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September 2021 Selections


Outside, Inside

by LeUyen Pham

Very few people have been able to describe the emotion, sacrifice, and toll that the pandemic has laid upon us. LeUyen Pham's approach is one with gorgeous illustrations and simple but pointed text that beautifully takes the reader and listener through the changes in our daily life. Outside, Inside  is a special book that helps to highlight the silver linings in life and hopefully sets us all up to make the best of the new world that we live in.


Our Class Is a Family/Nuestra clase es una familia

by Shannon Olsen, illustrations by Sandie Sonke

Our Class Is a Family  is a book that will help build and strengthen class community. Kids learn that their classroom is a place where it's safe to be themselves, it's okay to make mistakes, and it's important to be a friend to others. When hearing this story being read aloud by their teacher, students are sure to feel like they are part of a special family.


Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)

Maybe: A Story about the Endless Potential in All of Us

by Kobi Yamada, illustrations by Gabriella Barouch

You are more amazing than you even know. New York Times  best-selling author Kobi Yamada has written a story about the unbounded potential that you hold inside. With striking, realistic illustrations, this book is a reminder that you were meant for incredible things. And maybe, just maybe, you will exceed your wildest dreams.


The Circles All Around Us

by Brad Montague

This is the story of a circle. When we are first born, our circle is very small, but as we grow and build relationships, our circle keeps getting bigger and bigger to include family, friends, neighbors, community, and beyond. This picture book adaptation is the perfect way to start a conversation about how to expand our worlds with kindness and inclusivity — even if it seems scary or uncomfortable.


Intermediate (Grades 3–5)

Better Than You

by Trudy Ludwig, illustrations by Adam Gustavson

Jake's bragging is really starting to get to his neighbor Tyler. Tyler can't show Jake a basketball move, a school assignment, or a new toy without Jake saying he can do it better. Tyler starts to wonder: Is something wrong with him? Is he really such a loser? Is Jake really better than he is at everything? Or is Jake the one with the problem? With the help of his Uncle Kevin, Tyler begins to understand that Jake's bragging has nothing to do with Tyler's own abilities and that puffing yourself up leaves little room for friends.


The Ants' Secret/El secreto de las hormigas

by Baltasar Magro, illustrations by Dani Padrón

The day begins in absolute chaos. General Ant receives a message about the imminent danger. On the surface, Chloe and Jack are having fun poking sticks into the anthill, attacking the colony once again. The general sends an order to soldier ants by releasing a special aroma signal that wafts through the many tunnels and caves in the colony. Hundreds of worker ants, together with the soldier ants, rush through the tunnels to protect the storeroom and their queen, who is laying eggs. Will these tiny, fascinating insects be able to defend their anthill and teach the children to respect them?


Middle School (Grades 6–8)


by Lisa Fipps

Written in free verse, Starfish  follows Ellie, a Texas girl who has been bullied relentlessly for her weight, even by her own mother. With the help of a therapist, a new friend, and her loving father, Ellie learns to stand up for herself and be unapologetically her. Starfish  is a much-needed story for young people about the power of kindness and self-love.


La chica que coleccionaba sellos y el chico que esperaba un tren

by Daniel Hernández Chambers, illustrations by Xavier Bonet

Isabel acude a menudo a la estación de tren con su padre, el cartero del pueblo, para recoger la saca del correo. Un día ve allí a Guillermo, un compañero de clase, que parece estar esperando un tren que no llega nunca.

La curiosidad hará que ambos compartan sus secretos y que comiencen una amistad que los marcará de por vida.


High School (Grades 9–12)


by Yamile Saied Méndez

In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life. At home, she is a careful daughter living within her mother's narrow expectations, in the shadow of her rising-soccer-star brother, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father. On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she would get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.

But the path ahead isn't easy. Her parents don't know about her passion. They wouldn't allow a girl to play fútbol — and she needs their permission to go any further. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn't have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren't the same as when he left: She has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.


Home Is Not a Country

by Safia Elhillo

Nima wishes she were someone else. She doesn't feel understood by her mother, who grew up in a different land. She doesn't feel accepted in her suburban town — yet, somehow, she isn't different enough to belong elsewhere. Her best friend, Haitham, is the only person with whom she can truly be herself. Until she can't, and suddenly her only refuge is gone.

As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen — the name her parents meant to give her at birth : Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl might be more real than Nima knows. And the life that Nima wishes were someone else's . . . is one she will need to fight for with a fierceness she never knew she possessed.


To access the books on our monthly MPS Reads book lists, 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 book lists, 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.

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

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