Be Brave, Little Penguin
by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
Little penguin Pip-Pip would love to join all his friends swimming in the sea, but there's just one problem . . . he's scared of water. Can Pip-Pip overcome his fears and take the plunge? This irresistible story shows that sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement — and a whole lot of heart — to make that leap and be brave!
Carmela Full of Wishes/Los deseos de Carmela
by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson
When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true — she's finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. They travel through their neighborhood until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. Before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish!
Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)
I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness/
Todos con Vanesa: Un pequeño gesto puede cambiar el mundo
This picture book tells the story of a girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying. I Walk with Vanessa shows how a single act of kindness can unite an entire community. Using only pictures to tell the story, the creators reveal how someone can be an ally without having to say a word. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound story will resonate with readers young and old.
The Good Egg
by Jory John and Pete Oswald
Meet the good egg. He's a verrrrrry good egg indeed. But trying to be so good is hard when everyone else is plain ol' rotten. As the other eggs in the dozen behave badly, the good egg starts to crack from all the pressure of feeling like he has to be perfect. So he decides enough is enough! It's time for him to make a change.
Intermediate (Grades 3–5)
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids/
¿Has llenado una cubeta hoy? Una guía diaria de felicidad para niño
by Carol McCloud and David Messing
Using a simple metaphor of a bucket and a dipper, the author shows that when we choose to be kind, we fill the buckets of those around us and our own bucket! When we say or do mean things, we are dipping into buckets. When you are a bucket filler, you make the world a better place! This picture book is perfect for children, teachers, and anyone who wants to teach empathy, nurture kindness, and create a positive home, classroom, workplace, and community.
The Invisible Boy
by Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton
A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend. Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until a new kid comes to class.
When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.
Middle School (Grades 6–8)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas/El niño con el pijama de rayas
by John Boyne
Berlin 1942: When Bruno's family moves to a new house far away, there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.
Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides to investigate this desolate new place. He meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
by Jerry Craft
Seventh-grader Jordan Banks loves drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
As he makes the daily trip to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds — and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?
High School (Grades 9–12)
Ginny Moon/Ginny Moon (Spanish)
by Benjamin Ludwig
Ginny Moon is exceptional. Everyone knows it — her friends at school, basketball teammates, and her new adoptive parents. They all love her, even if they don't quite understand her. They want her to feel like she belongs.
But Ginny has no intention of belonging. She has found her birth mother on Facebook and is determined to get back to her — even if it means going back to a place that was extremely dangerous. Because Ginny left something behind, and she is desperate to get it back to make things right.
Touching Spirit Bear
by Ben Mikaelsen
Cole Matthews has been stealing, fighting, and lying for years. His attack on a classmate has left the boy with permanent physical and psychological damage. To most, Cole seems beyond hope. When he is offered an alternative path called Circle Justice based on Native American tradition, Cole finds himself on a remote Alaskan island. His rage and isolation lead him to attack the Spirit Bear of Native American legend, and Cole's clumsy assault leaves him mauled nearly to death, desperately clinging to the life he has tried so hard to waste. The attack of the Spirit Bear is the start of Cole's long journey to accepting responsibility for his life and saving his soul.
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.