2015 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 2015 list features 68 titles and 1 series.

“I am so proud of the list our committee has put together for reluctant readers of all types,” said Chair, Jennifer Fairchild. “Quick Picks readers will be treated to a diverse selection of irresistible non-fiction, graphic novels with fabulous illustrations, intriguing whodunits, and gripping realistic stories. We can’t wait for these books to end up in the hands of teens.”

Members of the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Committee are: Jennifer Fairchild, Chair, King County Library System, Auburn, WA; Faythe Arredondo, Tulare County Library, Visalia, CA; Justin Azevedo, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, CA; Fallon Bleich, Bentonville Public Library, Bentonville, AR; Susan Buttaccio, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Lancaster, NY; Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library, White Plains, NY; Sarah Julsonnet, Lancaster Country Day School, Lancaster, PA; Judith Rodgers, Wayzata Central Middle School, Plymouth, MN; Shawna Sherman, San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA; Jen Thompson, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY; Kellie Tilton, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash, Blue Ash, OH; and Whitney Winn, Administrative Assistant, King County Library System, Auburn, WA.

* denotes the title was selected as a top ten.

Download a handout of the list here.


Boyer, Crispin. This Or That? The Wacky Book of Choices To Reveal The Hidden You. Illus. 2014. National Geographic Children's Books, $12.99. 978-1-4263-1557-2.

Hobbits or ewoks? LEGOs or playing cards? Choose one to discover your real personality.

Brown, Box. Andre The Giant: Life and Legend. Illus. 2014. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/First Second/Roaring Brook Press, $17.99. 978-1-59643-851-4.

An illustrated look into the life of pro wrestler and actor Andre the Giant.

Burcaw, Shane. Laughing at My Nightmare. 2014. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Roaring Brook Press, $17.99. 978-1-62672-007-7.

An honest and hilarious memoir about living with spinal muscular atrophy.

Butcher, Christina. Braids, Buns, and Twists! Step-by-Step Tutorials for 82 Fabulous Hairstyles. Illus. 2013. Chronicle Books, $19.95. 978-1-4521-2484-1.

Chic styles for curly or straight hair.

Capps, Tyler. Cooking Comically, Recipes So Easy You'll Actually Make Them. Illus. 2013. Penguin Group USA/Perigree Trade, $18.95. 978-0-399-16404-0.

Learn how to $#!*@-ing cook through step-by-step photos and comics.

Carmindy. Bloom: A Girl's Guide to Growing Up Gorgeous. Illus. 2014. Penguin Group USA/Perigee Trade, $20.00. 978-0-399-16659-4.

A fresh look at make-up and skin care for teens.

Coefield, Sasha. DIY Braids: From Crowns to Fishtails, Easy, Step-by-Step Hair-Braiding. Illus. 2013. F+W Media/Adams Media, $16.99. 978-1-4405-6739-1.

 A beginner’s guide to braiding.

Crockett, Alexandra. Metal Cats. Illus. 2014. powerHouse Books, $12.95. 978-1-57687-677-0.

Photos of cute kitties and their hardcore metal owners.

Dakota, Heather. Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide. Illus. by Ali Castro. 2014. Scholastic Inc., $10.99. 978-0-545-65044-1.

Prepare for the inevitable zombie outbreak with crucial info and survival skills.

*Enz, Tammy and Biskup, Agnieszka. Batman Science: The Real-World Science Behind Batman's Gear. Illus. 2014. Capstone Young Readers, $9.95. 978-1-62370-0645.

Armored cars and utility belts—these gadgets aren’t just for Batman anymore.

Ganter, Chris. Graffiti School: A student guide with teacher's manual. Illus. 2013. Thames & Hudson, $24.95. 978-0-500-29097-2.

Learn how to create your own street art.

Gownley, Jimmy. The Dumbest Idea Ever! Illus. 2014. Scholastic Inc./Graphix, $24.99


How a kid who loved to draw turned one dumb suggestion from a friend into a successful comic.

Kidd, Chip. Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design. Illus. 2013. Workman Publishing, $17.95. 978-0-7611-7219-2.

An eye-catching introduction to the world of graphic design.

*Knapp, Andrew. Find Momo: A Photography Book. Illus. 2014. Quirk Books, $14.95. 978-1-59474-678-9.

Momo the border collie is hiding around the country—find him in each photo.

