2016 Quick Picks For Reluctant Young Adult Readers

The Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list is created by the Young Adult Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.  Books are chosen that teens, ages 12-18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure.


dead girls of hysteria hall

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
Murdered by a spirit in her house, which was previously an insane asylum, sixteen-year-old Cordelia wanders the house, meeting other trapped ghosts and learning the houses dark secrets, searching for a way to save her family, and perhaps herself.

red queen

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
When her latent supernatural powers manifest in front of a noble court, Mare, a thief in a world divided between commoners and superhumans, is forced to assume the role of lost princess before risking everything to help a growing rebellion.

the darkest part of the forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
In the town of Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side, a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives awakes after generations of sleep in a glass coffin in the woods, causing Hazel to be swept up in new love, shift her loyalties, feel the fresh sting of betrayal, and to make a secret sacrifice to the faerie king.

the iron trial

The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Warned away from magic all of his life, Callum endeavors to fail the trials that would admit him to the Magisterium only to be drawn into its ranks against his will and forced to confront dark elements from his past.

the scorpion rules

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
In order to keep the peace, an artificial intelligence called Talis takes the children of world leaders hostage because if any leader starts a war their child will be killed. Things get shaken up when a new hostage named Elián doesn't accept the system and shows duchess and crown princess Greta the truth about the world they live in.


Need by Joelle Charbonneau
In this exploration of the dark side of social media, and government control and manipulation, the teenagers in a small town are drawn deeper and deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need--regardless of the consequences.


Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
After shunning Jaime, the school nerd, on her first day at a new middle school, Penelope Torres tries to blend in with her new friends in the art club, until the art club goes to war with the science club, of which Jaime is a member.

welcome to gotham academy

Gotham Academy 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan
The new school year at Gotham Academy is not going well for Olive Silverlock, with a ghost haunting the campus and a secret society conducting bizarre rituals, but worst of all is when she is assigned to be a guide to Maps, her ex's kid sister.

the isle of the lost

The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
Imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost, the teenaged children of Disney's most evil villains search for a dragon's eye--the key to true darkness and the villains' only hope of escape.

the rig

The Rig by Joe Ducie
Fifteen-year-old Will Drake has made a career of breaking out from high-security prisons. His talents have landed him at the Rig, a specialist juvenile holding facility in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. No one can escape from the Rig. No one except for Drake.

boys don't knit in public

Boys Don’t Knit (in Public) by T.S. Easton
After a brush with the law, Ben, a dyed-in-the-wool worrier, must take up a new hobby and chooses knitting, an activity at which he excels but must try to keep secret from his friends, enemies, and sports-obsessed father.

moving target

Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Twelve-year-old Cassie Arroyo is a student in Rome, but her life changes when a secret organization, the Hastati, shoots her father--and she learns that she is a member of an ancient bloodline that enables her to use the Spear of Destiny, a legendary object that can alter the future.

code of honor

Code of Honor by Alan Gratz
When Iranian-American Kamran Smith learns that his big brother, Darius, has been labelled a terrorist, he sets out to piece together the codes and clues that will save his brother's life and his country from a deadly terrorist attack.

making the cut

Making the Cut by Margaret Gurevich
In this compilation of four separately published books, sixteen-year-old Chloe Montgomery gets a chance to travel from Santa Cruz to New York City to compete in Teen Design Diva, a competitive game show for aspiring teenage fashion designers.


Stick by Michael Harmon
Stick, a star football player who's become disenchanted with the game, becomes friends with Preston, a nerdy kid who fights crime by night.


Promposal by Rhonda Helms
Camilla hopes her secret crush, Benjamin, might ask her to prom but feels pressured into accepting the invitation of a casual acquaintance, and Joshua has worked up the courage to ask his best friend, Ethan, to be his date when Ethan asks his help in crafting the perfect "promposal" for another boy.

skink no surrender

Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
With the help of an eccentric ex-governor, a teenaged boy searches for his missing cousin in the Florida wilds.


Tracers by J.J. Howard
Cam is a New York City bike messenger with no family or strings attached to anyone, but when he meets a mysterious stranger and is pulled into her dangerous world of parkour, he is torn between following his heart and sacrificing everything to pay off his debts.

roller girl

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
A graphic novel adventure about a girl who discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart.

read between the lines

Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles
A collection of interrelated stories follow nine teens and one teacher through a seemingly ordinary day, with uncertainties, traumas, heartbreak, and revenge.

scarlett undercover

Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham
Scarlett, a sixteen-year-old private detective in the fictional city of Las Almas, finds herself at the center of a mysterious case--involving ancient curses, priceless artifacts, and jinn--as she discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks.


Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. It takes a horrifyingly wrong turn when the gig becomes an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu.


Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee
As seventeen-year-old Carr 'the Raptor' Luka rises to fame in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, he learns a devastating secret that jeopardizes not only his future in the sport, but interplanetary relations.

the novice

The Novice by Taran Matharu
When Fletcher, a blacksmith's apprentice, learns he can summon demons, he travels with his demon to an academy for adepts where he is to train as a Battlemage in the Empire's war against the orcs, but he discovers that all is not as it seems.


Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Sixteen-year-old Willowdean wants to prove to everyone in her small Texas town that she is more than just a fat girl, so, while grappling with her feelings for a co-worker who is clearly attracted to her, Will and some other misfits prepare to compete in the beauty pageant her mother runs.

silence of six

The Silence of Six by E.C. Myers
"What is the Silence of Six, and what are you going to do about it?" These are the last words uttered by 17-year-old Max Stein's best friend Evan just moments before he kills himself after hacking into the live-streaming Presidential debate at their high school. Haunted by the unforgettable image of Evan's death, Max's entire world is upended as he suddenly finds himself the target of a corporate-government witch-hunt. Fearing for his life and fighting for his own innocence, Max goes on the run with no one to trust and too many unanswered questions.

ares bringer of war

Ares: Bringer of War by George O’Connor
Retells in graphic novel format the story from Greek mythology of Ares' role in the Trojan War and his competition with Athena.


Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
When the murals painted on the walls of her Brooklyn neighborhood start to change and fade in front of her, Sierra Santiago realizes that something strange is going on--then she discovers her Puerto Rican family are shadowshapers and finds herself in a battle with an evil anthropologist for the lives of her family and friends.

pretending to be erica

Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud
Violet has been preparing her entire life to step into the shoes of the missing heiress Erica Silverman, in order to pull off the biggest inside job in Las Vegas history. She doesn't count on having a conscience.

i am princess x

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Years after writing stories about a superheroine character she created with a best friend who died in a tragic car accident, sixteen-year-old May is shocked to see stickers, patches, and graffiti images of the superheroine appearing around Seattle.

the sword of summer

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Magnus Chase, a homeless boy living in Boston, finds out he is the son of a Norse god.

written in the stars

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
Naila's vacation to visit relatives in Pakistan turns into a nightmare when she discovers her parents want to force her to marry a man she's never met.

geek girl

Geek Girl by Holly Smale
When she is accidentally discovered by a modeling agent, fifteen-year-old Harriet jumps at the chance to transform herself from a geek to a fashion model.

junior braves of the apocalypse

Junior Braves of the Apocalypse: A Brave Is Brave by Greg Smith
Returning from a camping trip to find that mutant zombies have overrun their town, the Junior Braves use teamwork and their scouting talents to search for their families as they struggle to survive the end of the world.


Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
Best friends Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley spend a fun summer at Lumberjane scout camp where they encounter yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons while solving a mystery that holds the fate of the world in the balance.


Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Lord Blackheart, a villain with a vendetta, and his sidekick, Nimona, an impulsive young shapeshifter, must prove to the kingdom that Sir Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.


Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

the dogs

The Dogs by Allan Stratton
Cameron and his mom have been on the run for five years. His father is hunting them. At least, that's what Cameron's been told. When they settle in an isolated farmhouse, Cameron starts to see and hear things that aren't possible. Soon he's questioning everything he thought he knew -- including his own sanity. What's hiding in the night? Buried in the past? Cameron must uncover the dark secrets before they tear him apart.

unlikely hero of room 13b

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten
Adam not only is trying to understand his OCD, while trying to balance his relationship with his divorced parents, but he's also trying to navigate through the issues that teenagers normally face, namely the perils of young love.


Duplicity by N.K. Traver
When seventeen-year-old Brandon, a tattooed bad boy skilled in computer hacking, is sucked into a digital hell and replaced with a preppy Stepford-esque clone, his life and sanity rest on the shoulders of a classy girl he never thought he would fall for.

slasher girls & monster boys

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke
Inspired by classic tales and films, a collection of fourteen short stories ranging from bloody horror, to psychological thrillers, to supernatural creatures, to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, by acclaimed YA authors of every genre.

the woods

The Woods 1: The Arrow by James Tynion
On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness.

survive the night

Survive the Night by Danielle Vega
Fresh out of rehab for oxycodone addiction, Casey and some of her friends attend an all-night rave called Survive the Night in the New York City subway, and find themselves fighting for their lives because drugs are not the only danger here--something is using the rave to attract victims, and some of them will not be coming back.

ms marvel: crushed

Ms. Marvel 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson
Ms. Marvel crashes the school Valentine's Day dance in order to thwart Loki, the Asgardian trickster god.

everything everything

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
The story of a teenage girl who's literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she's ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.




