Welcome to Milton Academy's 6-12th grade recommended reading page! Here you will find suggestions for books on all different kinds of subjects and in all different kinds of genres--whether you are looking for a heavy duty biography or an action-packed graphic novel.

All of these books are available for you to check out at Cox Library.


Best of 2014

posted Jan 9, 2015, 10:47 AM by Emma Johnson   [ updated May 11, 2015, 9:58 AM ]

Happy New Year! Once again it is the time of year that everyone publishes their lists of top reads from the year past. Here are some good 2014 recommended reading lists from around the web:

Here were some of my favorite reads of the year (as always, I read a lot of YA):

  • A Hero at the End of the World by Erin Claiborne. This very funny book is a twist on a Harry Potter-esque narrative. All the prophecies and the omens said that Ewan Mao would be the one to destroy the tyrant ruling wizarding Britain -- so when his best friend Oliver gets impatient and does the deed for him, Ewan's life crumbles. This book picks up ten years later, with the aimless ex-chosen one working as a barista and getting caught up in some trouble of the world-ending variety. (High School)
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. Speaking of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling released her second Cormoran Strike mystery under the pen-name Robert Galbraith last year, and it was even more enjoyable than the first, satirizing the publishing world that Rowling knows so well. (Adult Fiction)
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This suspenseful novel from Lockhart keeps you hooked 'til the end, which is so shocking that she asked anybody recommending the book to lie about its ending and preserve the surprise for future readers. (Middle School, High School)
  • Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg. Mallory Ortberg, an editor at one of my favorite humor blogs, The Toast, turned her most popular web series into a book. These imagined text conversations between famous characters in literature are hilarious and very smart. Read some of her texts here. (Non-Fiction)
  • Scandals of Classic Hollywood by Anne Helen Petersen. This is another elevated blog series, drawn from a series of posts made at The Hairpin over the last few years. Petersen has a PhD in celebrity studies and writes fascinating, thoughtful critiques of star culture. If you're more interested in modern day Hollywood than in classic film, she's writing for Buzzfeed now (I'd start with the post on Jennifer Lawrence). (Non-Fiction)
  • Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polansky. 12-year-old Grayson has felt wrong in his body for as long as he can remember and he works desperately to hide his differences from his aunt and uncle and from his classmates. Grayson's secrets come to the surface when he lands the lead role in the school play -- the lead female role. This is the first book aimed at middle school readers to have a transgender main character and it tells a moving story about the pain and joy of being true to yourself. (Middle School)
  • Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. This book is just the weirdest book I've ever read. 16-year-old Austin Szerba accidentally unleashes an apocalypse of 6-foot tall insectoid creatures with his best friend Robby and narrates the whole thing with profanity, humor, and a lot of digressions about his family history and his raging hormones. (High School)
  • Sisters by Raina Telgemeier. Raina Telgemeier writes some of my favorite graphic novels. This is her second autobiographical one about the complicated and often antagonistic relationship she had with her little sister growing up. Very relatable for anyone with siblings. (Middle School)
  • Ms. Marvel: No Normal by Willow Wilson. On the superhero comics side, I became obsessed with the new Ms. Marvel. Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Pakistani-American girl from Jersey City, picks up the mantle from Carol Danvers (who's slated to have a movie as Captain Marvel in 2017). Kamala is an incredibly likable character, dealing with realistic family and friend tensions while still saving the day and finding time to fangirl over Wolverine. (Middle School, High School)

Best of 2013

posted Jan 10, 2014, 8:54 AM by Emma Johnson   [ updated May 11, 2015, 10:00 AM ]

It's a new year, and that means lots of "Best of the Year" wrap ups in different newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Here are some lists of great reads from 2013:

And here are some of my own favorite books of the year:

Matt Fraction & David Aja

My favorite superhero comic of the year -- the art is sharp, the writing is funny, and I came away loving a character I previously thought of as "That Avenger with only 12 minutes of screentime." (High School)

Hold Fast
Blue Balliett

11-year-old Early finds herself, her mother, and her little brother homeless after the disappearance of her father. Both a mystery and a moving look at one family's love and endurance. (Middle School)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's books are always twisty and compelling, with an appealing dark humor, and this one is no exception. A book about magic, the unreliability of childhood memory, and the weirdness of adults. (Adult Fiction)

When We Wake

Karen Healey

While I didn't love this quite as much as Healey's last two books, this was still a really interesting read. Tegan wakes up after being cryogenically frozen for 100 years, and finds herself in a world that's right on the brink of dystopia. (High School)


Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan is one of my favorite YA authors right now, full stop, and the second volume in her Lynburn Legacy series did not disappoint. This romantic paranormal thriller made me laugh and and left me dying for the next book. (Middle School, High School)


Mary Roach

I love Mary Roach's enthusiasm for the grossest and weirdest science facts. After dealing with sex, ectoplasm, decomposition, and how astronauts pee in space in previous books, Roach takes a gleeful look at the digestive tract in this book. (Non-Fiction)


Rainbow Rowell

Beyond the fun of seeing Rowell's dead-on take on fandom and fanfiction (main character Cath is a die hard devotee of a book series that looks suspiciously like Harry Potter), this is also an incredible novel about the anxieties of college and growing up. It deals with real weighty issues (mental illness, alcoholism, first love) with grace. (High School)

Northwest Passage

Stan Rogers

Yes -- it's a picture book. But what a picture book! Even if you aren't a Canadian history nerd (like I am), the story of doomed Arctic exploration is engrossing, and the art is truly stunning for anyone with an interest in design or illustration. (Children's)

The Dream Thieves

Maggie Stiefvater

Part two of Maggie Stiefvater's Raven cycle, which is based on Welsh mythology. Blue Sargent and her new friends, four boys from the nearby prep school, continue their search for Owen Glendower, the mystical "raven king". This book really upped the excitement and suspense -- I can't wait for the next two volumes. (High School)

Welcome to Cox Library's new recommended reading page!

posted May 31, 2013, 11:13 AM by Emma Johnson   [ updated Jun 3, 2013, 6:29 AM ]

I hope you find these lists -- which included curated recommendation lists, themed lists of books in the library, and guides to various literary prizes -- helpful in finding exciting new books to read!

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