Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

About the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
The list is for young adults (ages 12-18) who, for whatever reasons, do not like to read. The purpose of this list is to identify titles for recreational reading, not for curricular or remedial use.

Administered by:

Young Adult Library Services Association logo

2011 Selection(s)

Members of the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Committee are: Chair Gregory Lum, Jesuit High School, Portland, Ore.; Tamera DiBartolo, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, La.; Marea Black, Phoenix (Ariz.) Public Library; Heather Gruenthal, Western High School, Anaheim, Calif.; Susan Hawk, Dunwoody (Ga.) High School; Jamison Hedin, Ludlow (Mass.) High School; Brenda Kilmer; Lisa Lindsay, Fresno (Calif.) County Public Library; Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido (Calif.) Public Library; Sherry Rampey, Independent Youth Services Library Consultant, Gaston, S.C.; Anne Rouyer, New York Public Library; and Amy Cheney, administrative assistant, Alameda County Juvenile Hall Library, San Leandro, Calif.

*denotes Top Ten selection


Barnes, Erica. Immortal. Urban Books, 2009. $14.95. 978-1601621702. 
Khalid’s determined not to go back to his gangbanging life. 

Benoit, Charles. You. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, 2010. $16.99. 978-0061947049. 
Bad choices have bad consequences.

Bodeen, S.A. The Gardener. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Feiwel & Friends, 2010. $16.99. 978-0312370169. 
Most gardeners grow plants, this Gardener grows people.

Borris, Albert. Crash Into Me. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2009. $9.99. 978-1416998273.
Suicide road trip….will they reach their destination?

Carman, Patrick. Thirteen Days to Midnight. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010. $16.99. 978-0316004039.
Are you indestructible?

Condie, Allie. Matched. Penguin/Dutton, 2010. $17.99. 978-0525423645.
Deciding between perfection and passion.

Dashner, James. The Maze Runner. Random House/Delacorte Press, 2009. $16.99. 978-0385737944. 
Is there a way out?

de la Pena, Matt. I Will Save You. Random House/Delacorte Press, 2010. $16.99. 978-0385738279. 
Kidd on the run.

Devlin, Ivy. Low Red Moon. Bloomsbury, 2010. $16.99. 978-1599905105.
Will things turn deadly at the full moon? 

Divine, L. Drama High: Culture Clash. (Drama High Series). Kensington/Dafina, 2010. $9.95.  978-0758231116.
Jayd falls for Emilio.

Elkeles, Simone. Return to Paradise. Llewellyn/Flux, 2010. $9.95. 978-0738718682.
Love hurts.

*Elkeles, Simone. Rules of Attraction: A Perfect Chemistry Novel. Bloomsbury/Walker. 2010. $16.99. 978-0802720856.  
Opposites attract.

Fehlbaum, Beth. Hope in Patience. Westside Books, 2010. $16.95. 978-1934813416.
Starting over after years of abuse.

Giles, Gail. Dark Song. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010. $16.99. 978-0316068864.
Caught in an obsessive relationship.

Greene, Michele Dominguez. Keep Sweet. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2010. $16.99. 978-1416986812.
Age 14, doomed to be one of six wives.

Hautman, Pete. Blank Confession. Simon & Schuster, 2010. $16.99. 978-1416913276.  
Shayne takes matters into his own hands.

Henry, April. Girl Stolen: A Novel. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Henry Holt, 2010. $16.99. 978-0805090055.
Blind and carjacked, will she escape? 

Hubbard, Jennifer. The Secret Year. Penguin/Viking, 2010. $16.99. 978-0670011537.
Julia’s dead. Colt loved her. No one knew.
Jacobson, Jennifer Richard. The Complete History of Why I Hate Her. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2010. $16.99. 978-1416999256.
How does Carly know so much about Nola since they just met?

*Keplinger, Kody. The D.U.F.F. (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Poppy, 2010. $16.99. 978-0316084239. 
Could enemies-with-benefits become friends?

Kimani Tru Imprint

Byrd, A.J. Losing Romeo (BFF Novel). Kimani Press, 2010. $9.99. 978-0373831388.  
Can Phoenix hang on to Romeo by getting pregnant?

Cross, Cecil. Next Semester. Kimani Press, 2010. $9.99. 978-0373831456.
A second chance for JD.

McKayhan, Monica. Step Up (An Indigo Novel). Kimani Press, 2010. $9.99. 978-0373831470.
Can Tymeka’s babydaddy stay faithful?

