Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) has announced its 1999 list of Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. The list was released during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. A finished version of the list will appear in the 1999 edition of ALA’s Guide to Best Reading.

Compiled by an 11 member committee, the 74 titles on the list were published during the preceding 18 months and represent 32 different publisher imprints. Fiction was represented by 46 titles on the list and there were 28 non-fiction titles included. The committee annually chooses a list of outstanding titles, which will stimulate the interest of reluctant teen readers. The list is intended for the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read.

Members of the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers committee were: Diana Tixier Herald, chair, Grand Junction, CO; Lynn Cockett, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey; Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sak, WI; Mary Long, Wilson Middle School, Plano, TX; Judy Nelson, Bellevue Regional Library, Bellevue, Washington; Mary Purucker, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA; Susan Rosenkoetter, South Worth Library, Dryden, NY; Amelia Schwartz, Epiphany Branch Library, New York, NY; Tricia Segal, Eastman Branch Library, Cleveland, OH; John Sexton, Ashland Branch Library, Ashland, OR; and Drue Wagner-Mees, Brentwood Branch Library, Los Angeles, CA. Diane Monnier, Bethesda Regional Library, Bethesda, MD was administrative assistant for the committee, and Stephanie Zvirin, Books for Youth, Booklist, Chicago, IL was consultant to the committee.

Fiction / Nonfiction


Alabiso, Vincent, Kelly Smith Tunney and Chuck Zoelle. Flash! the Associated Press Covers The World. 1998. 200p. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. $39.95. 0-8109-1974-5. Hardcover.
The most unforgettable moments in the twentieth century.

Arnoldi, Katherine. The Amazing "True" Story of a Teenage Single Mom. 1998. 192p. Hyperion. $16.00. 0-7868-6420-6. Hardcover.
Dreams can come true, even for a teenage single mom.

Ash, Russell. The Top 10 of Everything: 1998. Nov. 1997. 256p. DK Publishing, Inc. $17.95. 0-7894-2082-1. Paperback.
$24.95. 0789421992. Hardcover.
The biggest, the "baddest," the best of just about everything.

Ballard, Robert D. and Rick Archbold. Ghost Liners: Exploring the World's Greatest Lost Ships. 1998. 62p. Little Brown/Madison Press. $18.95. 0-316-08020-9. Hardcover.
It was said they would never sink...but they did.

Boitano, Brian and Suzanne Harper. Boitano's Edge: Inside the Real World of Figure Skating. Dec., 1997. 97p. Simon & Schuster. $25.00. 0689819153. Hardcover.
What it takes to be a champion figure skater.

Deem, James M. Bodies from the Bog. 1998. 42p. Houghton Mifflin. $16.00. 0-395-85784-8. Hardcover.
This is how you'll look a thousand years from now.

Elffers, Joost. Play with Your Food. Sept., 1997. 109p. Stewart Tabori & Chang. $24.95. 1-55678-638-8. Hardcover.
Just because you were told never to play with your food doesn't mean you can't.

Guzzetti, Paula. Jim Carrey. Sept., 1997. 63p. Dillon Press-Taking Part Books. $22.00.0-382-39730-4. Library Binding. $10.00. 0-382-39731-2. Paperback.
One of America's hottest comics fulfilled his childhood dream.

Hamilton, Jake. Special Effects in Film and Television. 1998. 63p. DK. $17.95. 0-7894-2813-X. Hardcover.
Discover how those fantastic effects featured in your favorite movie are created.

Jacobs, Thomas A. What are my Rights? Oct. 1997. 198p. Free Spirit. $14.95. 1-57542-028-7. Paperback.
Knowing the law is important for teenagers.

Jenkins, Martin. Informania Vampires. 1998. 88p. Candlewick Press. $15.99. 0-7636-0315-5. Spiral Bound.
Bloodsuckers--everything you want to know.

Jewel (Kilcher). A Night Without Armor: Poems. 1998. 139p. Harper Collins. $15.00. 0-06-019198-8 Hardcover.
"Not all poetry lends itself to music."

