Susan Larson
Milton Public Library director


Milton superintendent Ann Bradshaw and I have been collaborating on plans for an All Milton Reads this summer, based on the topics of inclusion and diversity.

In January, we invited the Milton community to an initial planning meeting. Those who attended chose the theme of Race in America, and assembled an initial list of books for teens and adults.

On January 30, the Milton Schools Equity Committee and the Milton Inclusion and Diversity Initiative held their first Joint Equity Initiative meeting. After that meeting, Ann and I decided we wanted more time. By postponing All Milton Reads, we gain time for learning, planning and collaborating with the equity initiative.

Although Ann ends her tenure in Milton at the end of this school year, the public library staff and I will continue working with the Equity Committee, school staff and community members on plans for a future All Milton Reads.

For this month’s Book Bits column, I’d like to share with you the book list created by those who attended the initial planning meeting.


“Prelude to Bruise” by Saeed Jones, 2014. Winner of the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry.

“Citizen: An American Lyric” by Claudia Rankine, 2014. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry, the Hurston/Wright LEGACY Award for Poetry and the Literary Award for Poetry.


“Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist” by Sunil Yapa, 2016. Historical, literary, political fiction.

“Does My Head Look Big in This” by Randa Abdel-Fattah, 2005. Young adult fiction.

“Salvage the Bones” by Jesmyn Ward, 2011. Fiction. Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.

“Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward, 2017. Fiction. Winner of the National Book Award for fiction, a Time Magazine best novel of the year, a New York Times Top 10 of 2017, and a Publishers Weekly Top 10 of 2017.

“Kindred” by Octavia E. Butler, 1979. Fiction, science fiction. There is a graphic novel adaptation of this book.

“American Street” by Ibi Zoboi, 2017. Realistic fiction, YA crossover. A New York Times Notable Book, Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice of 2017 (Top of the List winner), School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Kirkus Best Book of the Year, BookPage Best YA Book of the Year.

“The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd, 2014. Historical fiction.


“Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterly, 2016. There is a young readers’ edition.

“The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother” by James McBride, 1995. Memoir. Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

“The House That Race Built: Original Essays by Toni Morrison, Angela Y. Davis, Cornel West, and Others on Black Americans and Politics in America Today” by Wahneema Lubiano, Cornel West and Angela Y. Davis, 1997. Race, politics, essays.

“Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America” by Firoozeh Dumas, 2003. Memoir.

“The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism” by Edward E. Baptist, 2013. Nonfiction history, race, economics.