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ALA/YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

Boy Meets Boy

By: David Levithan

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the...

Legacy

By: Tom Sniegoski

What if you found out your deadbeat father is a superhero? Would you leave your small-town life to take up the mantle of a father you never knew? For 18-year-old Lucas, the choice is an easy one: he's...

Wonder

By: R. J. Palacio

The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that has captivated over 1 million readers.I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born...


Skate

By: Michael Harmon

There’s not much keeping Ian McDermott in Spokane, but at least it’s home. He’s been raising Sammy practically on his own ever since their mom disappeared again on one of her binges....

Tattoo

By: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bailey Morgan isn't the type of girl who shows a lot of skin, but somehow, she ends up in a dressing room at the mall with her friend Delia applying a temporary tattoo to her lower back. Never one to suffer...

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, Book One)

By: James Dashner

Read the first book in the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent. The Maze Runner motion picture featuring the star of MTV's Teen Wolf,...


Spirit and Dust

By: Rosemary Clement-Moore

   Fans of Veronica Mars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer will love Daisy Goodnight--she can speak to the dead. It’s not the result of a head injury or some near-death experience. She was just...

Kindness for Weakness

By: Shawn Goodman

“In the spirit of [Walter Dean Myers’s] Monster meeting  The Catcher in the Rye, Goodman’s masterful story will remain with the reader long after the last page,...

Burning Up

By: Caroline B. Cooney

This bestselling author explores the destructive nature of hatred, the crime of indifference, and the power of accepting love and responsibility.Fifteen-year-old Macey Clare has always loved her quiet,...


Soldier's Heart

By: Gary Paulsen

In June 1861, when the Civil War began, Charley Goddard enlisted in the First Minnesota Volunteers. He was 15. He didn't know what a "shooting war" meant or what he was fighting for. But he didn't...

Holes

By: Louis Sachar

This winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award features Stanley Yelnats, a kid who is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather...

Nightmare

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Emily has never fit in her overachieving family. Instead of getting straight As, she sits in the back row and hides behind her hair. As a result, her parents have enrolled her at Camp Excel—an academic...


Gated

By: Amy Christine Parker

A fast-paced, nerve-fraying contemporary thriller that questions loyalties and twists truths.   Appearances can be deceiving.   Lyla Hamilton is a loyal member of the Community. Her family was...

Wrestling Sturbridge

By: Rich Wallace

The critics' votes are in--Wrestling Sturbridge is a winner!  Now available in rack-sized paperback.

Party Girl

By: Lynne Ewing

The room smells of sweat, smoke, beer, and longing.The music pulses, the lights flash, and Kata and Ana dance. For a moment the raucous crowd is tamed, and together the two girls soar above their lives....


Flush

By: Carl Hiaasen

Bestselling novelist Carl Hiaasen is back with another hysterical mystery adventure for young readers, set in the Florida Keys. You know it's going to be a rough summer when you spend Father's Day visiting...

The Five Ancestors Book 1: Tiger

By: Jeff Stone

Twelve-year-old Fu and his temple brothers Malao, Seh, Hok, and Long don’t know who their parents were. Raised from infancy by their grandmaster, they think of their temple as their home and their...

The Five Ancestors Book 2: Monkey

By: Jeff Stone

At 11-years-old, Malao is the youngest of the Five Ancestors. Master of the monkey fighting style, he’s curious and quick, fast and fun-loving. But now, with the destruction of the temple and the...


The Five Ancestors Book 4: Crane

By: Jeff Stone

Hok, a crane-style Kung Fu master, is also a master at hiding. For the past 12 years, she has hidden the fact that she is a girl. Now her rogue brother, Ying, and his army have placed a huge price on her...

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

By: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

The New York Times bestselling he-said/she-said rock n’ roll romance that inspired the motion picture starring Michael Cera (Juno, Arrested Development) and Kat Dennings (Thor, TV’s 2 Broke...

Brutal

By: Michael Harmon

With her martyr-doctor mother gone to save lives in some South American country, Poe Holly suddenly finds herself on the suburban doorstep of the father she never knew, who also happens to be a counselor...


Peanut

By: Ayun Halliday
illustrated by: Paul Hoppe

"A smart, affecting graphic young adult novel," declares the New York Times.Before you write me off as a delusional psycho, think about what it's like to be thrown into a situation where everyone knows...

Brian's Winter

By: Gary Paulsen

In Hatchet, 13-year-old Brian Robeson learned to survive alone in the Canadian wilderness, armed only with his hatchet. He was rescued at the end of the summer. Brian's Winterbegins where Hatchet might...

