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March 2021 Selections


One of These Is Not Like the Others

by Barney Saltzberg

One of These Is Not Like the Others  introduces children to the concept and splendor of inclusiveness through recognizing who or what is different on each page spread and celebrating the unity as it is.

For example, the reader sees three cows and an elephant accompanied by the text "One of these is not like the others" — turn the page . . . and all four animals take part in an exuberant conga line and say, "That's just fine with us!" 

In a series of similar examples, children are encouraged to notice both the similarities and differences between characters and celebrate both.


The Alphabet's Alphabet

by Chris Harris, illustrated by Dan Santat

Here is a totally twisted take on the alphabet that invites readers to look at it in a whole new way: An A is an H that just won't stand up right, a B is a D with its belt on too tight, and a Z is an L in a tug-of-war fight! Twenty-six letters, all unique — and yet every letter looks just like one another! Kind of like . . . one big family.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdős

by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Most people think of mathematicians as solitary, working away in isolation. And it's true — many of them are. But Paul Erdős never followed the usual path. At the age of four, he could ask you when you were born and then calculate in his head the number of seconds you had been alive. But he didn't to learn to butter his own bread until he turned twenty. Instead, he traveled around the world, from one mathematician to the next, collaborating on an astonishing number of publications. With a simple, lyrical text and richly layered illustrations, this is a beautiful introduction to the world of math and a fascinating look at the unique character traits that made "Uncle Paul" a great man.


Daniela the Pirate/Daniela pirata

by Susanna Isern, illustrated by GÓMEZ, translated by Ben Dawlatly

Is being a pirate only for boys? That's not what Daniela thinks.

She dreams of becoming a pirate on a legendary ship, the Black Croc. She searches and searches over the Seven Seas until, one day, she finally finds it. But oh, dear! These pirates seem to be a little chauvinist. Particularly Captain Choppylobe, who will make Daniela go through difficult challenges to prove her worth as a pirate. Will she make it? Will they let her be part of the crew?

A story about equality and realizing your dreams.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math

by Rajani LaRocca, illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

In ancient India, a boy named Bhagat travels to the Rajah's city, hoping to ensure his family's prosperity by winning a place at court as a singer. Bhagat carries his family's entire fortune — a single coin and a chain of seven golden rings — to pay for his lodging. But when the innkeeper demands one ring per night, and every link snipped costs one coin, how can Bhagat both break the chain and avoid overpaying? His inventive solution points the way to an unexpected triumph and offers readers a friendly lesson in binary numbers — the root of all computing.


Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas Who Made U.S. History/¡Sé audaz! ¡Sé valiente! 11 Latinas que hicieron historia en los Estados Unidos

by Naibe Reynoso, illustrated by Jone Leal

This bilingual book highlights eleven Latinas who excelled in their professions and made U.S. history by accomplishing something that hadn't been done before in various fields, including medicine, science, sports, art, and politics. By presenting the true biographical stories of these outstanding Latinas in rhyming verses, young readers will easily follow their journeys to success.


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Fighting Words

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Ten-year-old Della has always had her older sister, Suki: When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom's boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did something so awful that they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della's own wolf — her protector. But who has been protecting Suki? Della might get told off for swearing at school, but she has always known how to keep quiet when it counts. Then Suki tries to kill herself, and Della's world turns so far upside down, it feels like it's shaking her by the ankles. Maybe she has been quiet about the wrong things. Maybe it's time to be loud.


Amal Unbound

by Aisha Saeed

Amal has big dreams until a nightmarish encounter . . . 

Twelve-year-old Amal's dream of becoming a teacher one day is dashed in an instant when she accidentally insults a member of her Pakistani village's ruling family. As punishment for her behavior, she is forced to leave her heartbroken family behind and go to work at the ruling family's estate.

Amal is distraught but has faced setbacks before. She summons her courage and begins navigating the complex rules of life as a servant, with all its attendant jealousies and pecking order woes. Most troubling, though, is Amal's increasing awareness of the deadly measures that the Khan family will go to in order to stay in control. It is clear that their hold over her village will never loosen as long as everyone is too afraid to challenge them — so if Amal is to have any chance of ensuring her loved ones' safety and winning back her freedom, she must find a way to work with the other servants to make it happen.


High School (Grades 9–12)


by Francisco X. Stork

What does it mean to be illegal in the United States?

Life in Mexico is a death sentence for Emiliano and his sister Sara.

To escape the violent cartel that is after them, they flee across the border, seeking a better life in the United States and hoping that they can find a way to bring their pursuers to justice.

Sara turns herself over to the authorities to apply for asylum.

Emiliano enters the country illegally, planning to live with their father.

But now Sara is being held indefinitely in a detention facility, awaiting an asylum hearing that may never come, finding it harder every day to hold onto her faith and hope. Life for Emiliano is not easy either. Everywhere he goes, it's clear that he doesn't belong. And all the while, the cartel is closing in on them . . . 

Emiliano sets off on a tense and dangerous race to find justice, but can he expose the web of crimes from his place in the shadows?


Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

by Marjane Satrapi

In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Satrapi bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.


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.

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Reading Curriculum Specialist:

Tanya D. Evans
Phone: 414-475-8110

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2022
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