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.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
Publication Date: May 14th, 2019
Ben De Becker gathers their confidence over winter break of their senior year of high school and comes out to their parents as non-binary–unfortunately, they are instantly kicked out of the house without even time to put shoes on. Ben manages to contact the sister they haven’t seen in 10 years and moves in with her and her husband. With the help of their sister and new friends, Ben finishes out their senior year in a new school and a new town, trying to navigate what they want their future to look like while dealing with a crushing rejection from their parents.
Deaver begins this book with an intense and emotional coming out scene gone wrong, immediately raising the stakes for a reluctant reader. Ben’s relationships with their sister and with a sweet boy at school who befriends them (and maybe more) will carry readers along after the initial hook. Ben may be the first non-binary main character for most readers as well, providing valuable representation for non-binary readers and those interested in learning more.
Readers interested in stories exploring gender identity such as Birthday by Meredith Russo or As The Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman, or LGBTQ romances like Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli should look here for their next read.
Midas by Ryan North and illustrated by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Some time in the future, Spaceship Captain Joey, Fatima, and dinosaur scientist Cooper are on a mission to the suspiciously unknown, lifeless planet Earth. There, they expect to find the Universe’s most powerful weapon, hidden by the Federation, the evil powers in charge. The travelers have no idea what form this weapon will take and are pretty shocked to find that it is the body of this old Greek dude named Midas. Ever heard of him? He wished that everything he touched would turn to gold. Unfortunately, everything he touched ended up touching something else and he caused the total destruction of Earth. The crew has to figure out how to keep the Federation from using Midas’ body as the ultimate weapon without causing another apocalypse. Can they really succeed against a weapon so dangerous that even the slightest touch will turn anything into cold, dead gold?
This graphic novel has great illustrations that are bright, colorful, and very easy to follow. The story is funny yet very suspenseful with a real twist at the end.
Fans of Rick Riordan as well as graphic novels are sure to enjoy Midas.