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Posted at 7:36 AM ET, 06/20/2010

Summer books for reluctant teen readers

By Valerie Strauss

Summer is the best time to entice reluctant readers to enter and learn to love books.

It can happen, but there’s a trick: You have to let kids pick out their own books.

To help you do that, American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Organization assembled a committee of experts to compile a list of books for 2010 with enough choices to appeal to every kid from age 12 to 18.

The fiction and nonfiction books on the list are geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read. There are a range of genres, including biography, pop culture, fantasy, street lit, and more, and subjects including vampires, tattoos, teen pregnancy, love, racial issues, skateboarding, the Jonas Brothers and Robert Pattinson.

The ALA website has other great lists of books, movies and audiotapes for teens, which you can find here. Each listing has information including author, date of publication, and a very brief description.

Here is the “Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 2010 list.”

2010 Titles

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Wintergirls. 2009. Viking Juvenile, $17.99 (9780670011100).
Dying to be thin.

Baratz-Logsted, Lauren. Crazy Beautiful. 2009. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group, $16.00 (9780547223070).
Beauty meets "The Beast," 2010.

Babygirl Drama Series:

--Daniels, Babygirl. 16 on the Block (series #1). 2009. Urban Books, $11.95 (9781601621849).
From group home to high-rise.

--Daniels, Babygirl. 16 1/2 on the Block (series #2). 2009. Urban Books, $11.95 (9781601621832).
Why did Latina spend three years in a Detention Home for Girls?

--Daniels, Babygirl. Glitter (series #4). 2009. Urban Books, $9.95 (9781601621986).
Pregnant and scared. Is there anyone to trust?

--Daniels, Babygirl. Sister, Sister (series #3). 2009. Urban Books, $9.95 (9781601621542).
Twin vs. twin.

de la Pena, Matt. We Were Here. 2009. Random House, $17.99 (9780385736671).
Miguel did something awful.

Drama High Series:

--Divine, L. Drama High # 6: Courtin’ Jayd. 2008. Dafina/Kensington, $9.95 (978-0-7582-2536-8).
Boys, babies and hair.

--Divine, L. Drama High #7: Hustlin’. 2009. Dafina/Kensington, $9.95 (9780758231055).
Jayd’s ups and downs.

--Divine, L. Drama High #8: Keep it Movin’. 2009. Dafina/Kensington, $9.95 (9780758231079).
Wheels and weaves.

Draper, Sharon M. Just Another Hero. 2009. Simon & Schuster/Antheneum, $16.99 (97814169070080).
Something’s going down at Hazelwood High.

Efaw, Amy. After. 2009. Viking Juvenile, $12.23 (9780670011834).
Baby in the dumpster – why?

Elkeles, Simone. Perfect Chemistry. 2008. Walker Books, $9.99 (9780802798220).
Gang member and cheerleader: it’s not exactly love at first sight.

Fahy, Thomas. Sleepless. 2009. Simon and Schuster. $12.47 (9781416959014).
Sleepwalking killers.

Forman, Gail. If I Stay. 2009. Dutton Children’s Books, $16.99 (9780525421030).
This life or the afterlife?

Harmon, Michael. Brutal. 2009. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375940996).
Taking down the status quo.

Johnson, LouAnne. Muchacho. 2009. Random House/Knopf, $15.99 (9780375961175).
In Alt Ed and angry, can he keep his promise to mom?

Gifted Series:

--Kaye, Marilyn. Gifted: Out of Sight, Out of Mind. (series #1). 2009. Kingfisher, $7.95 (9780753416495).
Queen of Mean trapped in the life of unpopular Tracey.

--Kaye, Marilyn. Gifted: Better Late Than Never (series #2). 2009. Kingfisher, $7.99 (9780753463000).
Jenna’s dad finally shows up. Too good to be true?

--Kaye, Marilyn. Gifted: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow. (series #3). 2009. Kingfisher, $7.95 (9780753463109).
Kidnapped to commit crimes, can super powers save them?

Kimani Tru (An African-American young adult fiction imprint from Kimanu Press):

--Byrd, A.J. Chasing Romeo. (A BFF novel -#1). 2009. Kimani Tru, 9.99 (9780373830909).
BFFs crushing on the same boy leads to major trouble!