Kahl, Jonathan. First Field Guide Weather. National Audubon Society. 1998. 157p. Scholastic. $10.95. 0-590-05488-0 Paperback.
$17.95. 0-590-05469-4 Hardcover.
Lightning, tornadoes, and crepuscular rays...oh, my.

Masoff, Joy Fire! 1998. 47p. Scholastic. $16.95. 0-590-97872-1. Hardcover.
0-590-97585-4. Paperback.
Firefighters today.

Maynard, Christopher. Informania: Sharks. Oct., 1997. 92p. Candlewick Press. $14.99. 0-7636-0328-7. Spiral Bound.
Sink your teeth into SHARKS!

Newson, Lesley. Devastation: The World's Worst Natural Disasters. 1998. 159p.DK. $24.95. 0-7894-3518-7. Hardcover.
Natural disasters in words and pictures.

Packer, Alex J. Ph.D. How Rude! The Teenager's Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior and Not Grossing People Out. Sept., 1997. 448p. Free Spirit. $19.95. 1575420244. Paperback.
The proper techniques for civilized spitting, scratching, sneezing, yawning, coughing, hiccuping, and nose picking.

Paulsen, Gary. My Life In Dog Years. 1998. 137p. Delacorte. . $15.95. 0-385-32570. Hardcover.
There's no such thing as too many dogs.

Pfetzer, Mark and Jack Galvin. Within Reach: My Everest Story. 1998. 160p. Dutton. $16.99. 0-525-46089-6. Hardcover.
What is it like to be the youngest high-altitude climber ever?

Pratt, Jane. Beyond Beauty. Nov., 1997. 159p. Clarkson Potter Publishers--Calla. $30.00. 0-609-80148-1. Paperback.
There are many types of beautiful.

Reynolds, David West. Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections. 1998. 32p. DK $19.95. 0-7894-3480-6. Hardcover.
A cutaway look at vehicles and spacecraft.

Reynolds, David West. Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary. 1998. 64p. DK $19.95. 0-7894-3481-4. Hardcover.
Creatures, characters, and equipment from the trilogy.

Rolling Stone: The Complete Covers 1967-1997. 1998. 273p. Abrams. $39.95. 0810937972. Hardcover.
A vivid reflection of rock and roll.

Squires, K.M. NSYNC: The Official Book. 1998. 80p. Bantam Doubleday Dell. $9.95. 0-440-41636-1. Paperback.
An inside look at the pop sensation.

Tanaka, Shelley. Lost Temple of the Aztecs. 1998. 47p. Hyperion. $16.95. 0-7858-0441-6. Hardcover.
Who were the Aztecs, and what happened to wipe them out?

Turner, Ann. A Lion's Hunger: Poems of First Love. 1998. 47p. Marshall Cavendish. $14.95. 0-7614-5035-1. Hardcover.
First love, from beginning to end.

Wick, Walter. Optical Tricks. 1998. 41 p. Scholastic. $13.95. 0-590-22227-9. Hardcover.
Illustrations to trick the eye.

Williams, Stanley "Tookie". Life in Prison. 1998. 80p Morrow. $15.00. 0-688-15589-8. Hardcover.
glamorous about life in prison--if you survive!


Bauer, Joan. Rules of the Road. 1998. 201p. Putnam. $15.99. 0-399-23140-4. Hardcover.
Road trip?

Block, Francesca Lia. I Was a Teenage Fairy. 1998. 160 p. Harper Collins $14.95 0060277483. Hardcover.
$14.89. 0060277483. Library Binding. Fairy with an attitude.

Butts, Nancy. The Door in the Lake. 1998. 157p. Front Street Books. $15.95. 1-686910-27-8. Hardcover.
Alien abduction? Who is going to believe that?

Conford, Ellen. Crush. 1998. 138p. HarperCollins. $14.95. 0-06-025414-9. Hardcover. $14.89. 0-06-025415-7. Library Binding. $4.95. 0064407780. Paperback.
The Sweetheart Stop is just around the corner. Do you have a date?

Cormier, Robert. Heroes. 1998. 135p. Delacorte. $15.95. 0-385-32590-8. Hardcover.
Why would anyone kill a hero?

