My City Speaks
by Darren Lebeuf, illustrations by Ashley Barron
A young girl who is visually impaired finds much to celebrate as she explores the city she loves.
She and her father spend a day in the city, her city, traveling to the places they go together: the playground, the community garden, the market, an outdoor concert. As they do, the girl describes what she senses in delightfully precise, poetic detail. Her city, she says, "rushes and stops, and waits and goes." It "pitters and patters, and drips and drains." It "echoes" and "trills" and is both "smelly" and "sweet." Her city also speaks as it "dings and dongs, and rattles and roars." And sometimes, maybe even at the best of times, it just listens.
by Gabi Snyder, illustrations by Stephanie Graegin
Isn't the world a noisy place? But what if you stop, close your eyes, and LISTEN?
Can you hear each sound? Can you listen past the noise and hear the quiet, too?
Beautifully illustrated and poignant, this picture book follows a girl through her school day as she listens to sounds across the city: caws of crows, shouts across the playground, and the quiet beating of her heart and whispered "good nights."
Primary (Kindergarten–Grade 2)
The Smart Cookie
by Jory John, illustrations by Pete Oswald
This cookie has never felt like a smart cookie, no matter how hard she tries, especially in comparison to all the clever cupcakes and brilliant rolls in the bakery. Will a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of confidence be enough to help her learn that perfect scores and having all the answers aren't the only ingredients for intelligence?
Side by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/
Lado a lado: La historia de Dolores Huerta y César Chávez
by Monica Brown, illustrated by Joe Cepeda
Every day, thousands of farm workers harvested the food that ended up on tables all over the country. But at the end of the day, when the workers sat down to eat, there were only beans on their own tables. Then Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez teamed up. Together they motivated the workers to fight for their rights and in the process changed history.
Todos los días, miles de campesinos cosechaban los alimentos que se servían en los hogares de todo el país. Pero al terminar la jornada, cuando los campesinos se sentaban a comer, lo único que había en sus propias mesas era frijoles. Entonces, Dolores Huerta y César Chávez se unieron para motivar a los trabajadores a luchar por sus derechos y en el proceso, cambiaron el curso de la historia.
Intermediate (Grades 3–5)
The Year of Billy Miller
by Kevin Henkes
When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad.
Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection
by F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada, illustrations by Felipe Dávalos, Viví Escrivá, Susan Guevara, and Leyla Torres
These stories have journeyed far — over mountains, deserts, and oceans — carried by wind, passed on to us by our ancestors. Now they have found their way to you.
A sly fox, a bird of a thousand colors, a magical set of bagpipes, and an audacious young girl . . . a mixture of popular tales and literary lore, this anthology celebrates Hispanic culture and its many roots: Indigenous, African, Arab, Hebrew, and Spanish.
F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada have retold twelve beloved stories that embody the lively spirit and the rich heritage of Latino people.
Middle School (Grades 6–8)
Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero
by Saadia Faruqi
Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas — and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win.
Only this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. This year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an anniversary that has everyone in his Muslim community on edge.
With "Never Forget" banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country's anger from two decades ago hasn't gone away. Can he hold onto his joy — and his friendships — in the face of heartache and prejudice?
by John David Anderson
In middle school, words aren't just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever.
When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes — although for every kind and friendly note, there is a cutting and cruel one.
In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost's lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it's clear that the close circle of friends that Frost has made for himself won't easily hold another. As the sticky-note war escalates and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that, after this year, nothing will ever be the same.
High School (Grades 9–12)
Girl in Pieces
by Kathleen Glasgow
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen, she has already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she has learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don't have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie's heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care any more, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing and has taken so much . . . and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together.
Breaking Through/Senderos fronterizos
by Francisco Jiménez
At the age of fourteen, Francisco Jiménez, together with his older brother Roberto and his mother, are caught by la migra. Forced to leave their home in California, the entire family travels all night for twenty hours by bus, arriving at the U.S. and Mexican borders in Nogales, Arizona. In the months and years that follow during the late 1950s–early 1960s, Francisco, his mother and father, and his seven brothers and sister not only struggle to keep their family together but also face crushing poverty, long hours of labor, and blatant prejudice. How they sustain their hope, their good-heartedness, and tenacity is revealed in this moving, Pura Belpré Honor–winning sequel to The Circuit. Without bitterness or sentimentality, Francisco Jiménez finishes telling the story of his youth.
Books in Spanish
Un gran corazon: Celebremos la igualdad aun siendo diferentes (K–Grade 2)
de Linsey Davis con Beverly Davis, ilustraciones de Lucy Fleming
Desde la piel, el cabello y los ojos en una multitud de colores hasta diferentes personalidades e intereses, Dios nos dio a todos rasgos y características especiales que nos hacen únicos. Y todos tenemos cosas en común también: como compartir la diversión y la risa en el patio de recreo, un sentido de la curiosidad, grandes sentimientos, y tantas otras cosas que muestran cómo todos somos más parecidos que diferentes.
¿Listo para celebrar nuestros gustos y diferencias? ¡Nosotros también! Y este diverso libro ilustrado, lleno de color, risas y diversión, les mostrará cómo.
From skin, hair, and eyes in a multitude of colors to different personalities and interests, God gave us all special traits and characteristics that make us uniquely ourselves. And we all have things in common, too: like sharing fun and laughter on the playground, a sense of curiosity, big feelings, and so many other things that show how we are all more alike than we are different.
Ready to celebrate all our likes and differences? So are we! And this diverse picture book — drenched in color and full of laughter and fun — will show you how.
La casa imaginaria (Grade 4–High School)
de Pilar Mateos
En una casa como la mía, nadie te obliga a apagar la luz a la hora de dormir, ni a cerrar los balcones cada vez que hay tormenta; y los hermanos mayores no se ponen furiosos porque se te haya ocurrido tomar prestado el helado que tenían guardado. En esta clase de casas nunca se reciben las calificaciones del colegio, aunque a veces suceden cosas muy especiales.
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.