2013 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 2013 list features 65 titles and 3 series; the committee also selected a top ten list, denoted here by an asterisk.

“Our committee found something for everyone,” said Chair Rebecca Jackman. “Humor, romance, action, mystery, zombie, realism; they are all on our list. Our list is as varied as our teens.”

Members of the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Committee are: Rebecca Jackman, chair, New Providence Middle School, Clarksville, TN; Anita Buers, Cypress High School, Orange, CA; Adrienne Butler, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City, OK; Louise Capizzo, Scarborough Public Library, Scarborough, ME; Derek Ivie, Epiphany Library, New York, NY; Stacy Lickteig, Omaha Public Schools, Omaha, NE; Jackie Parker, Sno-Isle Libraries, Lynnwood, WA; Ann Pechacek, Worthington Libraries, Columbus, OH; Dr. Karin Perry, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX; Jessica Smith, Bend Senior High School, Bend, OR; Ellen Spring, Rockland District Middle School, Thomaston, ME; and Elizabeth Frerking, administrative assistant, Clarksville High School, Clarksville, TN.


Andrews, Jesse. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Abrams/Amulet Books, 2012, 978-1419701764, $16.95.

Meet Greg: an aspiring wallflower and part-time moviemaker. Meet Earl: Greg's best friend who will round kick you in the head if you mention his height. Meet Rachel: the dying girl.

Atwood, Megan. The Paranormalists. Series.

Case 1: The Haunting in Apt. 101. Lerner Publishing Group, Inc/Darby Creek, 2012, 978-0761383321, $27.93.

Does Emily have a poltergeist?

Case 2: The Terror of Black Eagle Tavern. Lerner Publishing Group, Inc/Darby Creek, 2012, 978-0761383338, $27.93.

Todd’s family business will have to close if Jinx can’t solve the case.

Case 3: The Mayhem on Mohawk Avenue. Lerner Publishing Group, Inc/Darby Creek, 2012, 978-0761383345, $27.93.

There is only room for one team of paranormalists in Portland.

Case 4: The Bridge of Death. Lerner Publishing Group, Inc/Darby Creek, 2012, 978-0761383352, $27.93

Is it suicide or supernatural?

Bick, Ilsa J. Ashes. Egmont USA, 2011, 978-1606841754, $16.99.

You’re either dead, alive, or a cannibal.

Blake, Kendare. Girl of Nightmares. Tor Teen, 2012, 978-0765328663, $17.99.

What happened to Anna?

Bodeen, S.A. The Raft. Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2012, 978-0312650100, $16.99.

Stranded on a raft in the Pacific Ocean with only a bag of Skittles. How much worse can it get?

Brooks, Kevin. Johnny Delgado: Private Detective. Stoke Books, 2012, 978-1781121160, $22.60.

Johnny Delgado takes his first case as a private detective, but is he in over his head?

Brown, Jeffrey. Darth Vader and Son. Chronicle Books, 2012, 978-1452106557, $14.95.

The lighter side of Darth.

Crawford, Brent. Carter’s Unfocused, One-Track Mind. Hyperion Books, 2012, 978-1423144458, $16.99.

Girls. Fight club. Girls. Football. Girls.

Damico, Gina. Croak. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Graphia, 2012, 978-0547608327, $8.99.

What if being a Grim Reaper was suddenly your summer job?

Devine, Eric. Tap Out. Running Press Kids, 2012, 978-0762445691, $9.95.

From the trailer park to the MMA cage.

Doller, Trish. Something Like Normal. Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2012, 978-1599908441, $16.99.

Home from Afghanistan, the conflicts continue.

Fukuda, Andrew. The Hunt. Macmillan/St. Martin's Griffin, 2012, 978-1427222084, $17.99.

When being human will get you hunted down, Gene has mastered the art being something he is not.

Halliday, Gemma . Deadly Cool. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, 2011, 978-0062003317, $8.99.

Hartley finds a dead body in her boyfriend’s closet.

Halliday, Gemma . Social Suicide (Deadly Cool). HarperCollins/HarperTeen, 2012, 978-0062003324, $8.99.

Hartley stumbles onto another murder, this time it's the favorite to win Homecoming Queen.

*Henry, April. The Night She Disappeared. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers /Christy Ottaviano Books, 2012, 978-0805092622, $16.99.

When Kayla is sent out to deliver the pizzas, she never returns. . .

Hopkins, Ellen. Tilt. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2012, 978-1416983309,$18.99.

Love has consequences.

Jordan, Dream. Bad Boy. Macmillan/St. Martin's Griffin, 2012, 978-0312549978, $9.99.

Taken from her foster family and placed back into a group home, Kate thinks she has found a champion in her boyfriend Percy.

Keplinger, Kody. A Midsummer’s Nightmare. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers /Poppy, 2012, 978-0316084222, $17.99.

Whitley’s father is marrying is marrying the mother of a boy she hooked up with at a graduation party.

Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel. Illus., Amulet Books, 2012, 978-1419705847, $13.95.

Who will have a date for the dance, Greg or Rowley?