Sewell, Earl. Myself and I (Keysha Novel). Kimani Press, 2010. $9.99. 978-0373831760. 
Keysha swears off boys.   

Maldonado, Torrey. Secret Saturdays. Penguin Group/G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2010. $16.99. 978-0399251580.
What is Sean hiding from his best friend?

Myers, Walter Dean. Lockdown. HarperCollins/Amistad, 2010. $16.99. 9780061214806.
Reese wants out.

Night Fall Series

Duke, Shirley. Unthinkable. Lerner/Darby Creek, 2010. $7.95. 978-0761361572.
The only thing worse than Sophie’s cure is what happens if Omar ignores it.

Jasper, Rick. Skin. Lerner/Darby Creek, 2010. $7.95. 978-0761361589. 
What evil lurks beneath?

Jasper, Rick. Thaw. Lerner/Darby Creek, 2010. $7.95. 978-0761361619.
Defrosted cult leader.

Watson, Stephanie. The Club. Lerner/Darby Creek, 2010. $7.95. 978-0761361626. 
Playing a deadly game of magic.

Omololu, C.J.  Dirty Little Secrets. Bloomsbury/Walker, 2010. $16.99. 978-0802786609. 
Hoarding can be deadly.

Peirce, Lincoln. Big Nate: In a Class By Himself. (Big Nate Series). HarperCollins/Harper, 2010. $12.99.  978-0061944345.
Big trouble.

Peters, Julie Anne. By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead. Disney-Hyperion, 2010. $16.99. 978-1423116189. 
Daelyn is determined to die.

Price, Charlie. The Interrogation of Gabriel James. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010. $16.99. 978-0374335458.
Witness to two murders.

*Rainfield, Cheryl. Scars. Westside Books, 2010. $16.95. 978-1934813324. 
Cutting to forget.

Reed, Amy. Beautiful. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2009. $16.99. 978-1416978305.
Good girl…downward spiral.

Schutz, Samantha. You Are Not Here. Push/Scholastic, 2010. $16.99. 978-0545169110.
Secret love, secret pain.

Scott, Elizabeth. The Unwritten Rule. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2010. $16.99. 978-1416978916. .
Falling for your best friend's boyfriend.

Shan, Darren. Birth of a Killer. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010. $16.99.  978-0316078634.
Cirque du Freak: how it all began.

Shulman, Mark. Scrawl. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, 2010. $16.99. 978-1596434172.
Inside the mind of a teen bully.

Simone, Ni-Ni. Teenage Love Affair. Kensington/Dafina, 2010. $9.95. 978-0758241894.
Torn between two boys.

Smith, Alexander Gordon. Solitary: Escape from Furnace. Macmillan Children's Book Group/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010. $15.99. 978-0374324926.
Deeper into the nightmare.

Stine, R.L. Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense. Speak, 2010. $11.99. 978-0142417744.
Ummmm, they're scary, helllooo.

Strasser, Todd. Blood on My Hands. EgmontUSA, 2010. $16.99. 978-1606840238.
Keg party turns deadly.

Strasser, Todd. Wish You Were Dead. EgmontUSA, 2009. $16.99. 978-1606840078.  
What if your wish came true?

*Summers, Courtney. Some Girls Are. St. Martin's Griffin. 2010. $9.99. 978-0312573805.
Mean girl smackdown.

Teller, Janne. Nothing. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2010. $16.99. 978-1416985792.
Is it possible to prove life has meaning?

Templar Company Ltd. Vampireology: The True History of the Fallen. Candlewick Press, 2010. $19.99. 978-0763649142.
An investigator’s scrapbook.
Urban Underground Series

Schraff, Anne. Outrunning the Darkness. (Urban Underground #1). Saddleback Educational Publishing, 2010. $8.95. 978-1616510008.
Jaris is struggling to keep it together.
Schraff, Anne. Shadows of Guilt. (Urban Underground #2). Saddleback Educational Publishing, 2010. $8.95. 978-1616510015.
Drive by shooting; will DeWayne be next?
Schraff, Anne. A Boy Called Twister. (Urban Underground #3). Saddleback Educational Publishing, 2010. $8.95. 978-1616510022.
Kevin runs from family secrets.
Schraff, Anne. If You Really Loved Me. (Urban Underground #4). Saddleback Educational Publishing, 2010. $8.95. 978-1616510039. 
Is a no good boyfriend worth it?
Schraff, Anne.  Like a Broken Doll. (Urban Underground #6). Saddleback Educational Publishing, 2010. $8.95. 978-1616510053.
Sereeta's world is coming apart.
Schraff, Anne. To Be A Man. (Urban Underground #9). Saddleback Educational Publishing, 2010. $8.95. 978-1616510084.
Trevor falls for bad girl Vanessa.

