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May 2020 Selections


Cartoon of happy librarian sitting on a pile of books and a puzzled child holding a bookMiss Brooks Loves Books! (and I Don't)

by Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley

With the help of Miss Brooks, Missy's classmates all find books they love in the library — books about fairies and dogs and trains and cowboys. But Missy dismisses them all: "Too flowery, too furry, too clickety, too yippity."

Still, Miss Brooks remains undaunted. Book Week is here, and Missy will find a book to love if they have to empty the entire library. Which story will finally win over this beastly . . . er . . . discriminating child? William Steig's Shrek!  — the tale of a repulsive green ogre in search of a revolting bride. Of course!


Cartoon of a very small dinosaurTiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug

by Jonathan Stutzman and Jay Fleck

Tiny T. Rex has a HUGE problem. His friend Pointy needs cheering up, and only a hug will do. But with his short stature and teeny T. Rex arms, is a hug impossible? Not if Tiny has anything to say about it! Join this plucky little dinosaur in his very first adventure. Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug — a warm and funny tale that proves the best hugs come from the biggest hearts.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

Cartoon of a lion in front of a bookcase with two children snuggling against himLibrary Lion/Un león en la biblioteca

by Michelle Knudsen and Kevin Hawkes

Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren't any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how.


Cartoon of four extremely tiny microbes saying "It's full of germs"Do Not Lick This Book

by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost

Min is a microbe. She is small.

Very small.

In fact, she is so small that you would need to look through a microscope to see her. Or you can simply open this book and take Min on an adventure to amazing places she's never seen before — like the icy glaciers of your tooth or the twisted, tangled jungle of your shirt.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

Cartoon of woman sitting on library front steps reading to childrenPlanting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré/Sembrando historias: Pura Belpré bibliotecaria y narradora de cuentos

by Anika Aldamuy Denise and Paola Escobar

When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos  of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros  and spread story seeds across the land. Today these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate her legacy.


Cartoon of two children on bicycles riding through a small townThe Parker Inheritance

by Varian Johnson

When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn't sure she should read it. It is addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.

So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert's history — full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love — and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter's promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Illustration of a young man sitting on steps looking pensiveSomewhere in the Darkness/Un lugar entre las sombras

by Walter Dean Myers

Jimmy hasn't seen his father in nine years. But one day his father comes back — on the run from the law. Together the two of them travel across the country where Jimmy's dad will find the man who can exonerate him of the crime for which he was convicted. Along the way, Jimmy discovers a lot about his father and himself, and that while things can't always be fixed, sometimes they can be understood and forgiven.


Illustration of a colorful, wild sky over water watched by a father and daughter on the beachHurricane Season

by Nicole Melleby

Fig, a sixth grader, loves her dad and the home they share in a beachside town. She does not love the long months of hurricane season. Her father, a once-renowned piano player, sometimes goes looking for the music in the middle of a storm. Hurricane months bring unpredictable good and bad days. More than anything, Fig wants to see the world through her father's eyes, so she takes an art class to experience life as an artist does. Then Fig's dad shows up at school, confused and looking for her. Not only does the class not bring Fig closer to understanding him, it brings social services to their door.

As the walls start to fall around her, Fig is sure it's up to her alone to solve her father's problems and protect her family's privacy. But with the help of her best friend, a cute girl at the library, and a surprisingly kind new neighbor, Fig learns she isn't as alone as she once thought . . . and begins to compose her own definition of family. 

Nicole Melleby's Hurricane Season  is a radiant and tender novel about taking risks and facing danger, about friendship and art, and about growing up and coming out. And more than anything else, it is a story about love — both its limits and its incredible healing power.


High School (Grades 9–12)

Picture of a finger about to push a line of dominoesThe Book Thief/La ladrona de libros

by Markus Zusak

When Death has a story to tell, you listen.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and it will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside Munich who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.


Illustration of the back of a jean jacket worn by a young woman as she looks toward the rightThe Revolution of Birdie Randolph

by Brandy Colbert

Dove "Birdie" Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her. She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she's on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past . . . whom she knows her parents will never approve of.

When her estranged Aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family's apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded — she has also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she has known to be true is turned upside down.


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.

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.

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2021
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