2012 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young 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 2012 list features 117 titles; the committee also selected a top ten list, denoted here by an asterisk.

"There is something here for everyone, from our struggling readers in middle school to the overscheduled young adult looking for a really good read," said Chair Heather Gruenthal.  "I am really proud of this year's committee for their work with teen groups from across the country and coming up with such a diverse list.  Only on Quick Picks can you find zombies, superheroes, gangs, ghost hunters, murderers, monsters, goth girls, baby animals, gross facts, and sports heroes all in the same place.”

Members of the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Committee are: Heather Gruenthal, Chair, Anaheim (Calif.) Union High School District,; Elsa Black, Phoenix Public Library; Tammy DiBartolo, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, La.; Jamison Hedin, Ludlow (Mass.) High School; Becky Jackman, New Providence Middle School, Clarksville, Tenn.; Brenda Kilmer, Miami-Dade College, Florida; Stacy Lickteig, Omaha (Neb.) Public Schools; Ann Pechacek, Worthington (Ohio) Libraries; Sherry Rampey, Gaston, S.C.; Ellen Spring, Rockland (Maine) District Middle School; and Anita Buers, Administrative Assistant, Anaheim (Calif.) Union High School District.


*Almerico, Kendall and Tess Hottenroth. Whoogles: Can a Dog Make a Woman Pregnant?...and Hundreds of Other Searches That Make You Ask "Who Would Google That?” F + W Media/Adams Media, 2010. $10.95. 978-1-4405-1086-1.
Google has all the answers to every question, even the ones you never thought to ask.

Barton, Chris. Can I See Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities. Illus. by Paul Hoppe. Penguin Group/Dial, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-8037-3310-7.
Spies, robbers, runaways . . . could you get away with it?

Beecroft, Simon. Star Wars Character Encyclopedia. DK, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-7566-8253-8.
From Admiral Ackbar to Yoda.

*Beever, Julian. Pavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings of Julian Beever. Illus. Firefly Books, 2010. $29.95. 978-1-55407-661-1.
Step into street art.

Benson, Richard. F in Exams, The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers. Chronicle Books, 2011. $9.95. 978-0-8118-7831-9.
“Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? At the bottom.”

Black, Jake. The Ultimate Guide to WWE. Penguin Group/Grosset & Dunlap, 2011. . $12.99. 978-0-448-45554-9.
Your favorite WWE wrestlers all in one place!

Bleiman, Andrew; Eastland, Chris. ZooBorns: The Newest, Cutest Animals From the World's Zoos and Aquariums. Simon & Schuster, 2010. $9.99. 978-1-4391-9531-4.
Baby animals...Awwwwww!

Brady Games. Guinness World Records, Gamers Edition 2011.  The Jim Pattison Group/ Guinness World Records LTD, 2011. $14.99. 978-0-7440-1261-3.
Top characters, high scores, and all the best games.

Bragg, Georgia. How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous. Illus. by Kevin O'Malley. Walker & Company, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-8027-9817-6.
The down and dirty on great deaths in history.

Buchholz, Rachel.  How to Survive Anything. Illus. by Chris Philpot. National Geographic, 2011. $12.95. 978-1-4263-0774-4.
From embarrassing parents to shark attacks.

Claybourne, Anna. 100 Most Awesome Things On The Planet. Scholastic, 2011.. $7.99. 978-0-545-26848-6.
Mount Everest, nanomachines, the Great Wall of China, and more.

Conrad, Lauren. Lauren Conrad Style. HarperCollins, 2010. $19.99. 978-0-06-198914-8.
Exceptional style for every day.

Cowsill, Alan. Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide. DK/Marvel, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-7566-6740-5.
Heroes and villians, from A-Z.

DK Publishing. Big Questions.  DK Publishing /DK Children, 2011. $19.99. 978-0-7566-7579-0.
“Can you step into the same river twice?” and other deep questions.

*Dugard, Jaycee. A Stolen Life: A Memoir. Simon & Schuster, 2011. $24.99. 978-1-4516-2918-7.
Eighteen years in captivity—in her own words.

