2022 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

The members of the 2022 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; Diana Ford, Severn School, Severna Park, MD; Laura Indick, Berkeley Carroll Middle School, Brooklyn, NY; Jayna Ramsey, Belmar Library - Jefferson County Public Library, Lakewood, CO; Ness Shortley, George Moses Horton Middle School, Pittsboro, NC; Sarah Sullivan, Nevins Memorial Library, Methuen, MA; Jennifer Sutton, Lake Park High School-East Campus, Roselle, IL; Carolyn Vidmar, Baltimore, MD; Emily Williams, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City, OK; and with the help of administrative assistant Molly Moore, Forsyth County Public Library, Cumming, GA.



Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre. B Alverne Ball. Art by Stacey Robinson. Abrams/Megascope. $15.99 (9781419755170). Greenwood—also known as Black Wall Street—was a bustling district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with many successful Black-owned businesses. In 1921, a white mob descended on Greenwood, destroying businesses and devastating the community. One hundred years later, Across the Tracks pays homage to Greenwood.


Alone. By Megan E. Freeman. 2020 Aladdin/Simon and Shuster. $17.99 (9780593176399). Maddie finds herself completely, totally alone when she wakes up from a secret sleepover and discovers that everyone was evacuated overnight from her town, her state, and maybe her whole half of the country. She has to survive natural disasters, the elements, looters, wild animals, and her own crushing loneliness.


Amari and the Night Brothers. By B.B. Alston. Harper Collins/Balzer + Bray. $17.99 (9781725418295). Amari knows her brother isn't dead. A briefcase in his closet leads her to a magical world—and the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, the place Quinton was working when he disappeared. Amari must use all her smarts and her heart to find out what really happened.

A-Okay. By Jarad Greene. HarperCollins Children's Books/Harper Alley. $12.99 (9780063032859). Jay deals with acne, acne medicine side effects, friend drama, and figuring out romantic feelings, during a tumultuous eighth grade year.

Artie and the Wolf Moon. By Olivia Stephens. Lerner Publishing Group/Graphic Universe. $16.99 (9781728420202). After Artie finds out her mother is a werewolf and that she lost her father to vampires, she must then battle vampires to save her friends and new wolf family while trying to practice her own potential wolf abilities.


Becoming Muhammad Ali. By James Patterson and Kwame Alexander. Illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile. 2020, Little, Brown & Company/JIMMY Patterson Books. $16.99 (9780316498166). James Patterson and Kwame Alexander tackle the life of Cassius Clay before he became Muhammad Ali in this novel that mixes prose and verse.

Blackout. By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon. HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books. $19.99 (9780063088092). Six distinct but connected stories highlight black resilience and love in the midst of a New York City-wide blackout.

The Canyon's Edge. By Dusti Bowling. Little Brown and Company Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. $16.99 (9780316494694). One year after a tragedy changed their family forever, Nora and her father set off to explore an isolated canyon. Disaster strikes, bringing with it a struggle for survival punctuated by flashbacks of the horrible events from a year earlier."


Chlorine Sky. By Mahogany L. Browne. Penguin Random House/Crown. $17.99 (9780593176399). In this novel in verse, Mahogany Browne explores what it's like to lose a best friend but find yourself.


Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms. By Crystal Fraiser. Art by Val Wise. Letterer Oscar O. Jupiter. Oni Press. $14.95 (9781620109557). Smart, antisocial Annie is pressured by her mom and college counselor to join the cheerleading squad. To her surprise, not only does she enjoy the sport, but she also rekindles a friendship (and maybe more) with BeBe, who is experiencing support but also microaggressions as the state’s first trans cheerleader.


Cool for the Summer. By Dahlia Adler. Macmillan/Wednesday Books. $18.99 (9781250765826). When Lara returns to her hometown after a surprising summer fling in the Outer Banks, she’s even more shocked that the most popular guy in school is suddenly interested in her. Everyone expects her to be interested in him, too, but she can’t forget about what happened last summer.


The Crossroads at Midnight. By Abby Howard. Iron Circus Comics. $18.00 (9781945820687). What happens in that dark fuzzy place in the middle of the night?  What happens when you are desperate enough to reach out and accept the supernatural?  These beautifully drawn short stories attempt to answer these questions and more in this creepy graphic story collection.


Don't Stand So Close To Me. By Eric Walters. 2020, Orca Book Publishers. $10.95 (9781459827875). Quinn, Isaac, Reese and the rest of their 8th grade class react to the quickly evolving COVID-19 pandemic with the help of Quinn's physician father and their very helpful teacher.


