Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf

Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Imprint: Salaam Reads
Release date: April 19, 2022
ISBN: 9781534494558

One year ago, Najwa Bakri’s best friend, Trina Lowe, collapsed during a Scrabble Tournament. Fast forward one year. Najwa returns to compete, determined to win Trina’s title and heal herself. With Trina aka “Queen of the Tiles gone, the title is up for grabs. All bets are off when Trina’s Inactive Instagram account begins posting cryptic messages. The messages suggest that Trina’s death was not accidental and someone at the tournament may be responsible.

There is plenty in this story to appeal to all types of reluctant readers. Word nerds will enjoy the Scrabble words and their definitions found at the beginning of each chapter. Mystery fans will enjoy this fast paced mystery with plenty of twists. All readers will be riveted, turning pages quickly to find out what happened to Trina.

Teens who enjoy playing word games as well as teens who enjoy fast paced mysteries with plenty of twists will enjoy this book. Give this to readers who liked the style of Hanna Alkaf’s first title, The Weight of Our Sky, or to murder mystery fans who enjoyed The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutante.

— Beth Slade

Other Nominated Titles

  • Diamond Park by Philippe Diederich (March 8, 2022)
  • TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo (June 7, 2022)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), 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.

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