Guinness World Records. Guinness World Records 2011. Guinness Worlds Records, 2010. $28.95. 978-1-904994-58-9. T
he biggest, fastest, and strongest.

Hammond, Paula. The World's Strangest Animals. Scholastic/ Scholastic Paperbacks, 2011. $8.99. 978-0-545-34745-7.
From the tranquil seahorse to the ferocious honey badger.

*Haugen, Brenda. The Zodiac Killer: Terror and Mystery. 2010. Capstone/Compass Point Books. $ 24.99. 978-0-7565-4357-0.
The killer that got away with it.

Kaelin, Lauren and Sophia Fraioli. When Parents Text, So Much Said...So Little Understood. Workman, 2011. $10.95. 978-0-7611-6604-7.

Lee, J.H. Boo: The Life of the World’s Cutest Dog. Chronicle Books, 2011. $12.95. 978-1-4521-0306-8.
Boo’s Pomeranian life in pictures.

Levy, Joel. Phobiapedia: All the Things We Fear the Most!. Scholastic/Scholastic Paperbacks, 2011. $8.99. 978-0-545-34929-1.
Does anyone suffer from xanthophobia? The fear of yellow.

Murray, Peter and Angela Sanchez. Memorable Moments in NFL Football. Murray Books/Toots, 2010. $34.95. 978-0-9803829-8-3.
Get a feel for the game.

Murray, Peter. Soccer. Murray Books/Toots, 2010. $34.95. 978-0-9803131-7-8.

Murray, Peter. Basketball. Murray Books/Toots, 2010. $34.95. 978-0-9803829-9-0.

Murray, Peter. Memorable Moments in Baseball. Murray Books/Toots, 2010. $34.95. 978-0-9803131-1-6.
It’s out of the park.

Murrie, Steve and Matthew Murrie. Every Day on Earth. Illus. by Tom Bloom. Scholastic, 2011. $9.99. 978-0-545-29706-6.
2,740 miles of Twizzlers are made every day.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Curioddities. Scholastic, 2011. $12.99. 978-0-545-31654-5.
Off-the-wall facts like fingernails that are 33 feet long.

Scholastic. Ripley's Believe It or Not! Special Edition 2012. Scholastic, Inc./Ripley's Publishing, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-545-32975-0.
Strange but true!

Sherman, M. Zachary. Fighting Phantoms. Capstone, 2011. $18.99. 978-1-4342-2560-3.
Shot down behind enemy lines.

Shoket, Ann. Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Style: How to Find Your Perfect Look. Running Press, 2011. $19.95. 978-0-7624-4193-8.
What’s your look? Girly, glam, or indie?

Shoreline Publishing. Year in Sports 2012. Scholastic Paperbacks, 2011. $9.99. 9780545331500.
Big shots, big wins, and big buck$.

*Snider, Brandon T. DC Comics: The Ultimate Character Guide. DK, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-7566-8261-3.
From Aquaman to Wonder Woman.

Tebow, Tim. Through My Eyes: A Quarterback’s Journey. HarperCollins Publishers/Zondervan, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-310-72345-5.
Up-close and personal with a Heisman Trophy winner.

Tibballs, Geoff, Judy Barratt, and Sally McFall (eds). Ripley’s Believe it or Not!: Strikingly True. Ripley Entertainment, 2011. $28.95. 978-1-60991-000-6.
Unbelievably weird!

Willin, Melvyn, Dr. Monsters Caught on Film. David and Charles, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-7153-3774-5.
Real or not real? You decide.


50 Cent. Playground. Illus. by Lizzi Akana. Penguin Group/Razorbill, 2011. $17.99. 978-1-59514-434-8.
How a bully became an artist.

*Aguirre, Ann. Enclave. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-312-65008-7.
The fight to survive continues underground.

Barnholdt, Lauren. Sometimes it Happens. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2011. $16.99. 978-1-4424-1314-6.
Sometimes you fall for your best friend's boyfriend.

Beam, Cris. I am J. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-316-05361-7.
J was born a girl but feels like a boy.

Binns, B. A. Pull. WestSide Books, 2010. $16.95. 978-1-934813-43-0.
What happens after dad murders mom?