Every Single Lie. By Rachel Vincent. Bloomsbury/Bloomsbury YA. $17.99 (9781547605231). 16 year old Beckett Bergen’s life completely changes the moment she discovers a dead baby in the girl’s locker room. Beck is then targeted with violent threats and rumors that she’s the #BabyKiller. Hunting for the truth only uncovers more secrets but none so shattering as discovering what really happened.

Fast Pitch. By Nic Stone. Penguin Random House/Crown Books for Young Readers. $17.99 (9781984893017). For softball player and team captain Shenice “Lightning” Lockwood, playing ball runs in the family. When Shenice uncovers a family mystery in the middle of her softball season, she must decide how far she’ll go to clear her family’s name.

The Girl from the Sea. By Molly Knox Ostertag. Scholastic/Graphix. $14.99 (9781338540581). Teenage Morgan is ready to leave her island home and start living her real life. One summer Morgan meets Keltie, a mysterious girl from the sea, and starts keeping secrets.


Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp. By Marieke Nijkamp. Art by Yasmin Flores Montanez and Bill Underwood. IDW/Scholastic. $12.99 (9781684058136) Blake is an expert hunter in her favorite video game, but will that translate when she finds herself in Fever Swamp with actual monsters?

Hide and Don’t Seek: and other scary stories. By Anica Mrose Rissi. Art By Carolina Godina. 2020, HarperCollins Publishers/Quill Tree Books. $16.99 (9780063026957). A collection of dark and scary stories, from a sinister summer camp, to creepy animals, these stories will keep you up at night.

Hide and Seeker. By Daka Hermon. Scholastic. $18.99 (9781338583625). Justin and his friends play an innocent game of hide-and-seek at their friend Zee’s coming-home party, but the game, and Zee himself, are more dangerous than they seem. Zee came back different from his mysterious missing year, and soon party guests start disappearing.

I Dare You. By Jeff Ross. Orca Book Publishers. $10.95 (9781459828018). When a video of a fight goes viral, Rainy and two classmates, Jordan and Rowen, convince him to create a prank video. When that video sparks rumors that in turn cause a horrible accident, will Rainy admit to being behind it all? Or was the video true?

In the Shadow of the Fallen Towers: The seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years after the 9/11 attacks. By Don Brown. Etch/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. $19.99 (9780358223573). Beautifully illustrated review of the events on 9/11 and the far reaching effects of that terrible day.

Karma Moon: Ghost Hunter. By Melissa Savage. Penguin Random House/Crown Books for Young Readers. $16.99 (9780593302804) Karma Moon and her best friend join her father’s film crew at a famously haunted hotel, which isn’t a great place for someone with a bad case of the “what-ifs” to spend Spring Break, especially because her dad won’t get paid unless they get a real ghost on camera.

Last Gate of the Emperor. By Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen. Scholastic, Inc. $17.99 (9781338665857). Yared Heywat is a loner and his uncle forces him to keep a low profile. When Yared's favorite game forces him to log in under his real name, an attack rocks the city. Now, Yared must find his missing uncle and the truth of his place in the galaxy.

The Lost Girls: A Vampire Revenge Story. By Sonia Hartl. Macmillan/Page Street Publishing Co. $17.99 (9781645673149). Holly Liddell has been trapped as a 16-year-old girl since she was turned into a vampire in 1987. After Elton ditches her after 30 years together, she learns that she was not his first. Holly and his other girls, Ida and Rose, team up to end Elton once and for all—before he can turn another girl.


Love is a Revolution. By Renée Watson. Bloomsbury/Bloomsbury YA. $18.99 (9781547600601). Nala is learning about love - most importantly, how important it is to love yourself. Her relationship with her cousin-sister-friend Imani is strained, and Nala can't stop lying and pretending she's something she's not to the boy she likes. In the Harlem heat, Nala has to figure out her best path.

Martin Ghost Centaur. By Mat Heagerty. Art By Steph Mided. Oni Press. $19.99 (9781620108499). Southborough used to be a major tourist destination for folks, ever since a sasquatch was spotted there. However, fewer and fewer people started coming. Now, a tech start-up is buying up the town so it can build its HQ. Can Louie and Felix, find a way to save the town?

Mine. By Delilah S. Dawson. Penguin Random House/Delacorte Press. $16.99 (9780593373224). After moving to Florida, Lily is horrified to discover that the former owner of their house was a hoarder. While cleaning out the mess, Lily discovers there is more in the house than junk and that the ghosts that reside there may not want her to stay.

