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July 2021 Selections

Preschool

Daniel's Good Day

by Micha Archer

The people in Daniel's neighborhood always say, "Have a good day!" But what exactly is a good day? Daniel is determined to find out, and as he strolls through his neighborhood, he finds a wonderful world full of answers as varied as his neighbors. For Emma, a good day means a strong wind for kite flying. For the bus driver, a good day means pleases and thank yous. For Daniel's grandma, a good day is a hug from Daniel! And when Daniel puts all these good days together, they make a lovely poem full of his neighbors' favorite things.

 

Diez Deditos and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America

by José-Luis Orozco, illustrations by Elisa Kleven

Singer-songwriter José-Luis Orozco has assembled a collection of finger rhymes and other action songs from Latin America. With favorites such as "The Wheels on the Bus" and folk songs from a variety of Spanish-speaking countries, Diez Deditos  is a treat for the eyes, ears, and fingers. Lyrics are presented in both English and Spanish; also provided are easy-to-follow musical accompaniment and diagrams for the corresponding actions.

 


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

Dandy

by Ame Dyckman, illustrations by Charles Santoso

When Daddy spots a solitary weed in his lawn, he is appalled (along with all of his neighborhood friends). But his daughter Sweetie has fallen in love with the beautiful flower, even going so far as to name it Charlotte. Racing against time and the mockery of his friends, Daddy has to find a way to get rid of the errant dandelion without breaking his little girl's heart.

 

Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Big Heart

by Pat Mora, illustrations by Raul Colón

Doña Flor is a giant lady who lives in a tiny village in the American Southwest. Popular with her neighbors, she lets the children use her flowers as trumpets and her leftover tortillas as rafts. Flor loves to read, too, and she can often be found reading aloud to the children.

One day, all the villagers hear a terrifying noise: It sounds like a huge animal bellowing just outside their village. Everyone is afraid, but not Flor. She wants to protect her beloved neighbors, so with the help of her animal friends, she sets off for the highest mesa to find the creature. Soon enough, though, the joke is on Flor and her friends — who come to rescue her — as she discovers the small secret behind that great big noise.

 


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

Crawl, Bite, and Sting: Deadly Insects

by Baby Professor

Not all insects are friendly. There are some deadly insects that should be avoided at all times. Instead of just telling your child what these deadly insects are, show them pictures. Use this picture book to educate your child about the dangerous world of insects. Encourage creativity while reading and learning!

 

The First Tortilla: A Bilingual Story

by Rudolfo Anaya, illustrations by Amy Córdova, Spanish translation by Enrique R. Lamadrid

Jade is a young girl who lives in a village next to a towering volcano. On its peak lives a Mountain Spirit that makes his presence known by rumbling the earth, filling the sky with smoke, and pouring lava down the mountainside. Angered by those who forget to honor him for providing their harvest, the Mountain Spirit stopped sending rain to Jade's village, and the people are faced with the possibility of having to abandon their homes and land.

As Jade collects water from the near-dry lake, a blue hummingbird — a messenger from the Mountain Spirit — tells Jade she must take a gift to the Mountain Spirit and ask for rain. Guided by the hummingbird, Jade presents her food offering to the Mountain Spirit. Pleased, the spirit offers the brave girl corn kernels that she takes back to her village and uses to create the first tortilla.

 


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Sunny

by Jason Reynolds

Sunny is just that — sunny. Always ready with a goofy smile and something nice to say, Sunny is the chillest dude on the Defenders team. But his life hasn't always been sun-beamy bright. You see, Sunny is a murderer. Or at least he thinks of himself that way. His mother died giving birth to him, and based on how Sunny's dad treats him — ignoring him, making Sunny call him Darryl, never "Dad" — it's no wonder Sunny thinks he is to blame. It seems that the only thing Sunny can do right in his dad's eyes is win first-place ribbons running the mile, just like his mom did. But Sunny doesn't like running, never has. So he stops. Right in the middle of a race.

With his relationship with his dad now worse than ever, the last thing Sunny wants to do is leave the other newbies — his only friends — behind. But you can't be on a track team and not run. So Coach asks Sunny what he wants to do. Sunny's answer? Dance. Yes, dance. But you also can't be on a track team and dance. Then Sunny discovers a track event that encompasses the hard beats of hip-hop, the precision of ballet, and the showmanship of dance as a whole: the discus throw. But as he practices for this new event, can he let go of everything that has been eating him up inside?

 

Finding Audrey/Buscando a Audrey

by Sophie Kinsella

Audrey wears dark glasses all the time, even in the house. She almost never goes out, doesn't talk to new people, and finds making eye contact to be nearly impossible.

But then one day she meets Linus. Linus is her brother's friend and a sensitive spirit with whom she can talk through her fears. He makes her laugh and doesn't leave her feeling like she is being judged. As their friendship deepens, Audrey's recovery gains momentum, and she and Linus begin to develop feelings for each other. But how can they have a future together when Audrey hasn't dealt with her past? And how could anyone ever love her once they have seen her at her worst?

 


High School (Grades 9–12)

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel)

by Suzanne Collins

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He has been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice that Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

 

Serafina's Stories

by Rudolfo Anaya

New Mexico's master storyteller creates a southwestern version of the Arabian Nights in this fable set in seventeenth-century Santa Fe.

In January 1680, a dozen Pueblo Indians are charged with conspiring to incite a revolution against the colonial government. When the prisoners are brought before the governor, one of them is revealed as a young woman. Educated by the friars in her pueblo's mission church, Serafina speaks beautiful Spanish and surprises the governor with her fearlessness and intelligence.

 


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: https://goo.gl/forms/kY7iv9ixf1d6ViaX2

Contact

Reading Curriculum Specialist:

Tanya D. Evans
Phone: 414-475-8110
Email: evanstd@milwaukee.k12.wi.us

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