Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of The Missing Passenger by Jack Heath

The Missing Passenger Cover Art

The Missing Passenger by Jack Heath
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
ISBN: 978-1534449893

A plane with no passengers crashes in his hometown and Jarli quickly finds himself in the middle of a mystery. When he gets suspicious of the police working the case and learns that no one can be trusted, Jarli allies himself with his best option: his former bully, Doug. Together they attempt to track down the pilot and outwit a secretive criminal mastermind known as Viper.

The action grabs the reader right away with a plane crash on page one. The pacing is reminiscent of an action movie, with lots of high-risk situations, daring escapes, and chase scenes happening frequently throughout the plot. Short chapters and frequent dialogue help make this an easy read.

This is a standalone book two, so new readers will also appreciate the first in the Liars series, The Truth App. Fans of the fast pacing and FBI-esque teens in this series will also like Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs. Other read-alikes include the T.O.A.S.T. mysteries by James Ponti and the Bodyguard series by Chris Bradford.

–Emily Williams, Oklahoma City, OK

Other Nominated Titles

  • Karma Moon: Ghost Hunter by Melissa Savage (January 19, 2021)
  • Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp by Marieke Nijkamp, Art by Yasmin Flores Montanez (May 4, 2021)
  • Fast Pitch by Nic Stone (August 31, 2021)
  • Hide and Seeker by Daka Hermon (September 15, 2020)
  • Martian Ghost Centaur by Mat Heagerty, Art by Steph Mided (March 16, 2021)
  • Darling by K. Ancrum (June 22, 2021)
  • The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons (June 1, 2021)
  • Tobyn: The It Girl by Ashley Woodfolk (August 31, 2021)
  • Eat Your Heart Out by Kelly DeVos (June 29, 2021)
  • She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Windlen (April 20, 2021)
  • Death and Sparkles by Rob Justus (October 10, 2021)
  • Mine by Delilah S. Dawson (August 10, 2021)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested, it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.

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