I Want My Hat Back
by Jon Klassen
The bear's hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear's memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor — and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke.
I Love You, Sun • I Love You, Moon/Te amo, sol • Te amo, luna
by Karen Pandell and Tomie dePaola
A family favorite since it was first published in 1994, this book has taught basic concepts to a generation of young children. Now it can be used to introduce these concepts to Spanish readers.
Here each child connects with what he or she sees in both Spanish and English — pointing at the sol/sun, watering a flor/flower, feeding a carrot to a conejo/bunny — all the while saying "Te amo/I love you" to each one. Tomie dePaola's adorable pictures warmly illustrate each activity, making it easy and fun to learn these simple Spanish and English words. A welcome addition to every toddler's library.
Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)
Come with Me
by Holly M. McGhee and Pascal Lemaître
When the news reports are flooded with tales of hatred and fear, a girl asks her papa what she can do to make the world a better place. "Come with me," he says. Hand in hand, they walk to the subway, tipping their hats to those they meet. The next day, the girl asks her mama what she can do — her mama says, "Come with me," and together they set out for the grocery because one person doesn't represent an entire race or the people of a land. After dinner that night, the little girl asks if she can do something of her own — walk the dog . . . and her parents let her go. "Come with me," the girl tells the boy across the hall. Walking together, one step at a time, the girl and the boy begin to see that as small and insignificant as their part may seem, it matters to the world.
We Are Water Protectors
by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade
Inspired by the many indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption — a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.
Intermediate (Grades 3–5)
Pink Is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals
by Jess Keating and David DeGrand
Some people think pink is a pretty color. A fluffy, sparkly, princess-y color. But it's so much more. Sure, pink is the color of princesses and bubble gum, but it's also the color of monster slugs and poisonous insects. Not to mention ultra-intelligent dolphins, naked mole rats, and bizarre, bloated blobfish.
Isn't it about time to rethink pink?
Slip on your rose-colored glasses and take a walk on the wild side with zoologist Jess Keating, whose other books in the "World of Weird Animals" series include What Makes a Monster? and Cute as an Axolotl.
Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes
by Wab Kinew and Joe Morse
Celebrating the stories of indigenous people throughout time, Wab Kinew has created a powerful rap song, the lyrics of which are the basis for the text in this beautiful picture book illustrated by the acclaimed Joe Morse. Including figures such as Crazy Horse, Net-no-kwa, former NASA astronaut John Herrington, and Canadian NHL goalie Carey Price, Go Show the World showcases a diverse group of indigenous people in the U.S. and Canada, both the more well-known and the not-so-widely recognized. Individually, their stories, though briefly touched on, are inspiring. Collectively they empower the reader with this message: "We are people who matter, yes, it's true; now let's show the world what people who matter can do."
Middle School (Grades 6–8)
Shouting at the Rain
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Delsie loves tracking the weather — lately, though, it seems the squalls are in her own life. She has always lived with her kindhearted grammy, but now she's looking at their life with new eyes and wishing she could have a "regular family." Delsie observes other changes in the air, too — the most painful being a friend who has outgrown her. Luckily, she has neighbors with strong shoulders to support her, and Ronan, a new friend who is caring and courageous but also troubled by the losses he's endured. As Ronan and Delsie traipse around Cape Cod on their adventures, they both learn what it means to be angry versus sad, broken versus whole, and abandoned versus loved. And that together, they can weather any storm.
The Only Road/El único destino
by Alexandra Diaz
Twelve-year-old Jaime makes the treacherous and life-changing journey from his home in Guatemala to live with his older brother in the United States in this gripping and realistic middle-grade novel.
Jaime is sitting on his bed drawing when he hears a scream. Instantly, he knows: Miguel, his cousin and best friend, is dead.
Everyone in Jaime's small town in Guatemala knows someone who has been killed by the Alphas, a powerful gang that is known for violence and drug trafficking. Anyone who refuses to work for them is hurt or killed — like Miguel. With Miguel gone, Jaime fears that he is next. There's only one choice: accompanied by his cousin Ángela, Jaime must flee from his home to live with his older brother in New Mexico.
Inspired by true events, The Only Road is an individual story of a boy who feels that leaving his home and risking everything is his only chance for a better life. It is a story of fear and bravery, love and loss, strangers becoming family, and one boy's treacherous and life-changing journey.
High School (Grades 9–12)
One of Us Is Lying
by Karen M. McManus
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app.
But Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon is dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he'd planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who is still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
by Eloy Moreno
Moving, emotional, different . . . through a child's eyes, Invisible tells a story that could be a story of any one of us.
Who hasn't at one point wished they were invisible?
Who hasn't wanted to stop being invisible?
The problem is that I have never been able to control that power: Sometimes, when I mostly felt a desire to be invisible, it was when more people saw me; on the other hand, when I wanted everyone to see me, it was when my body decided to disappear.
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.