Cray, Jordan. Gemini7. (Book 1 of the danger.com series). Oct., 1997. 202p. Aladdin Paperbacks. $ .99. 0-689-81432-1. Paperback.
Nightmare cyberdate.

Danziger, Paula and Ann M. Martin. P.S. Longer Letter Later. 1998. 234p. Scholastic. $15.95. 0590213105. Hardcover.
Sometimes letters are all two friends have left.

Dessen, Sarah. Someone Like You. 1998. 281p Viking.$15.99. 0- 670-87778-6. Hardcover.
Halley and Scarlett have been best friends forever, but can their relationship stand the ultimate test?

Ewing, Lynne. Party Girl. 1998. 110p. Knopf. $16.00. 0679892850. 0679992855. Library Binding. Hardcover.
Is it possible for Kara to dream of a future while she's living a nightmare of gang violence and drive-by killings?

Ferris, Jean. Bad. 1998. 192 p. Farrar Straus & Giroux. $16.00. 0374304793. Hardcover.
Is a life of crime really what Dallas wants?

Flake, Sharon G. The Skin I'm In. 1998. 171p. Hyperion. $14.95. 0-7868-0444-0. Hardcover. $15.49. 0-7868-2392-5. Library Binding.
Can Maleeka love herself and the skin she's in?

Fraustino, Lisa Rowe, ed. Dirty Laundry: Stories About Family Secrets. Hardcover. 1998. 181p. Viking. $16.99. 0670879118.
Every family has a secret. What's yours?

Glovach, Linda. Beauty Queen. 1998. 176 p. HarperCollins. $14.95. 0-06-205161-X. Hardcover.
Sam's life is filled with pain. The only comfort she has is a syringe filled with heroin.

Grant, Cynthia D. The White Horse. 1998. 157p. Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. $16.00. 0-689-82127-1. Hardcover.
Abused, homeless, and pregnant--and Raina is only 16.

Hautman, Pete. Stone Cold. 1998. 163p. Simon & Schuster. $16.00. 0-689-81759-2. Hardcover.
How can you lose when you are a winner?

Hesser, Terry Spencer. Kissing Doorknobs. 1998. 149p. Delacorte. $15.95. 0-385-32329-8.
Tara's quirks become obsessions.

Hobbs, Will. The Maze. 1998. 198 p. Morrow. $15.00 fiction. 0-688-15092-6. Hardcover.
Running away from his problems only leads Rich into a deeper mystery that may cost him his life.

Hoh, Diane. Titanic: The Long Night. 1998. 371p. Scholastic. $4.99. 0-590-33123-X. Paperback.
Who is going to survive this time?

Kaye, Marilyn. Amy Number Seven: Replica series. 1998. 202p. Bantam. $. 99. 0-553-49238-1. Paperback.
Amy Chandler knows she is perfect--every single one of her.

Kaye, Marilyn. The Vanishing. Last on Earth. 1998 174 p. Avon. $4.99. 0-380-79832-8. Paperback.
Take the class in the basement. It will change your life.

Kerven, Rosalind. King Arthur. Eyewitness classics series. 1998. 64p. DK. $14.95. 0-7894-2887-3. Hardcover.
The Legend of Arthur as you've never seen it.

Larson, Gary. There's a Hair in My Dirt. 1998. Unpaged. HarperCollins. $15.95. 0-06-019104-X. Hardcover.
"The worms crawl in. The worms crawl out."

Lawrence, Iain. The Wreckers. 1998. 196p. Delacorte. $15.95. 0-385-432535-5. Hardcover.
Are your rescuers friends or foes?

Lerangis, Peter. Last Stop: Watchers. 1998. 159p. Apple /Scholastic. $3.99. 0-590-10996-0. Paperback.
There's more than rats in the subway.

Lott, Bret. The Hunt Club. 243p. Villard Books. $23.00. 0-375-59914-6. Hardcover.
Murder, drugs, ghosts, and car chases belong on the screen, not in real life.