Blake, Kendare. Anna Dressed in Blood. Tom Doherty Associates/Tor Teen, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-7653-2865-6.
Cas kills the dead, it's his job.

*Booth, Coe. Bronxwood. Scholastic/Push, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-439-92534-1.
Too much pressure, too many choices, not enough options.

Brooks, Kevin. iBoy. Scholastic/The Chicken House, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-545-31768-9.
After Tom’s head-on collision with an iPhone, he’s out for revenge.

Brosgol, Vera. Anya's Ghost. Macmillan/First Second, 2011. $15.99. 978-1-59643-552-0.
Anya's new best friend is a ghost with a secret!

Busch, Jeff. Zombie High Yearbook '64. Sterling Publishing, 2011. $14.95. 978-1-4027-8471-2.
Not your typical yearbook.

Cerrito, Angela. The End of the Line. Holiday House, 2011. 17.95. 978-0-8234-2287-6.
Can Robbie change or will he be stuck in his own prison forever?

Dean, Carolee. Take Me There. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2010. $8.99. 978-1-4169-8950-9.
A father and son reunion on Death Row.

*Elkeles, Simone. Chain Reaction. Walker & Company, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-8027-2087-0.
Will Luis choose the girl or the gang?

Ford, Christopher. Stickman Odyssey: An Epic Doodle Book One. Penguin Group/Philomel, 2011. $12.99. 978-0-399-25426-0.
The Odyssey, like you’ve never seen it.

Gidwitz, Adam. A Tale Dark and Grimm. Penguin Group/Penguin Young Readers Group, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-525-42334-8.
Hansel goes to hell and Gretel slays a demon.

Greenman, Catherine. Hooked. Random House/Delacorte, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-385-74008-1.
Seventeen and pregnant. Where do you turn?

Harrington, Kim. Clarity. Scholastic/Point, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-545-23050-6.
One touch can solve a murder.

Harris, Carrie. Bad Taste in Boys. Random House/Delacorte, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-385-73968-9.
Can Katie save her town from a zombie virus AND land the hot boy?

Hopkins, Ellen. Perfect. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011. $18.99. 978-1-4169-8324-8.
What is the price of perfection?

Hunter, Travis. Two the Hard Way. Kensington/Dafina, 2010. $9.95. 978-0-7582-4250-1.
Two brothers, two paths.

Riders of the Apocalypse Series.

Kessler, Jackie Morse. Hunger. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Graphia, 2010. $8.99. 978-0-54-734124-8.
While battling anorexia, Lisabeth becomes Famine, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Kessler, Jackie Morse. Rage. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Graphia, 2011. $8.99. 978-0-547-44528-1.
Missy is a cutter, now she wields a larger blade as War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Kowalski, William. The Barrio Kings. Orca Book Publishers/Raven Books, 2010. $9.95. 978-1-55469-244-6.
Can you ever walk away?

Lancaster, Mike A. Human.4. Egmont, 2011. $16.99. 978-1-60684-099-3.
Alien invasion or something else?

Lewis, Stewart. You Have Seven Messages.  Random House/Delacorte Press, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-385-74028-9.
Was everything in Luna's life a lie?

Littman, Sarah Darer. Want to Go Private? Scholastic Press, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-545-15146-7.
Is Abby's online friend responsible for her disappearance?

Lore, Pittacus. I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1). HarperCollins Publishers/Harper, 2010. $17.99. 978-0-06-196955-3.
Numbers 1, 2, and 3 are dead. Now they are coming for number 4.

Lost Zombies. Dead Inside Do Not Enter: Notes from the Zombie Apocalypse. Chronicle Books, 2011. $19.95. 978-1-4521-0108-8.
All that remains are the notes they left behind.

Marcus, Kimberly. Exposed. Random House Children's Books, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-375-86693-7.
Who should Liz believe? Her best friend or her brother?

McClintock, Norah. She Said/She Saw. Orca, 2011. $12.95. 978-1-55469-335-1.
Two friends are dead. What did Tegan see?

McMann, Lisa. Cryer's Cross. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2011. $16.99. 978-1-4169-9481-7.
Missing teens and mysterious messages.