The Missing Passenger.  By Jack Heath. Simon & Schuster/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. $18.99 (9781534449893). A plane with no passengers crashes in his hometown and Jarli quickly finds himself in the middle of a mystery. When he learns that no one can be trusted, Jarli allies himself with his best option: his former bully. Together they attempt to outwit a secretive criminal known as Viper.

Muted. By Tami Charles. Scholastic Inc./Scholastic Press. $18.99 (9781338673524). Denver and her best friends are taken under the wing of music legend Sean “Mercury” Jones to become the next big thing, but at what price? As Merc becomes more controlling and cuts the girls off from family and friends, will they even make it out alive?


My Epic Spring Break (Up). By Kristin Rockaway. Penguin Random House/Underlined. $9.99 (9780593180112) When Ashley’s carefully planned spring break that was supposed to be focused on winning the NYC Hackathon takes an expected turn, she must decide what she wants. Is it her crush that she has nothing in common with? Or her longtime friend she is starting to see as something more?


Nubia: The Real One. By L.L. McKinney. Art by Robyn Smith. DC Comics. $16.99 (9781401296407). Nubia, an Amazon with super-human powers, has to decide what is more important: protecting the ones she loves or keeping her identity secret.


Noelle: The Mean Girl. By Ashley Woodfolk. Penguin Random House/Penguin Workshop. $15.99 (9780593096079). Noelle is losing control. First she has a crush on her friend Tobyn. Next, her younger brother Pierre keeps getting beat up. Then when her father loses his job, she agrees to work more hours at her grandparent’s restaurant. Can Noelle figure out how to handle all of these changes?

Off the Record. By Camryn Garrett. Penguin Random House/Knopf Books for Young Readers. $17.00 (9781984829993). When Josie Wright wins the chance to profile a major up-and-coming movie star for a press tour, she finds another story worth following, one of a big director that has sexually assaulted numerous others, and gotten away with it for years.

Oh My Gods! By Stephanie Cooke and Insha Fitzpatrick. Art by Juliana Moon. ‎ Etch/Clarion Books. $12.99 (9780358299523). After her mom gets a new job, thirteen-year-old Karen moves to Greece to live with her dad Zed. Her new home and school Mt. Olympus Junior High seems a little strange, but fun, until people mysteriously start turning into stone statues.  Can Karen figure out the secrets of her new home?

The Passing Playbook. By Isaac Fitzsimons. Dial Books. $18.99 (9781984815408). Spencer is starting a brand-new school and wants a fresh start where no one knows he’s trans. But as he develops feelings for another boy on the soccer team and comes face-to-face with a discriminatory rule stopping him from playing soccer, he considers what he’s losing by not coming out.


Playing With Fire. By April Henry. Macmillian/Henry Holt and Co. $17.99 (9781250234063) When a fast moving wildfire traps Natalia, Wyatt, and a group of other hikers, they must do whatever it takes to survive, which means hiking farther into the forest and potential danger, to get to safety. This is not what Natalia had in mind for her and Wyatt’s first date.


Poison Ivy: Thorns. By Kody Keplinger. Art by Sara Kipin. DC Comics. $16.99 (9781401298425). Pamela Isley is keeping secrets, including what’s really going on in her family’s creepy mansion late at night. When a cute goth girl comes into Pamela’s life, it seems like there’s hope for a real connection, but it also sets in motion a series of dangerous occurrences.


The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures. By Christian Allaire. Annick Press. $19.95 (9781773214900). Authored by the Fashion and Style Writer for Vogue, this look at current elements of style focuses on social justice, culture, and politics, and their connection to how under-represented communities use fashion to proudly claim these identities.


The Prom House. By Chelsea Mueller. Delacorte Press/ Underline. $9.99 (9780593180051). When a group of ten friends decide to keep the party going after their Prom by renting a house on the Jersey Shore and they end up murdered one by one, which one is behind it all and who will make it out alive?


Recommended for You. By Laura Silverman. 2020, Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books. $17.99 (9781534474192). Shoshanna Greenberg loves working at her local indie bookstore—and knows her love of books and readers will help her win the store's holiday bookselling contest. Only one person stands in her way: new employee Jake Kaplan, who rubs Shoshanna the wrong way. But the more they get to know each other, the more they realize that they aren't so annoying after all.


Rivals. By Tommy Greenwald. Abrams/Amulet Books. $17.99 (9781419748271). Walthorne takes their basketball seriously, so when rivaling North and South middle schools play each other, the competition gets fierce. Student-reporter Alfie Jenks provides commentary on the matchups as well as the controversies off the court. Teams will have to learn whether morality is more important than winning.