Martin, Ann M. Amalia- California Diaries #4. Dec. 1997. Unpaged. Scholastic. $3.99. 0-590-29838-0. Paperback.
Is Amalia ready for a new town, a new school, and new friends?

McDaniel, Lurlene. Till Death Do Us Part. July 1997. 214p. Bantam. $4.50. 0-553-57085-4. Paperback.
Only one thing can come between April and Mark.

Myers, Anna. Ethan Between Us. 1998. 153p. Walker. $15.95. 0-8027-8670-7. Hardcover.
Secrets divide friendships and families.

Nixon, Joan Lowery. The Haunting. 1998. 184 p. Delacorte Press. $15.95. 0-385-32247-X. Hardcover.
A ghostly mystery is contained within the walls of Graymoss plantation.

Paulsen, Gary. Soldier's Heart. 1998. 106p. Delacorte. $15.95. 0-385-32498-7. Hardcover.
The brutality of war changes a farm boy into a Union soldier.

Paulsen, Gary. The Transall Saga. 1998. 248p. Delacorte. $15.95. 0-385-43196-1. Hardcover.
Mark is abducted by a blue light. What will it take for him to survive?

Pierce, Tamora. Tris’s Book. 1998. 256p. Scholastic. $15.95. 0590553577. Hardcover.
The Young Mages of Discipline Cottage are just supposed to be beginners.

Preston, Richard. The Cobra Event. Nov. 1997. 404p. Random House. $25.95. 0-679-45714-3. Hardcover. Ballantine. $7.99. 0-345-40997-3. Paperback.
Strange deaths or biological terrorism?

Pullman, Philip. Clockwork. 1998. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. $14.95. .0-590-12999-6. Hardcover.
Clocks are harmless. So are stories--until they both come to life.

Read For Your Life: Tales of Survival. 1998. 160 p. Millbrook Press. $22.40. 0-7613-0362-6. Library Binding. 0-7613-0344-8. Paperback.
From split-second decisions to long-range plans, life and death is often in the balance.

Rottman, S. L. Rough Waters. 1998. 179p. Peachtree. $14.95. 1-56145-172-X.
Rage and rafting--a dangerous combination.

Sachar, Louis. Holes. 1998. 233p. Farrar Straus Giroux. $16.00. 0-374-332655. Hardcover.
Can you dig yourself out from under a family curse?

Saul, John. The Presence. August 1997. 338p Fawcett. $25.00. 0-449-91055-5. Hardcover.
$7.99. 0-449-00241-1. Paperback. Everybody needs oxygen to breathe--don't they?

Sleator, William. The Boxes. 1998. 196 p. Dutton. 0-525-46012-8. Hardcover.
"Whatever you do, don't open them."

Smith, Roland. Sasquatch. 1998. 188p. Hyperion Books for Children. $15.95. 0-7868-0368-1. $16.49. 0-7868-2315-1. Library Binding.
Bigfoot is alive and well and living under Mt. St. Helens.

Soto, Gary. Petty Crimes. 1998. 157p. Harcourt Brace. $16.00. 0-15-201658-9. Hardcover.
Sometimes existence can get tough and the world hostile.

Vande Velde, Vivian. Ghost of a Hanged Man. 1998. 95p. Marshall Cavendish. $14.95. 0-7614-5015-7. Hardcover.
He said he'd come back to get them.

Warner, Sally. Sort of Forever. 1998. 136p. Knopf. $16. 0-679-88648-6. Hardcover. $17.99. 0-679-98648-0. Library Binding.
What does forever mean when your best friend has cancer?

Werlin, Nancy. The Killer's Cousin. 1998. 227p. Delacorte. 0-385-32560-6. Hardcover.
Acquitted of murder, David tries to start a new life.

Yolen, Jane and Bruce Coville. Armageddon Summer. 1998. 272 p. Harcourt Brace. $17.00. 0-15-201767-4. Hardcover.
Is it the beginning or the end?

Zindel, Paul. Reef of Death. 1998. 177 p. HarperCollins. 15.95. 0-06-024728-2. $15.89. 0-06-024733-9. Library Binding.
There's something huge and fierce and hungry swimming out there.