Mlynowski, Sarah. Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have). HarperCollins Publishers/HarperTeen, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-06-170124-5.
April's crazy junior year starts with one big lie.

Nelson, Blake. Recovery Road. Scholastic Press, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-545-10729-7.
Does rehab love work in real life?

Northrop, Michael. Trapped. Scholastic Press, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-545-21012-6.
Seven teens stranded. Who will survive?

*Patterson, James. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. Illus. by Lara Park and Chris Tebbets. Little, Brown and Company, 2011. $15.99. 978-0316101875.
It all started going wrong in middle school...

Peirce, Lincoln. Big Nate on a Roll. HarperCollins/Harper, 2011. $12.99. 978-0-06-194438-3.
Antics of a funny kid.

Proimos, James. 12 Things to Do Before You Crash and Burn. Roaring Book Press, 2011. $14.99. 978-1-56943-595-7.
The mission: find the unattainable and beautiful woman.

Reed, Amy. Clean. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2011. $16.99. 978-1-4424-1344-3.
Five teenagers in rehab.

Restrepo, Bettina. Illegal. HarperCollins Publishers/Katherine Tegen Books, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-06-195342-2.
Nora will do anything to find her father.

Roth, Veronica. Divergent. HarperCollins Publishers/Katherine Tegen Books, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-06-202402-2.
In a perfect world, being different can be deadly.

Rue, Ginger. Jump. Random House/Tricycle Press, 2010. $15.99. 978-1-58246-334-6.
A mean girl is about to get a taste of her own medicine.

Sanchez, Alex. Boyfriends with Girlfriends. Simon & Schuster, 2011. $16.99. 978-1-4169-3773-9.
Sergio and Kimiko, Lance and Allie—but who's attracted to whom?

Santat, Dan. Sidekicks. Scholastic, Inc./Arthur A. Levine Books, 2011. $12.99. 978-0-439-29819-3.
Captain Amazing is getting old and needs to choose a sidekick.

Urban Underground Series

Schraff, Anne. To Catch a Dream. Saddleback Educational, 2010. $8.95. 978-1-61651-269-9.
Able's job at the donut shop may be in jeopardy.

Schraff, Anne. The Unforgiven. Saddleback Educational, 2011. $8.95. 978-1-61651-586-7.
Can Naomi bring her family back together again?

Schraff, Anne. The Fairest. Saddleback Educational,2011. $8.95. 978-1-61651-007-7.
The girls at Tubman High will stop at nothing to win Princess of the Fair.

Schraff, Anne. The Quality of Mercy. Saddleback Educational, 2011. $8.95. 978-1-61651-006-0.
Alonee and Oliver investigate who is vandalizing the school.

Schraff, Anne. Wildflower. Saddleback Educational, 2010. $8.95. 978-1-61651-009-1.
Chelsea rebels against her father's rules.

Schraff, Anne. Dark Secrets. Saddleback Educational, 2010. $8.95. 978-1-61651-267-5.
Ernesto tries to save Naomi from her abusive boyfriend.

Schraff, Anne. Deliverance. Saddleback Educational, 2011. $8.95. 978-1-61651-587-4.
Naomi needs her job, but not her stalker boss.

Schraff, Anne. Leap of Faith. Saddleback Educational, 2011. $8.95. 978-1-61651-588-1.
Ernesto witnesses a robbery.

Schraff, Anne. The Lost. Saddleback Educational, 2011. $8.95. 978-1-61651-585-0.
Is Carmen’s new boyfriend in a gang?

Schraff, Anne. No Fear. Saddleback Educational, 2010. $8.95. 978-1-61651-268-2.
Naomi stands up to her abusive father.

Schraff, Anne. The Stranger. Saddleback Educational, 2010. $8.95. 978-1-61651-266-8.
Ernesto, the new boy at school, falls for Naomi.

Schraff, Anne. Time of Courage. Saddleback Educational, 2010. $8.95. 978-1-61651-270-5.
Will Ernesto do what's right for the Barrio?

Schraff, Anne. The Water's Edge. Saddleback Educational, 2011. $8.95. 978-1-61651-589-8.
Ernesto hopes for a better future after graduation.