Van Tol, Alex. Knifepoint. Orca Soundings, 2010. $9.95. 978-1554693054.
Trail ride turns deadly.

*Volponi, Paul. Rikers High. Penguin Group/Viking, 2010. $16.99. 978-0670011070.
Revenge...or redemption?

Wells, Dan. Mr. Monster. Tor/Tom Doherty Associates, 2010. $21.99. 978-0765322487. 
Journey into the mind of a sixteen year old sociopath. 

Williams, Carol Lynch. Glimpse. Simon & Schuster, 2010. $16.99. 978-1416997306.
Lizzie has a secret.


*Amason, Jessica and Richard Blakeley. This is Why You're Fat: Where Dreams Become Heart Attacks. HarperCollins/Harper Studio, 2009. $9.99. 978-0061936630.
A bacon cheeseburger on a Krispy Creme® bun along with deep fried Coke® on the side.

Balestier, Courtney. Would You Rather...? BFF!! Over 300 Fiercely Fascinating Questions to Ask your Friends. Seven Footer Press, 2009. $9.95. 978-1934734087.
Class president or homecoming queen? Discuss.

Believe it or Not! Ripley’s. Ripley's Believe it or Not!: Enter If You Dare. Ripley Publishing, 2010. $28.95. 978-1893951631.
Bizarre mysteries and amazing science.

Bellows, Melina Gerosa. NatGeo Amazing!: 100 People, Places, and Things That Will Wow You. National Geographic, 2010. $19.95. 978-1426206498.
That’s incredible!

Berger, Melvin & Gilda. 101 Freaky Animals. Scholastic, 2010. $8.99. 978-0545237581.
From aardvark to viperfish.

Bos, Samone et al. Ask Me Everything: Facts, Stats, Lists, Records and More. Penguin/DK, 2010. $24.99. 978-0756662769.
What do you want to know?

*Brereton, Catherine, Philip Steele, and Hannah Wilson. Warriors Versus Warriors: Ten Fighters, Five Battles, ONE WINNER. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Kingfisher, 2009. $19.99. 978-0753419168.
Aztec to Zulu, who will dominate?

Buller, Laura. Danger!: Open with Extreme Caution. Penguin/DK, 2010. $19.99. 978-0756667399.
Read at your own risk.

Cassidy, John and Boyle, Brendan. The Klutz Book of Inventions. Scholastic/Klutz, 2010. $19.99. 978-1591748793.
Wacky ideas that just might work.

Choron, Harry and Sandra. Look! It's Jesus!: Amazing Holy Visions in Everyday Life. Chronicle Books, 2010. $12.95. 978-0811870009.
Dear Grilled Cheesus, I love this book.

Claybourne, Anna. 100 Most Disgusting Things on the Planet. Scholastic, 2010. $7.99. 978-0545197755.
Squirting cucumbers, roasted sheep's eyes, maggot therapy and more.

Conley, Erin. Kiss: a Girl's Guide to Puckering Up. Zest/Orange Avenue Publishing, 2009. $9.95. 978-0981973302.
How to smooch the right way.

Eaton, Jim. Ghosts Caught on Film 2: Photographs of the Unexplained. F+W Media/David and Charles, 2009. $16.99. 978-0195332023.
Do you see dead people?

Felisbret, Eric. Graffiti New York. Abrams Books, 2009. $35.  978-0810951464.
It’s the graffiti mecca for a reason.

Goldblatt, David and Johnny Acton. The Soccer Book. Penguin/DK, 2009. $35. 978-0756650988.
“My Bible of Soccer” ~ Luis, age 13.

*Hasler, Nikol. Sex: A Book for Teens: An Uncensored Guide to Your Body, Sex and Safety. Zest/Orange Avenue Publishing, 2010. $16.95. 978-0981973326.
“It teaches you the steps, and to be safe.” ~ Oscar, age 14.

