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November 2023 Selections

November is Native American Heritage Month!


A girl standing among trees and plants with birds flying in the wind overheadLittle Land

by Diana Sudyka

Do you know a little bit of land? It could be smaller than you expect. But its importance is bigger than you know. From the prehistoric past to the dramatic environmental change of right here and now, the land has countless stories to tell. You, too, are a part of the land. Listen and you will understand what it needs to stay in balance.


A girl and her grandmother smiling as berry plants surround themBerry Song

by Michaela Goade

On an island at the edge of a wide sea, a girl and her grandmother gather gifts from the earth. Through the seasons, they sing to the land as the land sings to them. Brimming with joy and gratitude, in every step of their journey, they forge a deeper kinship with both the earth and the generations that came before, joining in the song that connects us all. Michaela Goade's luminous rendering of water and forest, berries and jams glows with her love of the land and offers an invitation to readers to deepen their own relationship with the earth.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

Holden standing apart from his classmates who are all walking in a straight lineFall in Line, Holden!

by Daniel W. Vandever

Fall in Line, Holden!  tells the story of a young Navajo student named Holden as he ventures through boarding school and is constantly being told to fall in line. While surrounded by a world that requires him to conform and follow strict rules, Holden's imagination creates a colorful world of excitement.


An Aztec girl, her brother, and their parents, making a book, seated in front of a Mesoamerican pyramidA Land of Books: Dreams of Young Mexihcah Word Painters

by Duncan Tonatiuh

Our world, little brother, is an amoxtlalpan, a land of books. In the jungles where the jaguar dwells, the Mayas make books. In the mountains, the cloud people, the Mixtecs, make them as well. So do others on the coast and in the forests. And we, the Mexica of the mighty Aztec empire who dwell in the valley of the volcanoes, make them too.

A young Aztec girl tells her little brother how their parents create beautifully painted manuscripts, or codices.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

An Indigenous woman thinking of mathematics, engineering, nature, sports, health, transportation, and nutritionIndigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge

by Deidre Havrelock and Edward Kay

Our lives would be unrecognizable without countless scientific discoveries and technological inventions from Indigenous North Americans. This book includes fun, simple activities and experiments that children can do to better understand and enjoy the principles used by Indigenous inventors. Readers of all ages are invited to celebrate traditional North American Indigenous innovation and to embrace the mindset of reciprocity, environmental responsibility, and the interconnectedness of all life.


A sockeye salmon swimming in the river, looking at a big brown bear The Sockeye Mother (Mothers of Xsan, Volume 1)

by Hetxw'ms Gyetxw, also known as Brett D. Huson, illustrations by Natasha Donovan

To the Gitxsan people of Northwestern British Columbia, the sockeye salmon is more than just a source of food. Over its life cycle, it nourishes the very land and forests that the Skeena River runs through and where the Gitxsan make their home. The Sockeye Mother  explores how the animals, water, soil, and seasons are all intertwined.


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

A painted-over mural on a school wall of a feathers-wearing, tomahawk-wielding Indian mascotMascot

by Charles Waters and Traci Sorell

In Rye, Virginia, people work hard, kids go to school, and football is big on Friday nights. An eighth-grade English teacher creates an assignment for her class to debate whether Rye's mascot should stay or change. Now six middle schoolers — all with different backgrounds and beliefs — get involved in the contentious issue that already has the suburb turned upside down with everyone choosing sides and arguments getting ugly.

Told from several perspectives, readers see how each student comes to new understandings about identity and tradition and what it means to stand up for real change.


Nathan and his Uncle Jet sitting at a campfire in the desert, with a Holy Being from the Navajo Creation Story, a Water Monster, in the sky Healer of the Water Monster

by Brian Young

When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation, he knows that he is in for a pretty uneventful summer. Still, he loves spending time with Nali and with his Uncle Jet, although it's clear when Jet arrives that he brings his problems with him.

One night, Nathan finds someone extraordinary: a Holy Being from the Navajo Creation Story — a Water Monster — in need of help. Now Nathan must summon all his courage to save his new friend. With the help of other Holy Beings, Nathan is determined to save the Water Monster and support Uncle Jet in healing from his own pain.


High School (Grades 9–12)

Nina, from our world, standing, and Oli, from the land of spirits and monsters, coiling around Nina's feetA Snake Falls to Earth

by Darcie Little Badger

Nina is a Lipan Apache girl in our world. She has always felt that there was something more out there. She still believes in the old stories.

Oli is a cottonmouth kid from the land of spirits and monsters. Like all cottonmouths, he has been cast from home. He has found a new home on the banks of the bottomless lake.

Nina and Oli have no idea that the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth — and a strange sickness that befalls Oli's best friend — will drive their worlds together in ways that they haven't been in centuries. And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.


A large heart muscle on which appears Cherokee syllabary -- written symbols that represent syllablesMan Made Monsters

by Andrea Rogers, illustrations by Jeff Edwards

Tsalagi should never have to live on human blood, but sometimes things just happen to sixteen-year-old girls. Following one extended Cherokee family across the centuries — from the tribe's homelands in Georgia in the 1830s to World War I, the Vietnam War, our own present, and into the future — each story delivers a slice of a particular time period that will leave readers longing for more.


Books in Spanish

Fabio and children of the neighborhood riding their bicycles in BogotáNuncaseolvida

de Alejandra Algorta (para edades 8–12)

Fabio vuela en su bicicleta por las calles de Botogá, mientras los niños del vecindario lo siguen. Es justo allí donde la vida se siente bien — donde el mundo de los adultos, y sus mentiras, desaparece. Pero un día, Fabio lo olvida, olvida como andar en bicicleta. Y nunca volverá a ser él mismo. Desde Colombia viene una novela de descubrimiento y la nostalgia de crecer.


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:


Reading Curriculum Specialist:

Tanya D. Evans
Phone: 414-475-8110

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2023
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