YALSA names 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers

For Immediate Release
Wed, 01/06/2021


Anna Lam

Communications Specialist

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)


CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced its 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list.

The list of 64 titles is drawn from 81 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blog posts on The Hub. The list identifies titles aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read. View the full list.

In addition to the full list, the blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten:

  • Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis. Katherine Tegen Books. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9780062561626.
  • Found by Joseph Bruchac. 7th Generation. 2020. $9.95. ISBN: 9781939053237.
  • Golden Arm by Carl Deuker. HMH Books for Young Readers. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780358012429.
  • Heartstopper Vol. 1. by Alice Oseman. Graphix. 2020. $14.00. ISBN: 9781338617443.
  • Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds. Illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. 2020. $19.99. ISBN: 9781534444959.
  • The Loop by Ben Oliver. Chicken House. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9781338589306.
  • #NoEscape by Gretchen McNeil. Freeform. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9781368026260.
  • Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam. Blazer + Bray. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9780062996480.
  • Snapdragon by Kat Leyh. First Second Books. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781250171115. ISBN: 9781250171115.
  • You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson. Scholastic. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9781338503265.

The suggestion form for the 2022 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, please fill out the form.

“Despite the pandemic and many team members facing changing work situations, everyone worked hard to put together this list of quality quick picks to reignite a love of reading in teens,” said Coordinator Molly Dettmann. “Our blogging team read hundreds of books and discussed them virtually, taking care to create a list that will be especially helpful during stressful times, when reading for pleasure can bring comfort to our teens.”

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age-appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. Learn more about YALSA’s other book and media lists here.

The members of the 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team are: Coordinator Molly Dettmann, Norman North High School, Norman, OK; Megan Baird Main Library-Yuma County Library District, Yuma, AZ; Kathleen J. Barker, History UnErased, Plymouth, MI; Sarah Carnahan Pulaski Academy, Little Rock, AR; Barbara Dinan Plymouth District Library, Plymouth, MI; Elizabeth Giles Kansas City Public Library, MO; Aimee Haslam, Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, VA; Marie LeJeune Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR; Jessica Levy, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA; Kat Reynolds, University of Southern California, South Pasadena, CA; Maryjean Riou Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ;  Lorraine Roussin, San Antonio ISD, San Antonio, TX; Jennifer Sutton Lake Park High School-East Campus, Roselle, IL; Jade Valenzuela, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM; Emily Williams, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City, OK; and with the help of administrative assistant Dana Hutchins, Jackson Middle School, San Antonio, TX.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: yalsa@ala.org.