Rubber tappers were very poor, and the rainforest was being destroyed. Chico knew that he had to take a stand. He became a spokesperson for the community, fighting to preserve the Amazon rainforest and speaking up for the rights of the other rubber tappers.


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Will in his oversized hoodie, being followed by a dark cloud of frustration and self-loathingA Work in Progress

by Jarrett Lerner

Will is the only round kid in a school full of thin ones. So he hides. But shame isn't the only feeling that dominates Will's life. He's also got a crush on a girl named Jules who he knows he doesn't have a chance with because of his size. Will's best shot at attracting Jules's attention is by slaying the Will Monster inside him by changing his eating habits and getting more exercise. But the results are either frustratingly slow or infuriatingly unsuccessful, and Will's shame begins to morph into self-loathing. As he resorts to increasingly drastic measures to transform his appearance, Will meets skateboarder Markus, who helps him to see his body and all it contains as an ever-evolving work in progress.


Sicily sitting alone on a park bench with her new school behind herSincerely Sicily

by Tamika Burgess

Sicily Jordan has been enrolled in a new school. But however bad Sicily thought sixth grade was going to be, it only gets worse when she does her class presentation. Sicily is bombarded with questions on how she can be both Black and Panamanian. She wants people to understand, but it doesn't feel like anyone is ready to listen — first at school and then at home. Because when her abuela starts talking mess about her braids, Sicily's heart is being crumpled a second time.

Staying quiet may no longer be an option, but that doesn't mean Sicily has the words to show the world just what it means to be a proud Black Panamanian either. Even though she hasn't written in her journal since her abuelo passed, it's time to pick up her pen again — but will it be enough to prove to herself and everyone else exactly who she is?


High School (Grades 9–12)

Justin Warren in silhouette, walking through a heavy rainI'll Stop the World: A Novel

by Lauren Thoman

Justin Warren's life has been defined by the suspicious deaths of his grandparents. The unsolved crime happened long before Justin was born. In a cosmic twist of fate, Justin's choices send him crashing into the path of determined optimist Rose Yin. Justin and Rose live in the same town and the same school but have never met — because Rose lives in 1985. Justin won't be born for another twenty years. And his grandparents are still alive — for now. Justin and Rose have a week to get Justin unstuck in time and put each of them in control of their futures . . . by solving a murder that hasn't happened yet.


Flaco, Tiny, Magaña, and Susi, looking very worried, surround a convertible carDiamond Park

by Phillippe Diederich

Flaco isn't the kind of kid who gets into trouble. He doesn't want to give his mom or his Aunt Ana Flor any grief — they have had enough since his cousin Carlos died serving in Afghanistan. But he finds a whole lot more trouble than he bargained for when he and his friends Tiny, Magaña, and Susi ride the bus from their Houston neighborhood to Diamond Park to buy a used car. And not just any car — a 1959 Impala convertible, a dream car. The transaction gets complicated fast, and Susi ends up with a knife in her hands, covered in blood. When Tiny has to disappear to avoid ICE, Flaco and Magaña head south in the Impala to set things right. In a wildly impetuous move, the two boys cross into Mexico hunting for a trafficker named Anaconda, the man they believe is the real killer, to clear Susi's name. In a breathtaking, seat-of-your-pants adventure, they manage to kidnap Anaconda, but in the process, they discover how little they ever actually understood about what really happened in Diamond Park.


Books in Spanish

David Pichón, a pigeon, standing ready to defeat the evil catDavid Pichón

de Swapna Haddow, ilustraciones de Sheenah Dempsey, traducción de Miguel Trujillo (por los grados 3–5)

Esta es la increíble y heroica historia de cómo yo, David Pichón, la paloma más valiente de todas las palomas del mundo palomil, derroté a la Gata Mala. — Ejem . . . , ¿y yo qué? — Con la ayuda de Capi, por supuesto. — Mucho mejor. — Lo que seguro que no habrá serán trozos aburridos.


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

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