2014 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers

The Quick Picks list, presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting suggests books that teens, ages 12-18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure; it is geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read. The 2014 list features 77 titles and 3 series; the committee also selected a top ten list, denoted here by an asterisk.

“We feel such a sense of accomplishment and pride finishing this varied list of books for reluctant readers throughout the country,” said Chair, Derek Ivie. “Quick Picks really has anything any teen might like: zombies, dystopias, dogs, crafts, graphic novels, etc. However, there are no graphic novels of zombie dogs making crafts in a dystopian world. Maybe next year? With that said we are thrilled with this selection!"

Members of the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Committee are: Derek Ivie, Chair, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY; Julie Benolken, Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights, MN; Adrienne Butler, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City, OK; Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Hudson Library & Historical Society, Hudson, OH; Jennifer Fairchild, Auburn Library, Auburn, WA; Clio Hathaway, Hayward Public Library, Hayward, CA; Shelly McNerney, Blue Valley West Highschool, Overland Park, KS; Beth L. Medley, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ; Jackie Parker-Robinson, Sno-Isle Libraries, Lynwood, WA; Dr. Karin Perry, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX; Shawna Sherman, San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA; and Kellie Tilton, Administrative Assistant, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash, Blue Ash, OH.

Abrams, Amir. The Girl of His Dreams. Kensington Publishers Corp.,  2013; 9780758273574; $9.95.

Antonio and Miesha try to start a relationship and get involved in ex-girlfriend drama. 

Aguirre, Ann. Outpost. Feiwel & Friends, 2013; 9780312650094; $17.99.

Considered a child by the townspeople and forbidden from fighting because of her gender, can Deuce adjust to life without being a Huntress?

Barnes, Jennifer Lynn. The Naturals. Disney, 2013; 9781423168232; $17.99.

The FBI wants Cassie to join a secret team of profilers and a serial killer wants her as his next victim.

Benedis-Grab, Daphne. The Girl in the Wall. Merit Press, 2012; 9781440552700; $17.95.

When a birthday party becomes a hostage situation, former best friends, Sera and Ariel, are forced to work together to save everyone.

Benway, Robin. Also Known As. Bloomsbury, 2013; 9780802733900; $16.99.

Growing up a spy didn't prepare Maggie for her first solo mission or high school.

Black, Holly. Doll Bones. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013; 9781416963981; $16.99.

Can a creepy quest to return bones of a murdered girl to their proper resting place reunite three former best friends?

* Brown, Jeffrey. Star Wars Jedi Academy. Scholastic, 2013; 9780545505178; $12.99.

Will the force be with Roan at the Jedi Academy?

* Bruchac, Joseph. Killer of Enemies. Tu Books, 2013; 9781620141434; $19.95.

Lozen, an Apache hunter, is blackmailed into killing genetically modified monsters.

Butcher, Kristin. Caching In. Orca, 2013; 9781459802322; $9.95.

Can Eric and Chris find the most valuable prize of their lives before time runs out?

Carter, Ally. Perfect Scoundrels: A Heist Society Novel. Hyperion Books, 2013; 9781423166009; $17.99.

As a thief, Kat's stolen a lot of things, but stealing her boyfriend back from his family might be her hardest job yet.

* Charbonneau, Joelle. The Testing. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013; 9780547959108; $17.99.

Will Cia have what it takes to survive The Testing?

Clark, Bridie. Snap Decision: Maybe Tonight? Every Decision You Make Has Consequences.

Roaring Book Press, 2013; 9781596438163; $9.99.

A modern, witty, and high fashion take on the "Choose Your Own Adventure" style.

Clarke, Cassandra Rose. The Assassin’s Curse. Angry Robot, 2012; 9781908844019; $9.99.

A pirate and the assassin meant to kill her are unexpectedly bound by an impossible curse.

Clement-Moore, Rosemary. Spirit and Dust. Delacorte, 2013; 9780385740807; $17.99.

Daisy Goodnight, who can talk to the dead, is on the run from both the mob and the FBI.

Coley, Liz. Pretty Girl-13. Harper Collins, 2013; 9780062127372; $17.99.

Kidnapped Angie reappears and is unaware of her trauma-induced multiple personalities.

Colfer, Eoin. The Reluctant Assassin: W.A.R.P. #1. Disney-Hyperion, 2013; 9781423161622; $17.99.

On the run from a madman, Riley finds himself inadvertently transported to 21st-Century London.

Counterattack Series

Berne, Emma Carlson. Under Pressure. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467707183; $27.93.

Stressed about getting a soccer scholarship, Elise turns to performance enhancing drugs. 

Higgins, M.G. Blow Out. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467707176; $27.93.

Recovering from her knee injury, Lacy is fighting to keep her starting spot. 

Higgins, M.G. Offside. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467707206; $27.93.

Faith juggles babysitting siblings, playing soccer, and crushing on her coach.

Hoblin, Paul. Archenemy. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467707213; $27.93.

Jilted by her teammate, Eva sabotages her crush on the field.

Hoblin, Paul. The Beast. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467707169; $27.93.

Alyssa is a strong goalie but she ignores the symptoms from her concussion.

Humann, Amanda. Out of Sync. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467707190; $27.93.

Maddie struggles when her best friend, Dayton begins, abandoning their partnership both on and off the field.

The Dario Quincy Academy of Dance Series

Atwood, Megan. Leaping at Shadows. Lerner Publishing, 2013;  9781467714839; $27.93.

There may be an evil presence lurking underneath the dance academy!

Atwood, Megan. Stolen Luck. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467714846; $27.93.

When the toe shoes go missing everyone's luck changes.

Atwood, Megan. The Cursed Ballet. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467714853; $27.93.

Dancing in this ballet may cost you your life.

Atwood, Megan. Twin Dangers. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467714860; $27.93.

Something's come between the twins - is it a boy or is murder?

The Dojo Series

Jones, Patrick. Head Kick. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467706322; $27.93.

Nong's ego gets in the way in the cage and at home.

Jones, Patrick. Side Control. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467706315 $27.93.

Jackson must decide between MMA and special forces.

Jones, Patrick. Triangle Choke. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467706308; $27.93.

Fighting, family, and love triangles dominate Hector's life in and out of the MMA cage.

Jones, Patrick. Body Shot. Lerner Publishing, 2013; 9781467706339; $27.93.

Meghan still suffers from the accident that killed her mom and fighting MMA was supposed to help.

Draper, Sharon. Panic. Atheneum, 2013; 9781442408968; $17.99.

When Diamond ignores the cardinal rule of "don't get into cars with strangers," her life and the lives of her friends and fellow dancers will never be the same.

Goodman, Shawn. Kindness for Weakness. Delacorte Press, 2013; 978038574242; $16.99. 

James, caught selling drugs for his older brother, winds up in a juvenile detention center known for its cruel guards and dysfunctional inmates.

Griffin, Paul. Burning Blue. Penguin, 2012; 9780803738157; $17.99.

After Nicole is splashed with acid, Jay, a hacker loner, decides to find out who did it.

Halliday, Ayun. Peanut. Paul Hoppe. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2012; 9780375865909; $15.99.

Sadie lies about having a deathly allergy to peanuts to help her make friends at her new high school.

Harrell, Rob. Monster on the Hill. Top Shelf Productions, 2013; 9781603090759; $19.95.

Rayburn's monstering skills get a boost from his friends and a truly terrifying monster.

Hart, Jeff. Eat, Brains, Love. Harper Collins, 2013; 9780062200341; $9.99.

Jake and Amanda just ate most of their friends. They feel really bad about it.

Henry, April. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die. Henry Holt and Company, 2013; 9780805095418; $16.99.

Cady doesn't remember who she is, where she is, or why two men are trying to kill her.

Hicks, Faith Erin. The Adventures of Superhero Girl. Dark Horse, 2013; 97816116550844; $16.99.

Join Superhero Girl in this collection of comics about the struggles of defeating town villains.

Jackson, Corrine. If I Lie. Simon & Schuster, 2012; 9781442454132; $16.99.

Quinn is ostracized by her town because they believe she's cheated on her recently deployed boyfriend but they don't know the whole story.

Keenan, Sheila. Dogs of War. Nathan Fox. Scholastic, 2013; 9780545128872; $22.99.

In this graphic novel, meet Boots, Loki, and Sheba - three canine war heroes.

King, A.S. Reality Boy. Little, Brown and Company, 2013; 9780316222709; $18.00.

Known on reality TV as "The Crapper," Gerald is an angry young man who has been forced to live with a sociopathic sister, a weak father, and a mother who blames him for everything.

Langan, Paul. Survivor. Townsend Press, 2013; 9781591943044; $5.95.

Tarah has to face secret in her past to protect a loved one from an abuser.

Leveen, Tom. Sick. Abrams, 2013; 9781819708053; $16.95.

Slackers, trapped in a high school, become heroes during a bone-crunching zombie outbreak.

* London, Alex. Proxy. Philomel, 2013; 9780399257766, $17.99.

In order to repay a life debt Syd must take the punishment for anything rich boy Knox does wrong. When Knox goes too far, he and Syd finally meet and discover the secrets of their society.

Lubar, David. Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder and Revenge. Tor, 2013; 9780765334602; $15.99.

Thirteen chilling stories not for the weak of heart.

Lupica, Mike. QB 1. Penguin Young Readers Group, 2013; 9780399252280; $17.99.

When Jake gets the chance to be a quarterback of his high school's football team can he escape the shadow of his football star family?

Lyga, Barry. Game. Little, Brown, 2013; 9780316125871; $17.99.

Jazz, the son of the world's most notorious serial killer, uses the skills he learned from Dear Old Dad to help track down a killer - again.

* Lynch, Chris. Vietnam #4: Casualties of War. Scholastic, 2013; 9780545270236; $16.99.

In this final installment, Beck struggles with his duties in the Vietnam War.

McKay, Kirsty. Undead. Chicken House, 2012; 9780545381888; $17.99.

Stay on the bus or get eaten by zombies.

McKay, Sharon E. and Daniel Lafrance. War Brothers: The Graphic Novel. Annick Press, 2013; 9781554514885 $18.95.

Ugandan boys, kidnapped from school, are forced to be child soldiers.

McLaughlin, Emma. Over You. Harper Collins, 2012;. 9780061720437; $17.99.

Max's successful business helping girls recover from being dumped is threatened by her lingering feelings for her own ex.

McMann, Lisa. Crash. Simon & Schuster, 2013; 9781442403918; $16.99.

Jules keeps having a vision of eight body bags in the snow. Can she stop it from happening?

McVoy, Terra Elan. Criminal. Simon Pulse, 2013; 9781442421622; $16.99.

There isn't anything Nikki wouldn't do for her boyfriend, Dee. But when Dee involves her in a crime that ends in murder, Nikki learns that there are limits to love.

* Medina, Meg. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. Candlewick Press, 2013; 9780763658595; $16.99.

Yaqui Delgado wants to kick Piddy Sanchez's ass. But what will Piddy do?

Myers, Walter Dean. Darius & Twig. Amistad, 2013; 9780061728235; $17.99.

Writer Darius and his best friend, Twig, try to make their way out of Harlem.

Myracle, Lauren. The Infinite Moment of Us. Abrams, 2013; 9781419707933; $17.95.

Shy Wren and foster-boy Charlie share a sudden awareness of each other on their last day of high school, leading to a hot summer romance.

Olson, Martin. The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia: Inhabitants, Lore, Spells, and Ancient Crypt Warnings of the Land of Ooo Circa 19.56 B.G.E. - 501 A.G.E. Abrams, 2013; 9781419705649; $19.95.

Algebraic! You'll go boom boom over this complete guide to Adventure Time's characters, lands and all things demonic told through the voice of the evilest Lord of Evil.

Parker, Amy Christine. Gated. Random House, 2013; 9780449815977; 17.99.

The Community blindly follows their leader, but Lyla is starting to question him.

Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013; 9781250012579; $18.99.

Eleanor is the new girl at school with bright red hair. Park reluctantly lets her sit next to him on the bus. Even with a great effort to ignore each other, romance follows.

Scheidt, Erica Lorraine. Uses for Boys. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013; 9781250007117; $9.99.

Sixteen-year-old Anna struggles with the difference between sex and love.

* Shen, Prudence. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong. Faith Erin Hicks. Roaring Book Press, 2013; 9781596436596; $16.99.

Charlie's best friend, Nate, maniacally declares war on the ruling cheerleaders and an unlikely truce is formed. (Graphic novel)

Smith, Roland. Chupacabra. Scholastic, 2013; 9780545178174; $16.99.

Three tweens must escape from a crazed scientist and his genetically engineered monster.

Sones, Sonya. To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story. Simon & Schuster, 2013; 9780689846042; $17.99.

Fifteen-year-old Colette is addicted to lying, but she isn't the only one telling lies.

Strasser, Todd. Fallout. Candlewick Press, 2013; 9780763655341; $16.99.

In 1962, 10 people squeeze into a backyard bomb shelter supplied for four and await their fate.

Takoudes, Greg. When We Wuz Famous. Henry Holt and Company, 2013; 9780805094527; $16.99.

Francisco hopes to escape the hood at boarding school, but it keeps dragging him down.

Tintera, Amy. Reboot. Harper Collins, 2013; 9780062217073; $17.99.

The longer you're dead, the stronger you are when you reboot. Dead for 178 minutes, Wren is an unstoppable soldier.

Van Diepen, Allison. Takedown. Simon & Schuster, 2013; 9781442463127; $9.99.

After two years in juvie, Darren has a vendetta against his drug boss.

White, Kiersten. Mind Games. Harper Collins, 2013; 9780062135315; $17.99.