Schroeder, Lisa. The Day Before. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2011. $16.99. 978-1-44241-743-4.
Amber and Cade each hope for one perfect day.

Schreiber, Joe. Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011. $16.99. 978-0-547-57738-8.
One exchange student + 1 borrowed Jaguar + 5 assassinations = 1 epic prom night

Shepard, Sara. The Lying Game. HarperCollins Publishers/HarperTeen, 2010. $16.99. 978-0-06-186970-9.
Your best friends just may be your enemies.

Smith, Alexander Gordon. Death Sentence (Escape From Furnace #3). Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011. $15.99. 978-0-374-32494-0.
Alex fights to keep his identity while transforming into what he hates most.

Springer, Kristina. My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010. $15.99. 978-0-374-39910-8.
Tell me about your boyfriend.

Strasnick, Lauren. Her and Me and You. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2010. $16.99. 978-1-4169-8266-1.
Caught between a brother and a sister.

Summers, Courtney. Fall For Anything. Macmillan/St. Martin's Griffin, 2010. $9.99. 978-0-312-65673-7.
Eddie has unanswered questions about her father’s suicide.

*TenNapel, Doug. Ghostopolis. Scholastic, Inc./Graphix, 2010. $24.99. 978-0-545-21027-0.
Garth finds a new reason to live in the land of the dead.

Bluford Series

Folan, Karyn Langhorne. Breaking Point. Townsend Press, 2011. $4.95. 978-1-59194-232-0.
When trouble hits at home for Vicki, everything boils over.

Folan, Karyn Langhorne. Pretty Ugly. Townsend Press, 2011. $4.95. 978-1-59194-233-7.
Some girls will do anything to get on the cheer team.

Kern, Peggy. The Test. Townsend Press, 2011. $4.95. 978-159194-234-4.
Can Liselle handle being a mother at sixteen?

Various Authors: Night Fall Series

Atwood, Megan. Last Desserts. Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.95. 978-0-7613-7811-2.
Can Ella use her baking skills to save herself and her best friend?

Carr, Elias. The Combination. Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.95. 978-0-7613-7810-5.
The wrong locker combination can send you straight to hell!

Jasper, Rick. The Late Bus.  Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.95. 978-0-7613-7812-9.
Is the new school bus driver dead?

Harris, Ashley Rae. The Prank. Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.99. 978-0-7613-7814-3.
Who’s next when practical jokes turn deadly?

Hoblin, Paul. Foul. Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.95. 978-0-7613-7813-6.
Can Rhino make the shot when lives depend on it?

Surviving South Side Series

Fontes, Justine. Benito Runs.  Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.95. 978-0-7613-6165-7.
Benny's father returns from Iraq with PTSD.

Korman, Susan. Bad Deal. Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.95. 978-0-7613-6166-4.
Everyone wants what Fish is selling.

Simon, Charnan. Shattered Star. Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.95. 2011. 978-0-7613-6168-8.
How far will Cassie go for fame?

Simon, Charnan. Plan B. 2011. Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.95. 978-0-7613-6163-3.
When Lucy gets pregnant, will Luke do the right thing?

Weyn, Suzanne. Beaten. 2011. Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.95. 978-0-7613-6164-0.
Paige's “perfect” boyfriend is not so perfect.

Weyn, Suzanne. Recruited. Lerner Publishing Group/Darby Creek, 2011. $7.95. 978-0-7613-6167-1.
Are the offers too good to be true?

Van Cleave, Ryan G. Unlocked. Bloomsbury Publishing/Walker Books for Young Readers, 2011. $15.99. 978-0-8027-2186-0.
Will Alex betray his best friend?

Vrettos, Adrienne Maria. Burnout. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011. $16.99. 978-1-4169-9469-5.
Halloween nightmare or reality?

Wells, Robison. Variant. HarperCollins Publishers/HarperTeen, 2011. $17.99. 978-0-06-20260-8-8.
Playing by the rules can be deadly.

Wilkerson, Lili. Pink. HarperCollins Publishers /HarperTeen, 2011. $16.99. 978-0061926532.
New school, new friends, new look.