Lacey, Josh. Island of Thieves. Houghton Mifflin, 2012, 978-0547763279, $15.99.

Buried treasure, villains, cars, and conflict—what more does a story need?

Laybourne, Emmy. Monument 14. Feiwel and Friends, 2012, 978-0312569037, $16.99.

14 kids, biological weapons, and a superstore.

Lorentz, Dayna. No Safety in Numbers. Penguin/Dial, 2012, 978-0803738737, $17.99.

Quarantined in a mall. How do you survive?

*Lyga, Barry. I Hunt Killers. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012, 978-0316125840, $17.99.

Just because your father a notorious serial killer, doesn’t mean you’re one too, does it?

*Lynch, Chris. Vietnam. Series.

Vietnam #1: I Pledge Allegiance Scholastic Press, 2011, 978-0545270298, $16.99.

Morris pledges to keep his friends safe in the war zone, but can he save himself?

Vietnam #2: Sharpshooter Scholastic Press, 2012, 978-0545270267, $16.99.

Ivan was made for war.

Vietnam #3: Free-Fire Zone Scholastic Press, 2012, 978-0545270250, $16.99.

Rudi will never be the same.

McClintock, Norah. Guilty. Ocra Book Publishers, 2012, 978-1554699896, $12.95.

The more Finn uncovers, the more questions he has.

McDaniel, Lurlene. Red Heart Tattoo. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2012, 978038573422, $15.99.

A bomb explodes in a high school. Who is to blame?

McDowell, Beck. This is Not a Drill. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012, 978-0399257940, $17.99.

A class held hostage by a gunman.

McGarry, Katie. Pushing the Limits. Harlequin/Harlequin Teen, 2012, 978-0373210497, $17.99.

Is Noah the boy to show Echo how to love again?

McMann, Lisa. Dead To You. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division/Simon Pulse, 2012, 978-1442403888, $16.99.

After being kidnapped years earlier, Ethan struggles to find his place.

*McNeil, Gretchen. Ten. Balzer + Bray, 2012, 978-0062118783, $17.99.

Someone’s killing them, one by one.

Monsen, Avery; John, Jory. All My Friends are Still Dead. Illus., Chronicle Books, 2012, 978-1452106960, $9.95.

Being extinct is hard.

Morel, Alex. Survive. Razorbill, 2012, 978-1595145109, $17.99.

Jane’s suicide plan is ruined when her plane crashes.

O'Connor, George. Olympians: Hades: Lord of the Dead. Illus., Roaring Book Press/First Second, 2012, 978-1596434349, $9.99.

Hades and Kore can’t handle their personal problems.

Patrick, Cat. Revived. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012, 978-0316094627, $17.99.

Cats aren’t the only ones with nine lives. Daisy’s on her fifth.

Price, Lissa. Starters. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2012, 978-0385742375, $17.99.

In order to survive in a future world, Callie allows old people to inhabit her body.

Ross, Jeff. Dawn Patrol. Orca Book Publishers, 2012, 978-1459800625, $9.95.

Will Luca and Esme find Kevin in the waves of Panama?

Ryan, Amy Kathleen. Glow. Macmillan/St. Martin's Griffin, 2011, 978-0312590567, $17.99.

They left Earth to colonize a new planet, but things have gone wrong.

Ryan, Tom. Way to Go. Orca Book Publishers, 2012, 978-1459800779, $12.95.

Wild child, Lisa, helps Danny come to terms with his love of men and cooking.

Shan, Darren. Zom-B. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012, 978-0316214407,$14.99.

Who is the bigger monster-Dad or the zombies?

Springer, Nancy. My Sister's Stalker. Holiday House, 2012, 978-0823423583, $16.95.

Are the pictures of his sister from a secret admirer or a stalker?

Stones, Greg. Zombies Hate Stuff. Illus., Chronicle Books, 2012, 978-1452107400, $9.95.

Get to know the likes, loves and dislikes of your favorite undead friends.

*Summers, Courtney. This is Not a Test. Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin, 2012, 978-0312656744, $9.99.

Six teens are trapped inside a school during the zombie apocalypse.

TenNapel, Doug. Cardboard. GRAPHIX, 2012, 978-0545418737, $12.99.

A cardboard box is a terrible birthday present until it comes to life.

*Tillit, L.B. Unchained. Saddleback Publishing/Gravel Road, 2012, 978-1616517922, $9.95.

Born into a family of drug addicts, TJ finds himself struggling to stay alive.

Travel Team. Series.

Fehler, Gene. Forced Out Lerner Publishing Group, Inc/Darby Creek, 2012, 978-0761383215, $27.93.

Zack wonders why the new kid on the team is getting special treatment.

Glaser, Jason. The Prospect Lerner Publishing Group, Inc/Darby Creek, 2012, 978-0761383253, $27.93.

Nick has to decide what is important-his career or the team.

Higgens, M. G. Power Hitter Lerner Publishing Group, Inc/Darby Creek, 2012, 978-0761383246, $27.93.

Playing ball with wooden bats causes Sammy to consider steroids.

