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YALSA Quick Picks 2011

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced its 2011 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection list. The list 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 2011 list includes 87 titles, both nonfiction and fiction, from a variety of genres, including biography, pop culture, fantasy, street lit, and more. The Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers committee also selected a Top Ten list, which is featured below.

» Click here to see the complete list.

Rikers High by Paul Volponi

Martin was sitting on the front stoop of his apartment building minding his own business when he was arrested for something he didn't even mean to do. Five months later, he's still locked up on Rikers Island, in a New York City jail. Just when it seems things couldn't get much worse, Martin is caught between two warring prisoners, and his face is slashed. Now he'll be forever marked with a prison scar. One good thing comes from the attack: Martin is transferred to a different part of Rikers where inmates are required to attend high school. If Martin opens up to a teacher who really seems to care, perhaps he'll learn a lesson more valuable than any taught in class.

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.

Sex: A Book For Teens: An Uncensored Guide to Your Body, Sex and Safety by Nikol Hasler

The co-creator of the popular online Midwest Teen Sex Show brings us a hilarious, honest, and in-depth look at every teen's favorite subject: sex. This isn't your mother's sex book: It's punchy and unapologetic. At the same time, it teaches teens the practical ins and outs of being sexually active and, above all, how to stay safe.

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High...until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. Now Regina has been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.

The Tattoo Chronicles by Kat Von D and Sandra Bark

The Tattoo Chronicles is an illustrated diary that offers an intimate look at a crucial year in the personal and professional life of Kat Von D, the charismatic, no-holds-barred tattooer and star of LA Ink.

This is Why You're Fat: Where Dreams Become Heart Attacks by Jessica Amason and Richard Blakely

Food was once the providence of celebrated chefs and critical connoisseurs. Cooking shows featured all gourmet creations and web sites displayed artfully photographed delights.

Then something changed.

Versus: Warriors, Ten Fighters, Five Battles, One Winner by Catherine Brereton, Philip Steele, and Hannah Wilson

Ten of the greatest warriors of history meet for the first time. From Viking vs. Aztec Warrior and Samurai v. Gladiator to Medieval Knight vs. Zulu, Versus explores who would triuimph and why, if these fiercest warriors were to engage in deadly battle against one another. Data files compare and contrast weaponry, armor, tactics and codes of honor, while eye-catching background scenes of arenas provide historical and cultureal context. With the computer-gamer in mind, designs brings history's warriors into the 21st century and readers will be treated to large, gate folded pages that enhance the expereience of each battle In the end, only one can be crowned history's ultimate warrior. Who will it be?

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty written by G. Neri; illustrated by Randy Duburke

Eleven-year old Roger is trying to make sense of his classmate Robert "Yummy" Sandifer's death, but first he has to make sense of Yummy's life. Yummy could be as tough as a pit bull sometimes. Other times he was as sweet as the sugary treats he loved to eat. Was Yummy some sort of monster, or just another kid? As Roger searches for the truth, he finds more and more questions. How did Yummy end up in so much trouble? Did he really kill someone? And why do all the answers seem to lead back to a gang-the same gang to which Roger's older brother belongs? Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty is a compelling graphic dramatization based on events that occurred in Chicago in 1994. This gritty exploration of youth gang life will force readers to question their own understandings of good and bad, right and wrong.

More books like the ones on this list »