She Drives Me Crazy. By Kelly Quindlen. Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. $17.99 (9781250209160). Athlete Scottie's ex-girlfriend now plays for their rival basketball team. She wants to get back at her toxic ex-girlfriend and hatches a fake dating plan with popular cheerleader Irene, but the plan gets complicated the longer the scheme carries on.

Sink or Swim. By Tash McAdam. Orca Book Publishers. $10.95 (9781459828513). When Bass sneaks away on a boat trip with his girlfriend Rosie, things take a turn for the worst when their boat capsizes in a storm and they find themselves stranded and with severe injuries, fighting for survival.

Starfish. By Lisa Fipps. Penguin Random House/Nancy Paulsen Books. $17.99 (9781984814500) Ellie has been bullied for her weight for as long as she remembers. Through new friendships and a helpful therapist, she feels confident being herself for the very first time. Written in verse from Ellie’s perspective, readers follow the mental and emotional evolution of a girl striving to fit in.


Stranded. By Jocelyn Shipley. 2020, Orca Publishing. $10.95 (9781459823891). Kipp, a troubled teen trying to do right despite obstacles, finds himself working for a wealthy woman with a secret; she's had troubled teens work for her before, but they've gone missing. Could Kipp be next?

Sunkissed. By Kasie West. Penguin Random House/Delacorte Press. $18.99 (9780593176269). Avery is spending this summer with her family at a remote resort/camp. She's happy to leave some troubling drama at home, but embraces a chance to really discover herself. She also meets Brooks, the staff musician who might be as frustrating as he is handsome, but also completely off-limits.

Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous. By Suzanne Park. Sourcebooks/Sourcebooks Fire. $10.99 (9781728209425). Sunny Song is an aspiring influencer, but those plans come derailed when she accidentally makes an inappropriate livestream. Her parents respond by sending Sunny to a technology detox camp at a working farm. Will Sunny be able to decide between the cute farm boy or her desire to go viral?

Take Back the Block. By Chrystal D. Giles. Penguin Random House/Random House Books for Young Readers. $16.99 (9780593175170) Wes doesn't want to go to all the protests his mom keeps dragging him to. But when developers swoop in and try to gentrify the neighborhood he loves, he finds that some things are worth fighting for.


Teen Killers Club. By Lily Sparks. 2020, Penguin Random House/Crooked Lane Books. $18.99 (9781643852294). Signal Deere was deemed a “Class A” criminal and sent to a special camp to be trained as an assassin. Everyone else there is a stone-cold teen killer, so Signal should fit right in. But the thing is, she's never actually killed anyone -- she was framed.

That Weekend. By Kara Thomas. Penguin Random House/Delacorte Press. $18.99 (9781524718367). When Claire wakes up in the hospital and finds out her two best friends have gone missing while they were all on a camping trip, she is determined to find out exactly what happened to them, even though she has amnesia and can’t remember that weekend.

They Better Call Me Sugar: My Journey from the Hood to the Hardwood. By Sugar Rodgers. Black Sheep/Akashic Books. $14.95 (9781617759291). WNBA All-Star Sugar Rodgers shares her story of growing up, poverty, family life, school, sports, friends, and how she eventually shaped a successful career as a professional basketball player for herself.

Tobyn: The It Girl. By Ashley Woodfolk. Penguin Random House/Penguin Workshop. $15.99 (9780593096109). High School is wrapping up for Tobyn. All she wants for her future is to sing, but her mother wants her to go to college. Will she be able to balance what she wants and what her mother wants while also dealing with her absentee sister?


Too Bright To See. By Kyle Lukoff. Penguin Random House / Dial Books for Young Readers. $16.99 (9780593111154). Bug has always been a bit odd. The 11-year-old lives in a haunted house. But when Bug's beloved uncle dies and starts haunting the home he used to live in, Bug seeks to figure out why—and ends up unraveling an even bigger mystery.


The Truth Project. By Dante Medema. 2020, Harper Collins/Quill Tree Books. $17.99 (9780062954404). High school senior Cordelia gets her DNA test results as part of a senior writing project, and is jarred to learn something scandalous about her family's past.


Yesterday is History. By Kosoko Jackson. Sourcebooks/Sourcebooks Fire. $17.99 (9781492694359). After a life-saving liver transplant, Andre gains the ability to time travel. He finds himself tethered to Michael in the year 1969, and the two quickly build a bond. Andre must balance this version of reality with life in 2021 which holds its own complicated relationships.