--Duck, Phillip Thomas. Dirty Jersey (series #1). 2008. Kimani Tru, $9.99 (9780373830947).
Fame is fickle and can have a price.

--Duck, Phillip Thomas. Dirty South (series #2). 2009. Kimani Tru, $9.99 (9780373831425).
Family and feuds, is there a way out?

--McKayhan, Monica. Jaded. (An Indigo Novel -#4). 2008. Kimani Tru, $9.99 (9780373830992).
Can Jade handle her boyfriend’s secrets?

--McKayhan, Monica. Deal With It. (An Indigo Novel -#5). 2009. Kimani Tru, $9.99 (9780373831418).
Friends face off over dance team drama.

--Norfleet, Celeste O. Fast Forward. (Kenisha Series -#2). 2009. Kimani Tru, $9.99 (9780373831340).
Is the hot new guy telling truths or lies?

--Pride, Felicia. Patterson Heights. 2009. Kimani Tru, $9.99 (9780373831487).
Avery’s brother has been shot — should he avenge his murder?

--Sarkar, Dona. Shrink to Fit. 2008. Kimani Press, $9.99 (9780373830954).
Leah’s "Thinspirations" will make all her dreams come true. Won’t they?

--Sewell, Earl. Lesson Learned (A Keysha Novel - #3). 2009. Kimani Press, $9.99 (9780373831166).
Keysha’s mom is out of jail, Mike tries on his player game.

--Sewell, Earl. Decision Time (A Keysha Novel - #4). 2009. Kimani Press, $9.99 (9780373831722).
Will Lori steal Keysha’s man, while Keysha’s on stage?

--Sparks, Chandra Taylor. The Pledge. (A Worth-the-Wait Novel #1). 2009. Kimani Press, $9.99 (9780373830985).
It was easy to save herself for marriage until she met Allen.

Knowles, Jo. Jumping Off Swings. 2009. Candlewick Press, $16.99 (9780763639495).
One pregnancy seen through the eyes of four friends.

Denim Diaries Series:

--Lee, Darrien. Denim Diaries Book 1: Sixteen Going on Twenty-One (series). 2009. Urban Renaissance, $9.95 (9781933967714).
True love since kindergarten.

--Lee, Darrien. Denim Diaries Book 2: Grown in Sixty Seconds (series). 2009. Urban Renaissance, $9.95 (9781933967721).
Expecting a child, missing their best friends.

--Lee, Darrien. Denim Diaries Book 3: Queen of the Yard (series). 2009. Urban Renaissance, $9.95 (9781933967776).
Will the gang life let her go?

--Lee, Darrien. Denim Diaries Book 4: Broken Promises (series). 2009. Urban Renaissance, $9.95. (9781933967745).
What could wreck the perfect family?

Lynch, Janet Nichols. Messed Up. 2009. Holiday House, $17.95 (9780823421855).
Mom’s in prison, dad’s gone, can RD make it on his own?

Mac, Carrie. Jacked. 2009. Orca Book Publishers, $9.99 (9781554691845).
Sneaking away from work was a bad idea.

McCaffrey, Kate. In Ecstasy. 2009. Annick Press, $21.95 (9781554511754).
Best friends — sex, drugs and lies.

McClintock, Norah. Taken. 2009. Orca Book Publishers, $12.95 (9781554691524).
Girls missing. One found dead. Is Stephanie next?

McDaniel, Lurlene. Breathless. 2009. Delacorte Press, $10.99 (9870385734592).
Four friends face the toughest decision ever — life or death.

Myers, Walter Dean. Dope Sick. 2009. Amistad, $16.99 (9780061214776).
Life on the streets with a supernatural twist.

Reger, Rob and Gruner, Jessica. Emily the Strange: The Lost Days. 2009. HarperCollins, $16.99 (9780061452291).
Emily has amnesia — and that’s not her only problem.

Ryan, Darlene. Five Minutes More. 2009. Orca, $12.95 (9781554690060).
Why would D’Arcy’s dad commit suicide?

Simone, Ni-Ni. If I Was Your Girl. 2008. Kensington/Dafina, $11.95 (9780758228413).
From the hottest girl around to babymama.

Simone, Ni-Ni. A Girl Like Me. 2008. Kensington/Dafina, $9.95 (9780758228437).
Leaving the hard life to live her dream.

Simone, Ni-Ni. Shortie Like Mine. 2008. Kensington/Dafina, $9.95 (9780758228390).
Seven is feeling it for Josiah; rocked by her BFF’s betrayal.

Dead Girl Series:

--Singleton, Linda Joy. Dead Girl Walking (series #1). 2008. Llewellyn/Flux, $9.95 (9780738714059).
Racing against time to save her brain-dead body from being unplugged.

--Singleton, Linda Joy. Dead Girl Dancing (series #2). 2009. Llewellyn/Flux, $9.95 (9780738714066).
It’s spring break — off to party in a college student’s body.

--Singleton, Linda Joy. Dead Girl In Love (series #3). 2009. Llewellyn/Flux, $9.95 (9780738714066).
Amber’s in the coffin. Who’s walking around in her body?

Smith, Alexander Gordon. Lockdown: Escape from Furnace (series #1). 2009. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $14.99 (9780374324919).
Doing hard time for murder – a mile beneath the earth’s surface.

Sniegoski, Thomas. Legacy. 2009. Delacorte, $18.99 (9780385906487). Delacorte, $15.99, (9780385737142).
Uncovering the secrets of a superhero.

Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver. 2009. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545123266).
Girl + Werewolf = True Love.

Volponi, Paul. Response. 2009. Penguin/Viking, $15.99 (9780670062836).
Is there a justification for a racially motivated beating?

Williams, Carol Lynch. The Chosen One. 2009. St. Martin’s/Griffin, $16.95 (9780312555115).
Can thirteen-year-old Kyra save herself from becoming her sixty-year-old uncle’s seventh wife?


Beckwith, Lois. The Dictionary of High School B.S.: From Acne to Varsity, All the Funny, Lame, and Annoying Aspects of High School Life. Orange Avenue Publishing, $10.95 (9780979017391).
High school – one definition at a time.

Blackshaw, Ric and Farrelly, Liz. Street Art Book: 60 Artists in Their Own Words. 2009. HarperCollins, 29.95 (9780061537325).
Life, art and inspiration: graffiti artist’s talk.

Borgenicht, David. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Middle School. 2009. Chronicle Books, $10.99 (9780811868648).
How to get out alive.

Bright, J.E.America’s Next Top Model: Fierce Guide to Life: The Ultimate Source of Beauty, Fashion, and Model Behavior. 2009. Universe, $24.95 (9780789318596).
Let your inner diva shine.

Brown, Marvelyn. The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive. 2008. Amistad, $14.95 (9780061562396).
“That boy did her scandalous.” –Ezra, 16.

Nightschool Series:

--Chmakova, Svetlana. Nightschool Volume 1 (series). 2009. Yen Press, $10.99 (9780759528494).
Boarding school for vampires, demons and witches.

--Chmakova, Svetlana. Nightschool Volume 2 (series). 2009. Yen Press, $10.99 (9780759528604).
The lights may be off, but monsters still walk the halls.

Cliver, Sean. The Disposable Skateboard Bible. 2009. Gingko Press, $39.95 (9781584233275).
Ultimate guide to skateboard decks.

Conley, Erin Elisabeth; Macklin, Karen and Miller, Jake. Crap: How to Deal with Annoying Teachers, Bosses, Backstabbers, and Other Stuff that Stinks. 2009. Orange Avenue Publishing, $9.99 (9780979017351).
Life is crappy, but it doesn’t have to wreck your day.

Cooper, Martha and Chalfant, Henry. Subway Art: 25th Anniversary Edition. 2009. Chronicle Books, $40.00 (9780811868877).
It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s classic NYC.

Davidson, Tony. One-track Mind: a Revealing Insight into the Obsessed Minds of Men. 2009. Random House/Virgin, $12.95 (9780753516904).
Boobs, boobs, everywhere. Where’s Waldo for teenage boys.

Fagerstrom, Derek and Smith, Lauren. Show Me How: 500 Things You Should Know Instructions for Life From the Everyday to the Exotic. 2008. Collins Design, $24.95 (9780061662571).
Fighting a shark, getting out of car in a mini skirt – it’s all here.

Garza, Mario. Stuff on my Mutt. 2009. Chronicle Books, $12.95 (9780811868976).
Wigs, Easter eggs and tiaras.... oh my!