Brian's Return

By: Gary Paulsen

As millions of readers of Hatchet, The River, and Brian's Winter know, Brian Robeson survived alone in the wilderness by finding solutions to extraordinary challenges. But now that's he's back in civilization,...


The Eye of Minds (Mortality Doctrine, Book One)

By: James Dashner

   From James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series that's soon to be a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox, comes an all-new, edge-of-your seat...

Starters

By: Lissa Price

 “Readers who have been waiting for a worthy successor to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games will find it here. Dystopian sci-fi at its best, Starters is a terrific series kickoff with...

The Haunting

By: Joan Lowery Nixon

Fifteen-year-old Lia comes from a long line of courageous women, dating back to a Civil War survivor who single-handedly saved her Louisiana plantation house, Graymoss, from destruction. But Graymoss is...


In the Middle of the Night

By: Robert Cormier

Eight years before Denny Colbert was born, his father was involved in a tragic accident that killed 22 children. Now Denny is 16, and all he wants is to be like other kids his age. But he isn't allowed...

Heroes

By: Robert Cormier

Francis Joseph Cassavant is eighteen. He has just returned home from the Second World War, and he has no face. He does have a gun and a mission: to murder his childhood hero.Francis lost most of his face...

In the Forests of the Night

By: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

By day, Risika sleeps in a shaded room in Concord, Massachusetts. By night, she hunts the streets of New York City. She is used to being alone. But someone is following Risika. He has left her a black...


Love and Other Four-Letter Words

By: Carolyn Mackler

With her parents splitting up, 16-year-old Sammie Davis may not want to feel a thing, but feelings happen. For starters, she’s plenty angry. Her dad’s leaving their upstate New York home and...

Demon in My View

By: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Though nobody at her high school knows it, Jessica is a published author. Her vampire novel, Tiger, Tiger, has just come out under the pen name Ash Night. Now two new students have just arrived in Ramsa,...

Shattered Mirror

By: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

To the casual observer, Christopher Ravena and Sarah Vida look like normal high school students. But he’s a vampire who has sworn off human blood, and she’s a witch, a daughter of the most...


Midnight Predator

By: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Though she was once a happy teenager with a wonderful family and a full life, Turquoise Draka is now a hunter. In a deadly world of vampires, shapeshifters, and mercenaries, she’ll track any prey...

Breathless

By: Lurlene McDaniel

This moving and charged novel by Lurlene McDaniel, the bestselling author of inspirational fiction for young adults, presents ethical as well as moral dilemmas and explores the harsh reality of making...

No Easy Answers

By: Donald R. Gallo

This anthology features stories about individuals who find themselves in situations that test their strength of character. They are called upon to make moral choices, face the consequences of their actions,...


The Schernoff Discoveries

By: Gary Paulsen

Harold Schernoff, 14-year-old science whiz and social nerd, has a theory for every problem, from dating, to bullies, to making money, to sports, to how to buy a car when you're underage. When he and his...

My Life in Dog Years

By: Gary Paulsen
with drawings by: Ruth Wright Paulsen

Gary Paulsen has owned dozens of unforgettable and amazing dogs. In each chapter he tells of one special dog, among them Cookie, the sled dog who saved his life; Snowball, the puppy he owned as a boy in...

The Wreckers

By: Iain Lawrence

There was once a village bred by evil. On the barren coast of Cornwall, England, lived a community who prayed for shipwrecks, a community who lured storm-tossed ships to crash upon the sharp rocks of their...


The Smugglers

By: Iain Lawrence

"Steer clear of that ship," warns the mysterious gentleman who shares a coach with John and his father. "Death she'll bring you," says the man. "It's the way of a ship that was...

Harmless

By: Dana Reinhardt

Best friends Emma, Anna, and Mariah are out doing something they shouldn't. They make up a story so they won't get in trouble at home. It seems like the easy way out. What happens next challenges their...

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl

By: Tanya Lee Stone

Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva all get mixed up with a senior boy–a cool, slick, sexy boy who can talk them into doing almost anything he wants. In a blur of high school hormones and personal doubt,...


The Girl Death Left Behind

By: Lurlene McDaniel

Readers will be touched and inspired by this latest novel from bestselling author Lurlene McDaniel:Beth's world has been torn apart.  She cannot figure out how to go on when a car accident claims...

It's a Girl Thing: How to Stay Healthy, Safe and in Charge

By: Mavis Jukes

The highly acclaimed girls' guide to adolescence by a Newbery Honor-winning author is now available in a rack-sized paperback edition. Reviewers were unanimous in their praise for this useful and important...

The Guy Book

By: Mavis Jukes

Mavis Jukes is the queen of girl talk, but this time she’s set her sights on the guys. Told in the author’s usual straightforward, funny, favorite-aunt style, The Guy Book delivers sound information...