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October 2023 Selections


Bad Seed, a giant seed with a big smirk, walking through the woods with friends in ladybug and pirate costumesThe Good, the Bad, and the Spooky

by Jory John and Pete Oswald

Halloween is the Bad Seed's favorite holiday of the year. But what is a seed to do when he can't find a show-stopping costume for the big night? Postpone trick-or-treating for everyone, of course!

Can he get a costume together in time? Or will this seed return to his bad ways?

Find out in this hilarious, charming, and thought-provoking continuation of Jory John and Pete Oswald's best-selling Food Group series.


Tia Isa leaning against an aqua-blue convertible car while hugging her young nieceTía Isa Wants a Car

by Meg Medina, illustrations by Claudio Muñoz

While Tía Isa wants to save money for a car that will take the whole family to the beach, her niece does odd jobs for neighbors. But it's hard to save enough when half the money is set aside to bring family members who live far away to join them someday.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

Sour Grape, a giant grape with a big frown, standing atop a picket fence in an urban parkThe Sour Grape

by Jory John and Pete Oswald

The Sour Grape holds grudges for every reason under the sun. Lime never returned a scarf they borrowed? Grudge! Orange never called back? Grudge! But when a friend holds a grudge against the Sour Grape without listening to an explanation, the Sour Grape realizes how unfair grudges can be. Could a bunch of forgiveness and compassion be enough to turn a sour grape sweet?


The storyteller and librarian Pura Belpre lighting a candle in a classroom as a boy and girl look onThe Storyteller's Candle

by Lucía González, illustrations by Lulu Delacre

The winter of 1929 feels cold to cousins Hildamar and Santiago, as they arrived in New York City from Puerto Rico only months before. Their home feels far away, especially with Three Kings' Day rapidly approaching. But then a magical thing happens. A visitor appears in their class — a gifted storyteller and librarian by the name of Pura Belpré.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

A startled Rowley Jefferson twirling upside down in the air over a group of zombies, ghosts, and vampiresRowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories

by Jeff Kinney

Grab a flashlight, crawl under the covers, and dive into the twisted, unexpectedly hilarious world of Rowley Jefferson's imagination. You will meet zombies, vampires, ghosts, and much more in these comically terrifying tales. Rowley's spooky stories might leave you laughing, but beware — you could end up sleeping with the lights on!


Twelve-year-old friends Lucely and Syd riding bicycles, with Chunk the cat in a bike basket, surrounded by translucent spiritsGhost Squad

by Claribel A. Ortega

Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd's witch grandmother, Babette, and her cat, Chunk, to fight the haunting and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely's fire spirits before it's too late.


Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Eden, with the moon behind her and eyes closed in grief, in Everdark, the spirit realm that entraps herEden's Everdark

by Karen Strong

Still grieving over the loss of her mother, Eden visits Safina Island, her ancestral home, as a healing balm. But when she discovers an old sketchbook that belonged to her mother, she is haunted by the images she sees drawn there: A creepy mansion covered with roots and leaves. A tall woman with wind-blown hair and long, sharp nails who is as beautiful as she is terrifying.

Days later, exploring the island alone, Eden follows a black cat through a rift in the bright day. She stumbles into Everdark, a parallel world where the sun never rises, where spirits linger between death and the afterlife, and where everything from her mother's drawings is all too real — especially the Witch of Everdark, who wants to make Eden her eternal daughter.


Jax, Yas, Spider, and Han, looking out for their community, in front of an oil refinery corporation headquartersThe Jump

by Brittney Morris

Jax, Yas, Spider, and Han are the four cornerstones of Team Jericho, the best scavenger-hunting team in all of Seattle. Each has their own specialty: Jax, the puzzler; Yas, the parkourist; Spider, the hacker; and Han, the cartographer. But now with an oil refinery being built right in their backyard, each also has their own problems. Their families are at risk of losing their jobs, their communities, and their homes. 

So when The Order, a mysterious vigilante organization, hijacks the scavenger-hunting forum and concocts a puzzle of its own, promising a reward of influence, Team Jericho sees it as the chance of a lifetime. If they win this game, they could change their families' fates and save the city they love so much. But with an opposing team hot on their heels, it's going to take more than street smarts to outwit their rivals.


High School (Grades 9–12)

A half-girl, half-monster figure resting, eyes closed, with a sinister mansion in the backgroundDelicious Monsters

by Liselle Sambury

Daisy sees dead people. When her mother inherits a mansion in northern Ontario where she spent her childhood summers, Daisy jumps at the chance to escape from Toronto.

A decade later, Brittney is desperate to get out from under the thumb of her abusive mother, a best-selling author who claims that her stay at "Miracle Mansion" allowed her to see the error of her ways. Brittney decides that the new season of her popular Haunted  web series will uncover what happened to a young Black girl in the mansion ten years prior and finally expose her mother's lies. But as she gets more wrapped up in the investigation, she will have to decide: if she can bring only one story to light, which one matters more — Daisy's or her own?


Miguel and a friend walking down a palm tree–lined street at sunsetWe Were Here

by Matt de la Peña

When it happened, Miguel was sent to juvie. The judge gave him a year in a group home — said he had to write in a journal so that some counselor could try to figure out how he thinks. The judge had no idea that he actually did Miguel a favor. Ever since it happened, his mom can't even look him in the face. Any home besides his would be a better place to live.

But Miguel didn't bet on meeting Rondell or Mong or on any of what happened after they broke out. He thought only about Mexico and getting to the border to where he could start over. Forget his mom. Forget his brother. Forget himself.

Life usually doesn't work out how you think it will, though. And most of the time, running away is the quickest path right back to what you're running from.

From the streets of Stockton to the beaches of Venice, all the way to the Mexican border, We Were Here  follows a journey of self-discovery by a boy who is trying to forgive himself in an unforgiving world.


Books in Spanish

Ndura, holding a spear and shield as he fights for survival, in the forests of the Republic of CongoNdura: Hijo de la selva

de Javier Salazar Calle  (para edades 10–18)

Cuando una persona normal y corriente, cualquiera de nosotros, se encuentra de repente en una situación de vida o muerte en medio de la selva, ¿sabría sobrevivir? Este es el dilema que se le ofrece al protagonista de nuestra historia, que, volviendo de unas tranquilas vacaciones, se ve envuelto en una inesperada situación de supervivencia en la selva del Congo cuando el avión en el que viaja se estrella. Un lugar donde la naturaleza no es el único enemigo y donde sobrevivir no es el único problema.


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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