Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2020) Nominees Round Up, June 4 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America Edited by Ibi Zoboi, with stories by Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Liara Tamani, Renée Watson, Rita Williams-Garcia and more.
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 8th 2019
ISBN: 9780062698728

Black Enough is a collection of 17 short stories written by some of the biggest name Black authors of YA.  The young Black people in these stories confront all the typical teenage life experiences as well as some atypical ones.  Some have tragedy and some romance, and all of the stories are shaped with rich plots and emotions.

The short story format means readers can jump in and with a small amount of effort experience the full arc of a story. Every reader will find kinship with at least some of the characters, especially Black readers who will see their lives reflected in a variety of life situations. The blockbuster list of authors may bring in readers familiar with their work, and also launch readers to find other works by these excellent writers.

Readers who enjoy short story collections such as Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles and books with strong black characters such as The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson will enjoy Black Enough.

–Cathy Outten

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Dial Books
August 28th 2018
ISBN: 9780525552963

Darius Kellner is a Persian American who always felt out of place.  He is traveling to Iran for the first time to visit extended family, people he formerly only knew through his computer screen.  As he deals with clinical depression and the Iranian adventures his family takes, Darius meets Sohrab, a neighbor who turns best friend, and learns how to be himself.

Darius a fantastic and lovable character from the very beginning.  Geeky references throughout will engage readers as they follow Darius through his adventures in travel, family and friendship.  This title won numerous awards, and rightfully so. Readers may identify with his mental health issues, his feelings of not belonging, and will be intrigued by the background of Iran.  To know Darius is to love him, reluctant readers will feel the same.

Readers who enjoyed the stories of children of immigrants like in The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, and lovable boys like those in Aristotle and Dante Rule the Universe will enjoy this book.

–Cathy Outten

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.