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.
No More Excuses: Dismantling Rape Culture by Amber J. Keyser
Twenty-First Century Books
Publication Date: January 1st 2019
Starting with an eye-opening account of the Steubenville high school rape case (in 2012), No More Excuses exposes the deep-seated problem of sexual assault and rape culture. With examples of current events, readers are given clear, concise, and easily understood explanations of the misogynistic problems discussed and given concrete ways to fight the problem.
The plunge into the horrifying 2012 attack that was so explicitly documented on social media will bring readers right in. A well-organized format, images with captions, and stories readers will recognize from recent news coverage will keep them engaged. Even if a reader doesn’t read straight through beginning to end, they will certainly be able to pull out pieces that snag their attention. Well-documented references, a glossary, and list of resources in the back add to the value of the book.
Readers who enjoyed The 57 bus, or I Am Malala will enjoy this book. Those looking for feminist literature, especially nonfiction, will find that here.
Cathy Outten currently reading On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Swing by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess
Harper Collins Blink
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Noah is in love with Sam, his best friend since forever, and his other best friend, Walt (aka Swing), has a plan to get Noah to tell her. However, Sam already has a boyfriend. Along the way Walt meets a new girl and their shared fascination with jazz brings them together quickly. In a larger world touching on topics including police violence and PTSD, Swing is essentially a sweet romance from the boy’s point of view.
Kwame’s Alexander’s verse style writing makes this easy to pick up for any reader. With a great pace and humor, the book includes smart references to jazz artists that will keep readers engaged. Readers will identify with two regular kids’ struggles with finding “cool” and love.
Admirers of Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover or Booked will enjoy Swing. Fans of stories about real racism issues such as Dear Martin by Nic Stone, and those who appreciate male point of view romance such as John Green’s Looking for Alaska will enjoy this book as well.
Cathy Outten – currently reading The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan