2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult 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 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers committee also selected a Top Ten list.

“The list is overflowing with diverse titles; we have everything from stunning portraits, tattoo revelations to fallen stars and skulls made of soap suds,” said Joy Millam, committee chair. “This list is a true reflection of the teens we serve. Our goal was to put out a list that gives every reluctant reader a book to connect with personally.

Members of the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Committee are: Joy Millam, chair, Valencia High School, Placentia, Calif.; Amy Cheney, Alameda County Juvenile Hall Library, San Leandro, Calif.; Erica Tang Cuyugan, Santa Monica (Calif.) Public Library; Debbie Fisher, Central Falls (R.I.) High School; Diana Tixier Herald, Mesa County Valley School District #51, Grand Junction, Colo.; Annisha Jeffries, Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library; Sally Leahey, McArthur Public Library, Biddeford, Me.; Jenine Lillian, The Bush School Library, Seattle, Wash.; Diane Monnier, Tucson, Ariz.; Anne Rouyer, New York Public Library; Marie Slim, Troy High School, Fullerton, Calif.; and Heather Gruenthal, administrative assistant, Western High School, Anaheim, Calif.

2009 Titles


Bodeen, S.A. The Compound. 2008. Feiwel & Friends, $16.95 (978-0312370152).
They never thought the world would come to an end.

Booth, Coe. Kendra. 2008. Scholastic, $16.99 (978-0439925365).
Looking for love in all the wrong places.

Collins, Suzanne. Hunger Games. 2008. Scholastic, $17.99 (978-0439023481).
A survivor game, gone deadly.

Divine, L. Drama High, (series). 2008. Dafina Books, $9.95.
Drama, drama, drama.

Fahy, Thomas. The Unspoken. 2008. Simon & Schuster, $15.99 (978-1-4169-4007-4).
Cursed with your greatest fear.

Fields, Terri. My Father’s Son. 2008. Roaring Brook Press, $16.95 (978-1-59643-349-6).
Wearing the face of serial killer is tough.

Giles, Gail. Right Behind You. 2007. Little Brown, $15.99 (978-0-3161-6636-2).
Life is rough; living with the knowledge  you killed a kid.

Golden, Christopher. Poison Ink. 2008. Random House, $8.99 (978-0-385-73483-7).
Group tattoos gone bad.

Hernandez, David. Suckerpunch. 2008. Harper Collins, $16.99 (978-0-060117330-1).
Roadtrip with gun.

High, Linda Oatman. Planet Pregnancy. 2008. Boyds Mills Press, $16.95 (978-1-59078-584-3).
Adopting, keeping and leaping.

Hopkins, Ellen. Identical. 2008. McElderry, $17.99 (978-1-4169-5005-9).
Taboo, which twin has it worse?

James, Brian. Thief. 2008. Push, $8.99 (978-0-545-03400-5).
Foster kids forced to steal.

Jordan, Dream. Hot Girl. 2008. St Martin’s, $9.95 (978-0-312-38284-1).
Things you want sometimes costs you more than you want to pay.

Kern, Peggy. No Way Out. 2008. Townsend Press, $4.95 (978-1-49194-176-7).
Bluford High kid desperate for money.

Kropp, Paul. Behind the Door. 2008. HIP Edge, $10.95 (978-1-897039-26-7).
Trapped without a door.

Krovatin, Christopher and Yates, Kelly (Illus). Venomous. 2008. Ginee Seo Books, $16.99 (978-1-4169-2487-6). When rage is in your blood.

Langan, Paul. Schooled. 2008. Townsend Press, $4.95 (978-1-49194-177-4).
Bluford boy has NBA dreams.

Mac, Carrie. Pain & Wastings. Orca Soundings, $9.95 (978-1-55143-904-4).
Facing life with death.

Mancusi, Mari. Gamer Girl. Dutton, $16.99 (978-0525479956).
Avatar or the real you?

McDaniel, Lurlene. Prey. 2008. Random House, $10.99 (978-0-385-73453-0).
Who’s using whom?

McDonnell, Margot. Torn to Pieces. 2008. Random House, $15.99 (978-0-385-0-73559-9).
When mom disappears, secrets are revealed.

McMann, Lisa. Wake. 2008. Simon & Schuster, $15.99 (978-1-4169-5357-9).
Stranded in other people’s dreams..

Mead, Richelle. Frostbite: A Vampire Academy Novel. 2008. Penguin, $8.99 (978-1-59514175).
Love and jealousy collide.

Millner, Denene and Miller, Mitzi. Hotlanta (Series). 2008. Point, $8.99 (0-545-00308-3).
Atlanta just got hotter.

Neri, G. Chess Rumble. 2007. Lee and Low Books, $18.95, (978-1-58430-279-7).
Real life battles, chess style.

Olsen, Sylvia. Middle Row. 2008. Orca, $9.95 (978-155143-899-3).
When you are not where you are supposed to be…

Pauley, Kimberly. Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (Maybe).  2008. Mirrorstone, $14.95, (978-0-7869-5028-7). It bites when your parents are vampires.

Perez, Marlene. Dead is the New Black. Harcourt, $7.95 (978-0152064082).
Latest accessory: a mini-coffin..

Reisz, Kristopher. Unleashed. 2008. Simon Pulse, $7.99 (978-1-4169-4007-4).
Why be a human, when you can be a werewolf?

Schroeder, Lisa. I Heart You, You Haunt Me. 2008. Simon & Schuster, $7.99 (978-1-4169-5520-7).
Imagine having your dead boyfriend “living” at your house.

Schumacher, Julie. Black Box. 2008. Delacorte, $15.99 (978-0385735421).
Depression, close to home.

Scott, Elizabeth. Living Dead Girl. 2008. Simon Pulse, $17.00 (978-4169-6059-1).
Painful to the end.

Shiraz, Yasmin. Retaliation. 2008. Rolling Hills Press, $14.95 (978-0971817432).
Everyone’s involved when one girl gets jumped.

Sitomer, Alan Lawrence. The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez. 2008. Hyperion Books for Children, $17.99 (978-1-4231-1072-9).
Sonia is everything to everyone except herself.

Snow, Carol. Switch. 2008. Harper Teen, $16.99 (978-0061452086).
Shocked into a gorgeous body.

Stolarz, Laurie Faria. Project 17. 2007. Hyperion, $15.99 (978-0-7868-3856-1).
Teens and an abandoned insane asylum take on a Blair Witch twist.

Taylor, Brooke. Undone. 2008. Walker Books, $16.95 (978-802709763-6).
Losing a friend—inheriting a friend’s to-do list

Trondheim, Lewis. Kaput and Zosky. 2008. Roaring Brook Press, $13.95 (978-1-59643-132-4).
Two rotten aliens coming to a planet near you.

Varrato, Tony. Fakie. 2008. Lobster Press, $7.97 (978-1-897073-79-7).
New town, new identity, same danger.

Varrato, Tony. Outrage. 2008. HIP Edge, $10.95 (978-1-897039-28-1).
Bad days sometimes just get worse.

Weaver, Will. Saturday Night Dirt. 2007. Farrar, Straus Giroux, $14.95 (978-0-374-35060-4).
One night can make a difference at the speedway.


Abel, Jessica, and Soria, Gabriel. Life Sucks. 2008. First Second, $19.95 (978-1-59643-107-2).
Vegetarian vampire looks for love.

Badillo, Steve and Werner, Doug. Skateboarding: Legendary Tricks. 2008. Tracks Publishing, $12.95 (978-1884654305).
Skateboarding, trick by trick.

Black, Holly and Naifeh, Ted (Illus.). Good Neighbors: Kin. Scholastic, $16.99 (978-0439855624).
Problem parents and faeries.

Boos, Ben. Swords: An Artist’s Devotion. 2008. Candlewick, $24.99 (978-0763631428).
Amazing blades.

Bower, Crai S. and Millard, Travis (illus). Farts: A Spotter’s Guide. 2008. Chronicle, $12.95 (978-0811866095).
SBD’s and more: full sound effects.

Bowman, Robin (photographer). It’s Complicated: The American Teenager. 2007. Umbrage Editions, $40.00 (978-1884167690).
414 intriguing portraits.

Carey, Percy and Wimberly, Ronald (Illus.). Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm. 2007. Vertigo, $19.99 (978-1-4-12-1046-5).
Sesame Street to drug dealer to rap star.

Comickers Magazine. Comickers Art 2: Create Amazing Manga Characters. 2008. HarperCollins, $24.95 (978-0061452543).
Essential guide for all aspiring manga artists.

Conley, Erin Elisabeth. Uncool: A Girl’s Guide to Misfitting In. 2008. Orange Avenue Publishing, $9.95 (978-0-977-2660-9-8).
When fitting in isn’t what you want.

D’Arcy, Sean. Freestyle Soccer Tricks. 2008. Firefly, $14.95 (978-1554074044).
Bend it like Beckham and then some.

Ecclesine, Patrick. Faces of Sunset Boulevard. Santa Monica Press, $39.95 (978-1595800404).
LA comes alive.

Editors of Cosmogirl. All the Questions About Hair, Makeup, Skin & More. 2008. Hearst Books, $5.95 (978-1-58816-644-9).
Your beauty questions answered.

Eminem. The Way I Am. 2008. Dutton, $40.00 (978-0525950325).
In his own words.

Fardon, John. Do Not Open: An Encyclopedia of the World's Best-Kept Secrets. 2007. DK, $24.99 (0-7566-33205-6).
South Park meets World Book.

Franco, Betsy (Ed.) Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers. 2008. Candlewick Press, $15.99 (978-0-7636-3437-7).
Love in their words.

Franzini, Michael. One Hundred Young Americans. 2007. Harper Collins, $29.95 (978-0-06119200-5).
Photos and true stories, state by state.

Fulbeck, Kip. Permanence. 2008. Chronicle Books, $19.95 (978-0-8118-6131-1).
Behind every tattoo there’s a story..

Garza, Mario. More Stuff on My Cat: 2x the Stuff +2x the Cats =4x the Awesome.  2008. Chronicle, $12.95 (978-0811862257).
Feline hijinks.

Greenberg, Steve. Gadget Nation: A Journey Through the Eccentric World of Invention. 2008. Sterling, $19.95 (140273686X). Quirky innovations and inventions.

Haden, Christen. Creepy Cute Crochet: Zombies, Ninjas, Robots, and More! 2008. Quirk, $14.95 (978-1594742323).
Make your own zombie.

Hague, Michael. In the Small. 2008. Little Brown, $19.99 (978-0-316-01323-4).
When predator becomes prey.

Harrison, Ian. Take Me to Your Leader: Weird, Strange, and Totally Useless Information. 2007. DK, $25.00 (0-7566-3202-1).
Trivia and pop culture, strange but true.

Horowitz, Anthony and Johnston, Antony. Point Blank: The Graphic Novel. 2008. Philomel, $14.99 (978-0-399-25026-2).
Alex Rider in full color.

Hudson, Noel. The Band Name Book. 2008. Boston Mills Press, $29.95 (978-1-55046-487-0).
The good, the bad, and the shocking. 

Khidekel, Marina. The Quiz Life. 2008. Delacorte Press, $6.99 (978-0-375-84263-4).
The real you, revealed.

Kibuishi, Kazu. Flight: Vol. 4. 2007. Villard, $24.95 (978-0-345-49040-7).
Short stories go graphic.

King, Dennis. Art of Modern Rock: Mini #1: A-Z. 2007. Chronicle, $18.95 (978-08118-634-2).
Posters that rock.

Kuklin, Susan. No Choirboy: Murder, Violence and Teenagers on Death Row. 2008. Henry Holt, $17.95 (978-0805079500).
Teen inmates: raw and uncensored.

Li, Yishan. 500 Manga Creatures. 2008. HarperCollins, $19.95 (978-4921205072).
Chibis, dragons and manga mania!

The Manga University Culinary Institute and Hattori, Chihiro. The Manga Cookbook. 2007. Japanime Co. Ltd., $14.95 (978-4921205072).
Japanese cooking, manga-style.

Ngo, Karen.  Indognito.  2008.  Little, Brown and Company, $0.00 (978-0-316-03550-7). 
Doggies in costumes= irresistible.

O’Meara, Donna. Volcano: A Visual Guide. Firefly, $29.95, (978-1-55-407353-5).
Lava flowing around the world.

Paglen, Trevor. I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed By Me. Melville House, $22.95 (3933633328).
Military secrets revealed.

Peckham, Aaron. Mo’Urban Dictionary: Ridonkulous Street Slang Defined.  2007. Andrews McMeel Publishing, $12.99 (978-0-7407-6875-0).
Holla! A funky, fresh fularious book.

Powell, Ben. Skateboarding Skills: The Reader’s Guide. Firefly, $16.95 (978-1-55407-360-3).
All the moves, tricks and tips to get you skating.

Reber, Deborah. Chill: Stress-Reducing Techniques for a More Balanced, Peaceful You. 2008. Simon & Schuster, $9.99 (978-1-4169-5526-7).
Relax, take a deep breath…and chill.

Redd, Nancy Amanda. Body Drama. 2008. Penguin Group, $20.00 (978-1-592-40326-4).
Real girls, real bodies, real issues, real answers.

Saffel, Steve. Spider-Man, The Icon. 2007. Titan Books, $49.95 (978-1-845-76685-6).
A ginormous visual feast.

Sanchez, Reymundo and Rodriguez, Sonia. Lady Q: The Rise and Fall of a Latin Queen. 2008. Chicago Review Press, $24.95 (978-1556527227).
The titles says it all.

Scalin, Noah. Skulls. 2008. Lark, $14.95 (978-1600593758).
From bread slices to garbage bags.

Shapiro, Bill. Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See. 2007. Clarkson Potter/Crown Publishing Group, $22.50 (978-0-307-38264-1).
Voyeuristic valentines.

Smith, Larry and Fershleiser, Rachel. Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. 2008. Harper Perennial, $12.00 (978-0061374050).
Short quips summarizing life.

Smits, Kim and Maat, Matthijs. Custom Kicks. 2008. Laurence King Publisher, $19.95 (978-1-85669-542-8).
Sneak peek at cool sneaks.

Spears, Rick and BB, Chuck (Illus.). Black Metal, Vol. 1. 2007. Oni Press, $11.95 (978-1932664720). Death Metal misfits invade suburbia.

Steinberger, Major Aimee.  Japan Ai: A Tall Girl's Adventures in Japan. 2007. Go! Media, $16.99 (978-1-933617-83-1).
The ultimate J-pop fan’s travel book.

Tanen, Sloan and Hagen, Stefan. Appetite for Detention. Bloomsbury, $14.99 (978-1599900759).
Move over peeps, these chicks are cute!

Willin, Melvyn. Ghosts: Caught on Film. 2007. David & Charles, $16.99 (0715327283).
Believe it or not.

Wilson, Daniel H. How to Build a Robot Army: Tips on Defending the Earth Against Alien Invaders. 2007. Bloomsbury Publishing, $13.95 (1-59691-281-2).
Robot allies are in your future.

Zinczeko, David. Eat This, Not That!. 2008. Rodale, $19.95 (978-1-59486-854-2).
Look at a pie chart in a whole new way.