Latta, Sara. Scared Stiff: Everything You Need to Know About 50 Famous Phobias. Illus. by G.E. Gallas. 2014. Zest Books, $12.99. 978-1-936976-49-2.

From acrophobia to wiccaphobia, what are you afraid of?

Lee, Hannah. Cool Nail Art: 30 Step-by-Step Designs to Rock Your Fingers and Toes. Illus. 2014. F+W Media, $22.99. 978-1-4402-4080-5.

Learn hot nail designs from a YouTube sensation.

Maletsky, Sophie. Sticky Fingers: DIY Duct Tape Projects. Easy to Pick Up, Hard to Put Down. Illus. 2014. Zest Books, $16.99. 978-1-936976-54-6.

Creative duct tape projects to impress your friends.

McNeil, Legs and McCain, Gillian. Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose. Illus. 2014. Sourcebooks, Inc./Sourcebooks Fire, $15.99. 978-1-4022-8758-9.

A raw account of a teen who will do anything to find affection and block out the pain of cystic fibrosis.

McNeill, Suzanne. Friendship Bracelets All Grown Up: Hemp, Floss, and Other Boho Chic Designs to Make. Illus. 2014. Fox Chapel Publishing/Design Originals, $9.99. 978-1-57421-866-4.

Intricate alternatives to traditional friendship bracelets.

*Prince, Liz. Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir. Illus. 2014. Zest Books, $15.99. 978-1-936976-55-3.

Liz triumphs over gender labels in this witty comic memoir.

Rivera, Mariano and Coffey, Wayne. The Closer: Young Readers Edition. 2014. Hachette Book Group/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $17.00. 978-0-316-40480-8.

The legendary relief pitcher tells his story of going from a small fishing town in Panama to the New York Yankees.

Shoket, Ann. Seventeen Ultimate Guide to College: Everything You Need to Know to Walk Onto Campus and Own It! Illus. 2014. Perseus Books Group/Running Press, $19.95. 978-0-7624-5193-7.

Feel confident on campus—practical tips you won’t find anywhere else.

Stanton, Brandon. Humans of New York. Illus. 2013. Macmillan/St. Martin's Press, $29.99. 978-1-250-03882-1.

A photo anthology of NYC’s most fascinating inhabitants.

Thomson, Ruth. Photos Framed: A Fresh Look at the World's Most Memorable Photographs. Illus. 2014. Candlewick Press, $18.99. 978-0-7636-7154-9.

Who took these iconic photos and why are they so memorable?

Voltz, Stephen and Grobe, Fritz. How to Build a Hovercraft: Air Cannons, Magnet Motors, and 25 Other Amazing DIY Science Projects. Illus. 2013. Chronicle Books, $24.95. 978-1-4521-0952-7.

Fun science projects, from simple to “some adult supervision required.”

What’s Your Style? Series

Kenney, Karen Latchana. Boho Fashion. 2014. Lerner Publishing Group, $22.95. 978-1-4677-1470-9.

Fashion advice for the eclectic girl.

 St John, Amanda. Edgy Fashion. 2014. Lerner Publishing Group, $22.95. 978-1-4677-1468-6

Fashion advice for girls with a rebellious side.

Kenney, Karen Latchana. Hipster Fashion. 2014. Lerner Publishing Group, $22.95. 978-1-4677-1472-3.

Fashion advice for the quirky girl.

Kenney, Karen Latchana. Preppy Fashion. 2014. Lerner Publishing Group, $22.95. 978-1-4677-1469-3.

Fashion advice for the put-together girl.

Watson, Stephanie. Streetwear Fashion. 2014. Lerner Publishing Group, $22.95. 978-1-4677-1471-6.

Fashion advice for the creative girl.


*Alender, Katie. Famous Last Words. 2014. Scholastic, Inc./Point, $18.99. 978-0-545-63997-2.

Willa is being haunted by the latest victim of a film-obsessed serial killer.

Alender, Katie. Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer. 2014. Scholastic Inc./Scholastic Paperbacks, $9.99. 978-0-545-46810-7.

Colette learns she is descended from French aristocracy and Marie Antoinette’s ghost wants to kill her.

*Alexander, Kwame. The Crossover. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/HMH Books for Young Readers, $16.99. 978-0-544-10771-7.

Told in rhythmic verse, the story of a basketball star who struggles to stay on top on the court while adjusting to changes at home.

Armentrout, Jennifer L. Don't Look Back. 2014. Hachette Book Group/Disney-Hyperion, $16.99. 978-1-4231-7512-4.

