2011 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 2011 list includes 87 titles, both nonfiction and fiction, from a variety of genres, including biography, pop culture, fantasy, street lit, and more.

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

“My committee and I are excited to share this varied list of exceptional titles geared to reluctant young adult readers around the country,” said Gregory Lum, committee chair.

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?!