At a school for those with special powers, a girl is forced to do unspeakable things to keep her sister safe.

Yancey, Rick. The 5th Wave. Putnam Juvenile, 2013; 9780399162411; $18.99.

While the human race is being exterminated by unseen aliens, Cassie focuses on rescuing her brother.

Young, Suzanne. The Program. Simon and Schuster, 2013; 9781442445802; $16.99.

When suicide is an epidemic, any hint of sadness will get you sent to The Program.

Yovanoff, Brenna. Paper Valentine. Penguin, 2013; 9781595145994; $17.99.

Investigating a string of murders at the demand of her best friend's angry ghost, Hannah stumbles into a potential relationship with the local mysterious bad boy - and into danger.

* Zadoff, Allen. Boy Nobody. Little, Brown Books, 2013; 9780316199681; $18.00.

A trained teen assassin may just meet his match.

Non Fiction

Applebaum, Ben and Dan DiSorbo. The Fart Tootorial: Farting Fundamentals, Master Blaster Techniques & the Complete Toot Taxonomy. Chronicle Books, 2013; 9781452105024; $10.95.

Fantastic flatulent facts.

Big Tent. Things to Do With Domo. Abrams, 2013; 9781419706912; $12.95.

Make your own Domo out of anything - even food!

Casteel, Seth. Underwater Dogs. Little, Brown & Company, 2012; 9780316227704; $19.99.

Funny, cute, and wacky pictures of dogs underwater.

Cat, Grumpy. A Grumpy Cat Book. Chronicle Books, 2013; 9781452126579; $12.95.

A cranky outlook on life by the world's grumpiest cat.

Chang, Candy. Before I Die. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013; 9781250020840; $24.99.

Artist Candy Chang transformed a rundown house with some blackboard paint and chalk into a worldwide phenomenon. 

Cooke, Lucy. A Little Book of Sloth. Simon $ Schuster, 2013; 9781442445574; $16.99.

Adorable photos and fascinating facts from a sloth sanctuary.

Geer, Donne and Ginny Geer. Nail Candy: 50+ Ideas for Totally Cool Nails. Weldon Owen, 2013; 9781616284923; $16.95.

Tutorials of the sweeter side of nail art.

* Henderson, Elisabeth and Nancy Armstrong. 100 Questions You’d Never Ask Your Parents: Straight Answers to Teens’ Questions About Sex, Sexuality, and Health. Roaring Book, 2013; 9781596438682; $12.99.

Honest and direct answers to the questions everyone is too embarrassed to ask out loud.

Humphrey, Theron. Maddie on Things: A Super Serious Project About Dogs and Physics. Chronicle Books, 2013; 9781452115566; $15.95.

A guy, a camera, a van, a dream, and one very well-balanced coonhound, Maddie.

Jocelyn, Marthe. Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight. Candlewick, 2013; 9780763656485; $12.99.

Simple but creative ideas using accessible, everyday items to encourage guerrilla art.

Lemire, Pascale. Dog Shaming. Three Rivers Press, 2013; 9780385349345; $15.00.

Dog owners use photographs to reveal their pet's bad behavior.

Mockus, Steve. Stick Man’s Really Bad Day. Chronicle Books, 2012; 9781452111544; $12.95.

Poor Stick Man...if he's not backing away from a lion, then bears are falling on his head.

* Newman, Aline Alexander and Gary Weitzman. How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language. National Geographic, 2013; 978142631373; $12.95.

What are dogs really trying to say when they lick your face or chase their tail?

One Direction. One Direction: A Year With One Direction. Harper Collins, 2013; 9780062223173; $10.99.

Great pictures and personal interviews with the musical group One Direction.

Rodgers, Catherine. DIY Nail Art: 75 Creative Art Designs. Adams Media, 2013; 9781440545177; $15.95.

Easy instructions to make your nails wow-worthy.

Rogak, Lisa. One Big Happy Family: Heartwarming Stories of Animals Caring for One Another. St. Martin’s Press, 2013; 9781250035400; $15.99.

Touching tales and photos of unusual animal friendships.

Sachar, Jason. How to Swear Around the World. Toby Triumph. Chronicle Books, 2012; 9781452110875, $12.95.

Everyone swears everywhere!

Vendittelli, Marie. The Fashion Book. Michael O’Mara Books Limited, 2013; 9781780551135; $15.99.

An introductory guide to becoming a fashion designer.

Yolen, Jane and Heidi E.Y. Stemple. Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves & Other Female Villains. Rebecca Guay. Charlesbridge Publishing, 2013; 9781580891851; $18.95.

Short, tantalizing bios of 26 historical villains.