Gavin, Francesca. Hell Bound: New Goth Art. 2008. Laurence King, $24.95 (978-9-8105-7563-3).
Art from the dark and disturbed.

Girdler, Chris. The Travel Book A Journey Through Every Country in the World. 2008. Lonely Planet Publications, $24.99 (9781741040050).
Around the world in 80 seconds.

Gray, Amy. How to Be a Vampire: A Fangs-on Guide for the Newly Undead. 2009. Candlewick/Weldon Owen Inc., $14.99 (9780763649159).
Thinking outside the coffin.

LOL Cat Series:

-- Happycat, Professor and I Can Has Cheezburger?: A LOLcat Colleckshun. 2008. Gotham, $8.00 (9781592404094).
Dis buk iz rilly funnee!

--Happycat, Professor and How to Take Over Teh Wurld: A LOLcat Guide 2 Winning. 2009. Gotham, $8.82 (9781592405169).
LOLcats r bak!

Hardwicke, Catherine. Twilight Director’s Notebook: The Story of How We Made the Movie. 2009. Little Brown, $17.99 (9780316070522).
Behind the scenes.

Hart, Carey and Palmer, Chris. Inked. 2008. Artisan/Workman Publishing, $35.00 (9781579653354).
Everyone’s skin has a story.

Heimber, Justin and Gomberg, David. Would You Rather... Gross Out: Over 300 Disgusting Dilemmas Plus Extra Pages to Make Up Your Own! 2008. Falls Media, $9.95 (9781934734117).
Gargle blue cheese dressing for mouthwash or wear liver scented deodorant? You choose.

Horvath, David. Ugly Guide to Being Alive and Staying that Way: Hi! It’s the Uglydoll. 2009. Random House, $5.99 (9780375857027).
Secrets of everyday life in the Ugly world.

Jacoby, Annice. Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo. 2009. Harry N. Abrams, Inc, $35.00 (9780810996359).
Altered billboards, graffiti, murals - and more.

Janic, Susan. Jonas Brothers Forever: The Unofficial Story of Kevin, Joe and Nick. 2009. ECW Press, $ 14.95 (9781550228519).
All you need to know about the bros.

Jenisch, Josh. Art of the Video Game. 2008. Quirk, $40.00 (9781594742774).
The digital artistry of your favorites.

Komanoya, Rico. Gothic Lolita Punk. 2009. Collins Design, $24.99 (9780061149955).
A showcase of art and artists from Japan.

Mawji, Nasim; Doherty, Chris; and Jensen, Burt. Hollywoof! Celebrity Dogs Bite Back. 2008. DK Books, $9.95. (9780756636821).
What is Paris Hilton’s dog really thinking?

Miller, Kerry. Passive Aggressive Notes: Painfully Polite and Hilariously Hostile Writings from Shared Spaces the World Over. 2008. Harper Collins, $13.95 (9780061630590).
Dear Reader, do you really need an invitation to open this book?

Minguet, Eva. Tattoo Delirium. 2009. Collins Design, $29.99 (9780061740329).
International tattoos.

Nardone, Tom. Extreme Pumpkins II: take back Halloween and freak out a few more neighbors. 2008. Penguin Group/Home Book, $13.95 (9781557885333).
Not your traditional jack-o-lantern: alien, booger-filled pumpkin, and more!

O’Meara, Stephen James. Are You Afraid Yet? The Science Behind Scary Stuff. 2009. Kids Can Press, $17.95 (97815545329409).
Uncover the scientific truth about the strange and unusual.

Oser, Bodhi. Fuck the World. 2009. Chronicle Books, $16.95 (9780811866453).
Signs all over the world — with one word added.

Pahlow, Mark. Who Would Buy This? The Archie McPhee Story. 2008. Accoutrements Publishing Co, $24.95 (9780978664978).
Weird and bizarre in plastic. “The donkey butt cigarette dispenser is gross cool,” – Lenox, 15.

Palladini, Doug. Vans: Off the Wall: Stories of Sole from Vans Originals. 2009. Abrams, $24.95 (9780810983755).
All the art and dirt.

Regan, Sally. The Vampire Book. 2009. Dorling Kindersley, Ltd., $19.99 (9780756655518).
All you ever wanted to know in full dead and living color.

Renn, Crystal. Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves. 2009. Simon and Schuster,
$16.50 (9781439101230).
A model’s success doesn’t require starvation.