Henry, Nathan. Good Behavior: A Memoir. Bloomsbury. 2010. $17.99. 978-1599904719.
Incarcerated at age 16.

Hines-Stephens, Sarah. Show Off: How to Do Absolutely Everything One Step at a Time. Candlewick Press, 2009. $18.99. 978-0763645991.
How to has never been this fun.

Jackson, Julie and Jill Johnson.  Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs. Chronicle Books, 2009. $14.95. 978-0811867047.
Fabulous feline fotos.

Kamikaze Factory Studio. Kodomo Manga: Super Cute! Harper Collins/Collins Design, 2009. $24.99. 978-0061927553.
How to draw. Kawaii!

Leto, Lauren and Bator, Ben. Texts From Last Night: All the Texts No One Remembers Sending. Penguin/Gotham, 2010. $15. 978-1592405435.
Think before you hit send.

Lipkowitz, Daniel. The Lego Book. Penguin/DK, 2009. $40. 978-0756656232.
From fan creations to collectibles.

Mockus, Steve. How to Speak Zombie: A Guide for the Living. Chronicle Books, 2010. $14.95. 978-0811874885.
Complete with sound effects. 

Mora, Pat. Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems About Love. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Children’s Publishing, 2010. $15.99. 978-0375843754.
“Everything's in love.  Birds, butterflies, and now me, dizzy in your eyes.” p. 123.

Munro, Nicky and Sharon Spencer. Life in the Wild. Penguin/DK, 2009. $35. 9780756656966.
Animals up close and personal.

National Geographic. Weird but True! 300 Outrageous Facts. National Geographic Society, 2010. $6.95. 978-1426305948.
Wait, what? Ladybugs have knees?

*Neri, G. and Randy DuBurke. Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty. Lee & Low, 2010. $16.95. 978-1584302674.
 Eleven-years-old and wanted for murder.

Pluto, Terry and Brian Windhorst. Lebron James: The Making of an MVP. Gray & Company, 2009. $15.95. 978-1598510591.
The rise of a star.

Sansweet, Stephen J. and Neumann, Anne. Star Wars: 1,000 Collectibles: Memorabilia and Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away. Abrams, 2009. $35. 978-0810972919.
“It makes the old school toys of Star Wars into new school.”  ~ Lionso, age 16.

Sartore, Joel. Rare: Portraits of America's Endangered Species. National Geographic Society/Focal Point, 2010. 978-1426205750. $24.00.
Their days are numbered.

Scholastic.  Ripley's Believe It or Not: Special Edition 2010. Scholastic, 2009. $15.99. 978-0545143455.
From gross to amazing.

Setchfield, Neil. Yuck! The Things People Eat. Merrell Publishers, 2010. $16.95. 978-1858945248.
Startling and stomach churning.

Seventeen Magazine. Seventeen Presents... 500 Beauty Tips: Look Your Best for School, Weekend, Parties & More. Hearst Books/Sterling Publishing Co.  2009. $9.95. 978-1588166425.
Glam it up!

Tack, Karen and Richardson, Alan. What's New Cupcake: Ingeniously Simple Designs for Every Occasion. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. $16.95 978-0547241814.
Cupcake pizza, hold the anchovies! 

Talmadge, Eve and Justin Taylor. The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide, 2010. HarperCollins/Harper Perennial. $14.99. 978-0061997402.
Shel Silverstein, Harry Potter, Harriet the Spy and why.

Teen Vogue. The Teen Vogue Handbook. Penguin/Razorbill, 2009. $24.95. 978-1595142610.
Attention fashionistas: your career awaits!

Thompson, Alicia. The Secret Language of Birthdays: Teen Edition. Penguin/Razorbill, 2010. $19.99. 978-1595142320.
Unlock who you are and who your friends REALLY are.

Valentino, Serena. How To Be A Zombie: The Essential Guide for Anyone Who Craves Brains. Candlewick Press, 2010. $14.99 978-0763649340. . 
Go forth and devour.

Veasey, Nick. X-treme X-ray: See the World Inside Out! Scholastic, 2010. $9.99. 978-0545218474.
Bats, spiders, airplanes, laptops, and more!

*Von D, Kat with Sandra Bark. The Tattoo Chronicles. HarperCollins/Collins Design, 2010. $29.99. 978-0061953361.
A year in the life.

Yates, Jen. Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong. Andrews McMeel, 2009. $12.99. 978-0740785375.
I paid for this?!