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March 2024 Selections

Preschool

Keiko smiling and looking up into the blooms of a tree with her arms opened to the skyI Am Able to Shine

by Korey Watari, illustrations by Mike Wu

Each night, Keiko whispers to her crane, "I wish to change the world." She is kind, and she has big dreams. But at times she feels invisible; she knows that some people misjudge her. Keiko is also loved, so she perseveres and stands strong. Over time, her confidence grows, she shares more of herself, and she helps lift up others — and eventually leads them. She understands that no matter what, she can shine.
 

An elephant, toad, ant, bee, fox, snake, duck, bat, dog, mole, and hedgehog looking at each other and smilingWays to Make Friends

by Jairo Buitrago, illustrations by Mariana Ruiz Johnson

What is the best way to make friends? Toad has the most magnificent ideas! Sometimes they don't go according to plan . . . but that's okay. Eventually Toad tires of making new friends but comes to a marvelous conclusion: sometimes being with yourself is a good way to pass the time too.

 


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

Lucy, surrounded by dresses, carrying her notebook, binoculars, butterfly net, bucket, spade, map, fishbowl . . . A Dress with Pockets

by Lily Murray, illustrations by Jenny Løvlie

Lucy and Aunt Augusta are dress shopping. There are fancy dresses, frilly dresses, stripy dresses, silly dresses, sun dresses, fun dresses, blue dresses, green . . . but Lucy doesn't care about frills or lace. She wants a dress WITH POCKETS. And as she wades through the titchy dresses, witchy dresses, and very, very itchy dresses, she starts to worry about where she's going to put her leaves, and nettles, and delicate petals, her magical spells and beautiful shells . . . . The hunt is on: will Lucy find the dress of her dreams?
 

Rosalinda holding a giant lemon against a lemon tree's darkened leaves and bright flowersUnder the Lemon Moon

by Edith Hope Fine, illustrations by René King Moreno

One night, Rosalinda is awakened by a noise in her garden. When she and her pet hen, Blanca, investigate, they see a man leaving with a large sackful of fruit from Rosalinda's beloved lemon tree. After consulting with family and neighbors about how to save her sick tree, Rosalinda sets out in search of La Anciana, the only person who might have a solution. When she finally meets La Anciana, the old woman offers an inventive way for Rosalinda to help her tree.

 


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

Raye using chalk to draw a parabola on the blackboardThe Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague

by Julia Finley Mosca, illustrations by Daniel Rieley

After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know that sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted — finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever.
 

Regina looking sad as her family moves away from their Tribal community to the cityIndian No More

by Charlene Willing McManis with Traci Sorell

Regina Petit's family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde reservation is all that ten-year-old Regina has ever known. But when the federal government signs a bill into law that says Regina's tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes "Indian no more" overnight.

Regina's father signs the family up for the Indian Relocation Program. For the first time in her life, Regina comes face to face with the viciousness of racism, personally and toward her new friends. Meanwhile, her father believes that if he works hard, their family will be treated just like white Americans. But it's not that easy. It's 1957 during the civil rights era. The family struggles without their Tribal community and land. At least Regina has her grandmother, Chich, and her stories. At least they are all together.

 


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Liz at an easel looking into a mirror as she paints a self-portraitMaybe an Artist: A Graphic Memoir

by Liz Montague

When Liz Montague was a senior in college, she wrote to The New Yorker,  asking them why they didn't publish more inclusive comics. The New Yorker  wrote back asking whether she could recommend any. She responded, "Yes. Me."

Those initial cartoons in The New Yorker  led to this memoir of Liz's youth, from the age of five through college — how she navigated life in her predominantly white New Jersey town, overcame severe dyslexia through art, and found the confidence to pursue her passion. Funny and poignant, Liz captures the age-old adolescent questions of "Who am I?" and "What do I want to be?" with perfect clarity and insight.

 

A silhouette of Millie's head against the blaze of Lolo's lightLolo's Light

by Liz Garton Scanlon

Once in your life, something is going to happen to you that doesn't happen to anyone else you know. It might be something good. It might be something bad, or special, or funny, or shocking. For Millie, it's something really sad. Lolo, her neighbors' infant daughter, dies unexpectedly, suddenly, inexplicably, on the night that Millie babysits. It's not Millie's fault. There is nothing that she could have done. This poignant and profound coming-of-age story portrays a tragic experience of responsibility and its poisonous flip side: guilt. Emotional and important, this is an honest and empathetic portrait of a girl at her most vulnerable — navigating a mess of grief, love, and ultimately, acceptance — who must reckon with those most difficult of demons: death . . . and life.
 


High School (Grades 9–12)

A teenage girl's upper face behind a drawing of Shakespeare's lower faceEnter the Body

by Joy McCullough

In the room beneath a stage trapdoor, Shakespeare's tragic teenage heroines — Juliet, Cordelia, Ophelia, and Lavinia — compare their experiences and tell the stories of their lives, their loves, and their fates in their own words. Bestselling author Joy McCullough offers a brilliant testament to how young women can support each other and reclaim their stories in the aftermath of trauma.

 

Antonio and Ultima at nighttime, walking away from the house where Antonio's mother stands in the doorwayBless Me, Ultima

by Rudolfo Anaya

Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera.  Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past. And at each turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world . . . and will nurture the birth of his soul.

 


Books in Spanish

Teo the rabbit and Tim the squirrel looking at each other through the branches of a hazelnut treeLa última avellana (para preescolar hasta el grado 2)

de Susanna Isern, ilustraciones por Mariana Ruiz Johnson

A Teo el conejo y Tim la ardilla les encanta subir a la cima de la gran colina y compartir picnics con avellanas, pero cuando falta le última avellana, se acusan mutuamente de haberse llevado la última nuez.

 


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: 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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