After waking up lost in the woods with amnesia, Samantha must solve the mystery of her disappearance.

*Belton, Claire. I am Pusheen the Cat. Illus. 2013. Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, $14.99. 978-1-4767-4701-9.

A day in the life of an adorable cartoon cat.

Bernard, Romily. Find Me. 2013. HarperCollins Publishers/HarperTeen, $17.99. 978-0-06-222903-8.

Can Wick, hacker extraordinaire, use her skills to find out why her friend committed suicide?

Blount, Patty. Some Boys. 2014. Sourcebooks, Inc./Sourcebooks Fire, $9.99. 978-1-4022-9856-1.
Grace is ostracized at school after she accuses a lacrosse star of rape.

Brown, Jennifer. Torn Away. 2014. Hachette Book Group/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18.00. 978-0-316-24553-1.

Jersey must find her place in the world after a massive tornado takes away the people she loves most.

*Carroll, Emily. Through the Woods. Illus. 2014. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, $14.99. 978-1-4424-6596-1.

Five chillingly illustrated tales of what might be waiting for you in the dark.

Coates, Jan L. Rocket Man. 2014. Red Deer Press, $9.95. 978-0-88995-494-6.

With his dad's cancer getting worse and not making the basketball team again, Mr. Invisible must step up and take action.

Cooner, Donna. Can't Look Away. 2014. Scholastic Inc./Point, $17.99. 978-0-545-42765-4.

Popularity and fashion are the most important things to Torrey until a terrible accident makes her rethink everything.

Demetrios, Heather. Something Real. 2014. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Henry Holt, $17.99. 978-0-8050-9794-8.

Former reality tv star Bonnie (now Chloe) is in for a shock when she comes home from school to find cameras all over her house. Again. 

Deuker, Carl. Swagger. 2013. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/HMH Books for Young Readers, $17.99. 978-0-547-97459-0.

Jonas has to choose between winning a basketball championship and helping his best friend.

Doctorow, Cory and Wang, Jen. In Real Life. Illus. 2014. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/First Second/Roaring Brook Press, $17.99. 978-1-59643-658-9.

Girl. Gamer. Fighter for social justice online and IRL.

Ewing, Lynne. The Lure. 2014. HarperCollins Publishers/Balzer + Bray, $17.99. 978-0-06-220688-6.

The initiation beating was bad enough, but things get much worse when Blaise agrees to lure rival gang members.

Fantaskey, Beth. Buzz Kill. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/HMH Books for Young Readers, $17.99. 978-0-547-39310-0.

Kooky nonconformist Millie Ostermeyer must tap into her inner Nancy Drew to solve the murder of her high school's infamous football coach.

Farizan, Sara. Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel. 2014. Workman Publishing/Algonquin Books/Algonquin Young Readers, $16.95. 978-1-61620-284-2.

Leila feels the pressure to do well in school and to be a good Persian daughter—but mostly the pressure to hide that she is a lesbian.

Feutl, Rita. Bike Thief. 2014. Orca Book Publishers/Orca Soundings, $9.95. 978-1-4598-0570-5.

An action-packed look at the underworld of stolen bicycles.

Giles, Lamar. Fake ID. 2014. HarperCollins Publishers/Amistad, $17.99. 978-0-06-212184-4.

Nick has a secret: he and his family are in witness protection. When his friends start dying, he realizes that his town might be hiding a secret, too.

Green, S. E. Killer Instinct. 2014. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, $17.99. 978-1-4814-0285-9.

Lane isn't just interested in serial killers—she wants to be one.

Higgins, M.G. I'm Just Me. 2014. Saddleback Educational Publishing, $9.95. 978-1-62250-721-4.

As the only minority students at their school, Mia and Nasreen band together against racism and bullying.

Kang, Lydia. Control. 2013. Penguin Group USA/Dial Books, $17.99. 978-0-8037-3904-8.

In the year 2150, Zel is forced to hide with a group of mutant teens who help rescue her sister from deadly kidnappers.

Kuderick, Madeleine. Kiss of Broken Glass. 2014. HarperCollins Publishers/HarperTeen, $17.99. 978-0-06-230656-2.

Kenna doesn’t think she has a problem, but when she is caught cutting at school she lands herself in a psych ward.

Magoon, Kekla. How it Went Down. 2014. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Henry Holt, $17.99. 978-0-8050-9869-3.

When Tariq, a black teenager, is gunned down by a white man, everybody has a different perspective on how it went down.