Seventeen Magazine. Mega Traumarama! Real Girls and Guys Confess More of Their Most Mortifying Moments! 2009. Hearst, $7.95 (9781588167309).
It’s funny because it’s not you.

Smith, John. Inked: Clever, Odd and Outrageous Tattoos. 2008. teNeues , $19.95 (9783832792800).
What were they thinking?

Smith, Larry and Fershleiser, Rachel. I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets: Six-word Memoirs by Teens Famous and Obscure. 2009. Harper Collins/HarperTeen, $8.99, (9780061726842).
Turn the page: teens’ true confessions.

Cirque du Freak Manga series
Shan, Darren and Arai, Takahir. Cirque du Freak: the Manga Vol. 1. 2009. Yen Press, $10.99 (9780759530416).
One visit to a freak show can change your life.

Shan, Darren and Arai, Takahir. Cirque du Freak: the Manga Vol. 2. The Vampire’s Assistant. 2009. Yen Press, $10.99 (9780759530386).
Life as a half-vampire is never easy.

Shan, Darren and Arai, Takahir. Cirque du Freak: the Manga Vol. 3. Tunnels of Blood (series). 2009. Yen Press, $10.99 (9780759530430).
Working for a vampire can be bloody and murderous.

Shields, Brian and Sullivan, Kevin. WWE Encyclopedia: the Definitive Guide to World Wrestling Entertainment. 2009. Brady Games DK, $45.00 (9780756641900).
50 years of smackdowns.

Stenning, Paul. The Robert Pattinson Album. 2009. Plexus Publishing, $16.95 (9780859654388).
The full story.

Stutts, Ryan. The Skateboarding Field Manual. 2009. Firefly, $19.95 (9781554073627).
Skateboarding 101: evolution, tricks, etiquette and dealing with the law.

Su, Lac. I Love Yous are for White People: A Memoir. 2009. Harper Perennial, $14.00 (9780061543661).
Violence at home and on the streets.

Turner, Tracey. Deadly Perils: And How to Avoid Them. 2009. Walker & Company, $9.99 (9780802787385).
....And then you die.

Von D, Kat. High Voltage Tattoo. 2009. HarperCollins, $29.99 (9780061684388).
Famed L.A. tattoo artist talks ink and rock-n-roll.

Willams, Mel. Robert Pattinson: Fated for Fame. 2009. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, $16.99 (9780061742125).
There’s more to the actor than his trademark hair: short, sweet, full of pics.

Willin, Melvyn. Paranormal Caught on Film. 2008. David and Charles, $16.99 (978-0715329801).
“I’m going to keep the light on,” Noel, 13.

Members of the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Committee are: Amy Cheney, chair, Alameda County Juvenile Hall Library, San Leandro, Calif.; Susan Hawk, Dunwoody (Ga.) High School.; Diana Tixier Herald, Mesa County Valley School District #51, Grand Junction, Colo.; Lisa Lindsay, Fresno County Public Library, Calif.; Joy Millam, Valencia High School, Placentia, Calif.; Diane Monnier, Tucson, Ariz.; Lalitha Nataraj, Chula Vista (Calif.) Public Library; Anne Rouyer, The New York Public Library; Christopher Shoemaker, The New York Public Library; and Heather Gruenthal, administrative assistant, Western High School, Anaheim, Calif.

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By Valerie Strauss  | June 20, 2010; 7:36 AM ET
Categories:  Reading  | Tags:  american library association, book lists, books about robert pattinson, books for teens, books for young adults, books on robert pattinson, books on the jonas brothers, getting kids to read, getting teens to read, reading, reluctant readers, robert pattinson biography, teen books list, the jonas brothers, the jonas brothers story, the robert pattinson story, young adult book list  
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Another good non-fiction choice for girls who are interested in math: Math Doesn't Suck by Danica McKellar (middle-school math). She also has two follow-up books: Kiss My Math (pre-algebra) and Hot X (algebra). These three books are written in a very fresh, creative style and are suited for independent reading. All are fun choices for girls who enjoy math and science learning.

Posted by: cc1221 | June 14, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Not new books, but,

Betty Hicks is a good author for the early teen years. Out of Order is about a blended family. Very good characters.

Posted by: celestun100 | June 14, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

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