F in Exams: Pop Quiz: All Newly Awesomely Wrong Test Answers by Richard Benson


Conversation Sparks: Trivia Worth Talking About by Ryan Chapman


Have a Little Pun: An Illustrated Plays on Words by Frida Clements

the terrorist's son

The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice by Zak Ebrahim
The author discusses his life as the son of a terrorist and how he came to reject his father's ideology and embrace the path of nonviolence.

puppy love

Puppy Love: True Stories of Doggy Devotion by Lisa M. Gerry
A heartwarming collection of true stories explores themes of canine playfulness, friendship, heroism and loyalty and is complemented by uplifting National Geographic photography.


99 Problems: Superstars Have Bad Days Too by Ali Graham

poisoned apple

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann
Christine Heppermann's powerful collection of free verse poems explore how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, their friends--as consumers, as objects, as competitors. Based on classic fairy tale characters and fairy tale tropes, the poems range from contemporary retellings to first person accounts set within the original stories. From Snow White's cottage and Rapunzel's tower to health class and the prom, these poems are a moving depiction of young women, society, and our expectations. Poisoned Apples is a dark, clever, witty, beautiful, and important book for teenage girls, their sisters, their mothers, and their best friends.

the amazing book is not on fire

The Amazing Book is Not on Fire: The World of Dan and Phil by Dan Howell & Phil Lester
YouTube stars Dan Howell and Phil Lester tell the humorous story of growing up, becoming YouTube stars, and give advice to their teen followers.


Find Momo Coast to Coast: My Dog is Taking a Road Trip. Can You Find Him? by Andrew Knapp


Movie Title Typos: Making Movies Better by Subtracting One Letter by Austin Light


A Fan Girl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs

penny chic

Penny Chic: How to Be Stylish on a Real Girl’s Budget by Shauna Miller
A style guide for teen girls explains how to develop a personal style, shares budget-conscious tips for do-it-yourself projects, and explains how to get the most out of shopping at mainstream economy stores.

what if?

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following. Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last? In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by signature xkcd comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion. The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website.

weird but true food

Weird But True Food: 300 Bite-Size Facts about Incredible Edibles by National Geographic Society
A latest addition to the crazy popular Weird but True series serves up tons more zany fun, focused totally on the subject of food! Step up to the plate to get 100 percent new content, with300 more of the amazing facts plus photos that kids just can't get enough of.

percy jackson's greek heroes

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan
Who cut off Medusa's head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy.

yoga for your mind & body

Yoga for Your Mind & Body: A Teenage Practice for a Healthy, Balanced Life by Rebecca Rissman
Presents yoga techniques and poses to promote brain power, stress relief, strength, and fitness.

rad american women

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History…and Our Future by Kate Schatz
Profiled are 26 American women from the 18th through 21st centuries, who have made-or are still making--history as artists, writers, teachers, lawyers, or athletes. The women come from a variety of economic and ethnic backgrounds and many had to overcome extreme hardships. One woman represents each alphabetical letter beginning with Angela Davis, an activist, teacher, and writer, and concludes with Zora Neale Hurston, an anthropologist and writer.

hades speaks!

Hades Speaks!: A Guide to the Underworld by the Greek God of the Dead by Vicky Alvear Schecter
Hades, the Greek god of the dead, is waiting to take you on a tour of his kingdom in this riveting introduction to Greek mythology. Here you will learn about might gods, terrifying monsters, ancient rites, magic spells, and Furies with bloody talons that can tear a mortal to shreds. But stay close. Only the Dark Lord can guarantee your safety in the underworld. And remember: Do not enter if you are afraid of the dark - or of the dead.


67 Reasons Why Cats are Better Than Dogs by Jack Shepherd


MMA Now!: The Stars and Stories of Mixed Martial Arts by Brian Sobie


Ninjas Have Issues by Greg Stones

human body theater

Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks
Welcome to the Human Body Theater, where your master of ceremonies is going to lead you through a theatrical revue of each and every biological system of the human body! Starting out as a skeleton, the MC puts on a new layer of her costume (her body) with each "act." By turns goofy and intensely informative, the Human Body Theater is always accessible and always entertaining.