Maihack, Mike. Cleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice. Illus. 2014. Scholastic Inc./Graphix, $22.99. 978-0-545-52842-9.

Teenage Cleopatra—yes, that Cleopatra—is transported to the future and learns that it is up to her to save the galaxy in this funny, action-packed graphic novel.

Mathieu, Jennifer. The Truth About Alice. 2014. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Roaring Brook Press, $16.99. 978-1-59643-909-2.

Alice is shunned when rumor spreads she slept with two guys in one night.

Moore, Peter. V Is For Villain. 2014. Hachette Book Group/Disney-Hyperion, $17.99. 978-1-4231-5749-6.

Brad is fighting for justice, but in a world full of heroes this makes him a villain.

Northrop, Michael. Surrounded by Sharks. 2014. Scholastic Inc./Scholastic Press, $17.99. 978-0-545-61545-7.

Davey is pulled out to sea during a solo swim in dangerous waters. Will his family realize he is in trouble before he becomes shark bait?

Polak, Monique. Straight Punch. 2014. Orca Book Publishers, $12.95. 978-1-4598-0391-6.

Busted for tagging, Tessa is sent to an alternative school where boxing is on the curriculum.

*Quintero, Isabel. Gabi, A Girl in Pieces. 2014. Cinco Puntos Press, $11.95. 978-1-935955-95-5.

Gabi is determined to break down stereotypes imposed on her. No one is going to tell her what she can and can’t do.

Sakugawa, Yumi. I Think I Am in Friend-Love With You. Illus. 2013. F+W Media/Adams Media, $13.99. 978-1-4405-7302-6.

A short, sweet graphic novel about a monster that loves another monster, but only as a friend. But not in a weird way. (If that's okay?)

Scott, Jerry and Borgman, Jim. Zits: Shredded. Illus. 2014. HarperCollins Publishers/HarperTeen, $9.99. 978-0-06-222853-6.

Jeremy and his friends take a quick road trip to record their first album. What could possibly go wrong?

Sheff, Nic. Schizo. 2014. Penguin Group USA/Philomel Books, $17.99. 978-0-399-16437-8.

Miles struggles to recognize what’s real and what’s imagined  while searching for his missing brother.

Sitomer, Alan Lawrence. Caged Warrior. 2014. Hachette Book Group/Disney-Hyperion, $16.99. 978-1-4231-7124-9.

McCutcheon is trying to escape his life as an underground MMA fighter, but his father and a local gang won’t let him go that easily.

Smith, Jennifer E. The Geography of You and Me. 2014. Hachette Book Group/Little, Brown and Company/Poppy, $18.00. 978-0-316-25477-9.

Lucy and Owen spend a magical night in New York City. Will they have the chance to do it again, or will their changing lives keep them apart?

Strohmeyer, Sarah. The Secrets of Lily Graves. 2014. HarperCollins Publishers/Balzer + Bray, $9.99. 978-0-06-225960-8.

Lily is a suspect in Erin’s death after their vicious fight, but Lily knows that the real murderer is still on the loose.

Walters, Eric. The Rule of Three: Fight for Power. 2014. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Farrar Straus Giroux, $17.99. 978-0-374-35502-9.

After a virus destroys all computer technology, a teen and his neighbors unite to survive.

*Watkins, Steve. Juvie. 2013. Candlewick Press, $17.99. 978-0-7636-5509-9.

Sadie's a good girl, but after a bad decision she’s sent to juvenile detention for a crime she didn’t commit.

West, Kasie. On the Fence. 2014. HarperCollins Publishers/HarperTeen, $9.99. 978-0-06-223567-1.

Being a tomboy was never really a problem for Charlie until she starts crushing on the boy next door.

*Wilson, G. Willow. Ms. Marvel: No Normal. Illus. by Adrian Alphona. 2014. Marvel, $15.99. 978-0-7851-9021-9.

A Muslim teen and comic fangirl suddenly finds herself with superpowers.

Yang, Gene Luen. The Shadow Hero. Illus. by Sonny Liew. 2014. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/First Second/Roaring Brook Press, $17.99. 978-1-59643-697-8.

Superheroes can't be forced into saving people by their mom, can they?

Zarr, Sara and Altebrando, Tara. Roomies. 2013. Hachette Book Group/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18.00. 978-0-316-21749-1.

The summer before college, future roommates Elizabeth and Lauren become unlikely confidants.