Jasper, Rick. The Catch Lerner Publishing Group, Inc/Darby Creek, 2012, 978-0761383208, $27.93.

Danny takes advantage of his newfound fame.

Jasper, Rick. Out of Control Lerner Publishing Group, Inc/Darby Creek, 2012, 978-0761383239, $27.93.

Will Trip’s love of music hurt his baseball career?

Karre, Andrew. High Heat Lerner Publishing Group, Inc/Darby Creek, 2012, 978-0761383222, $27.93.

Seth’s surgery has unforeseen consequences.

Van Tol, Alex. Shallow Grave. Orca Book Publishers, 2012, 978-1459802025. $9.95.

What happens when you accidently unleash a dark force?

Volponi, Paul. The Final Four. Penguin Group (USA) Inc./Viking, 2012, 978-0670012640, $16.99.

It all comes down to the last two seconds of the game.

Williams, Carol Lynch. Waiting. Simon & Schuster, 2012, 978-1442443532, $16.99.

When Zach dies, the family falls apart.

*Woodson, Jacqueline. Beneath a Meth Moon: An Elegy. Penguin Group (USA) Inc./Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012, 978-0399252501, $16.99.

Laurel’s heartbreak triggers her downward spiral into destruction.


*Backderf, Derf. My Friend Dahmer. Illus., Abrams/Abrams ComicArts, 2012, 978-1419702167, $24.95.

Meet Jeffrey Dahmer before he became a serial killer.

Bender, Mike; Chernack, Doug. Awkward Family Pet Photos. Illus., Random House/Three River Press, 2011, 978-0307888129, $15.00.

Family portraits are awkward. Family pet portraits are hilarious.

Briggs, Amy. Angry Birds Space: A Furious Flight into the Final Frontier. Illus., National Geographic, 2012, 978-1426209925, $13.95.

Angry Birds meet NASA.

Brooks, Stacey Leigh. Diary of Creepy-Ass Dolls. Illus., Krause Publications, 2012, 978-1440230301, $12.99.

These are the dolls that nightmares are made of.

failblog.org community. Fail Harder:Ridiculous Illustrations of Epic Fails. Illus., Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2011, 978-1449403072, $12.99.

When things go hilariously wrong.

Halls, Kelly Milner. Alien Investigation: Searching for the Truth About UFOs and Aliens. Illus., Lerner Publishing Group Inc./Millbrook Press, 2012, 978-0761362043, $20.95.

Are they out there?

Jenkins, Beverly. Photobombed!: Making Bad Pictures Great and Good Pictures Awesomely Bad. Illus., Sourcebooks, 2012, 978-1402271199, $12.99.

A guaranteed double-take!

John, Jory and Monsen, Avery. K is for Knifeball: An Alphabet of Terrible Advice. Illus., Chronicle Books, 2012, 978-1452103310, $9.95.

Not your typical alphabet book.

Johnson, Rich. The Ultimate Survival Manual: 333 Skills That Will Get You Out Alive. Illust., Weldon Owen, 2012, 978-1616284312, $39.95. PBK. Weldon Owen, 978-1616282189, $25.00.

Epic guide to keep you alive.

Kyi, Tanya Lloyd. Seeing Red: The True Story of Blood. Illus., Rolston, Steve. Annick Press, 2012, 978-1554513857, S22.95. PBK Annick Press, 978-1554513840, $14.95.

Everything there is to know about blood.

Marciuliano, Francesco. I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats. Illus., Chronicle Books, 2012, 978-1452110585, $12.95.

Cats can be poets, too.

National Geographic. Weird But True! Stupid Criminals: 100 Brainless Baddies Busted, plus Wacky Facts. Illus., National Geographic, 2012, 978-1426308611, $7.95.

What were they thinking?

Nemtin, Ben; Lingwood, Dave; Penn, Duncan; Penn, Jonnie. What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?. Illus., Workman Publishing/Artisan, 2012, 978-1579654764, $9.95.

Everyone needs a bucket list.

Patenaude, Jeremy. Halo: The Essential Visual Guide. Illus., Dorling Kindersley, 2011, 978-0756675929, $16.99.

An A-Z guide to the HALO universe.

Raatma, Lucia. The Science of Soldiers. Illus., Capstone/Compass Point Books, 2012, 978-0756545260, $8.95.

Weapons, soldiers, and technology.

*Rodriguez, Gaby; Glatzer, Jenna. The Pregnancy Project: A Memoir. Simon & Schuster Inc./Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2012, 978-1442446229, $17.99.

Memoir of a faked pregnancy.

Ross, Richard. Juvenile in Justice. Illus., Richard Ross, 2012, 978-0985510602, $29.95.

Inside juvie.

Shoket, Ann. Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Beauty: The Best Hair, Skin, Nails & Makeup Ideas for You. Illus., Running Press, 2012, 978062445240, $19.95.

The title says it all!

Wasdin, Howard E.; Templin, Stephen. I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior: Memoirs of an American Soldier. Macmillan/St. Martin's Griffin, 2012, 978-1250016430, $8.99.

When the Navy sends their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six.