Teen Killers Club, by Lily Sparks Crooked Lane / Penguin Random House Publication Date: November 10, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-64385-229-4
Signal Deere was once an ordinary girl, a misfit goth with concerns like where to sit at lunch and when she’d get her first kiss. That all changed the day she was convicted of the gruesome murder of her best friend. She is just getting used to life in prison when she gets an offer that seems too good to be true: if she joins a top-secret program based out of an abandoned summer camp, she won’t have to serve another day of her sentence. For once, she should fit right in — the camp is full of “Class A” killers like her, the most dangerous type of criminal. There’s just one problem: she was framed. She has no idea who actually killed her friend. And, in Teen Killers Club, being innocent makes her prey.
Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson, Kwame Alexander, and Dawud Anyabwile (illustrator) Jimmy Patterson Books / Little, Brown and Company Publication Date: October 5, 2020 ISBN: 978-0399547966
Cassius Clay Jr. was always the greatest—even if everyone didn’t know it yet. Before the world knew him as Muhammad Ali, Cassius hung out with friends, loved his family, and struggled with school, all against the backdrop of 1950s Louisville, Kentucky. In this fictionalized biography, writers James Patterson and Kwame Alexander show the reader Cassius’ life with a mix of prose and poetry.
The book is engaging and full of heart, with fully realized characters and a well-paced plot. The cover draws you in, and Dawud Anyabwile’s art throughout adds to the book’s appeal. The mix of prose and poetry adds interest. Students will be able to see themselves in Cassius and his best friend, Lucky.
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 field nomination form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams will feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation will be listed as well. At year’s end, the team will use that list of nominated titles to select a final list and Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are also made available on The Hub.
This is Not a Ghost Story by Andrea Portes HarperTeen / Harper Collins Publication Date: November 17, 2020 ISBN: 978-0062422446
Daffodil doesn’t have a typical plan for the summer before her Freshman year of college. Instead of hanging out with friends or traveling, she agrees to house-sit all alone in a creepy mansion. As the summer progresses, things in the house get progressively stranger and more sinister, and Daffodil can’t ignore that there is something evil about the house. Will she be able to discover the house’s secret before it’s too late?
This is Not a Ghost Story is a quick-paced read that delves into the action of the story quickly with short chapters that keep the story moving. Told from a first-person, stream-of-consciousness point of view, teens will appreciate that the voice actually sounds like a teenager. The mystery of the story is compelling and will keep teens guessing until the twist ending.
Hello! My name is Molly Dettmann, and I am currently serving as the Coordinator for the 2022 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team. I’ve served on several YALSA committees in the past. During the day, I work as a high school librarian at Norman North High School in Norman, OK (Follow us on IG and FB @normannorthlibrary). I live in Norman with my husband, who teaches at the rival high school in town, and our dog Coco.
The 2022 Quick Picks team has a goal to curate a worthy list of titles that will reignite reluctant readers, young adults (ages 12-18) that, for whatever reasons, do not like to read. We read young adult fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels, looking for works that meet criteria such as having a high interest hook, catchy titles and covers, clear writing, and sufficient plot to sustain interest.
Anyone can nominate titles for committee review by filling out this form. To be eligible, titles must be published from September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021.(Please note: publishers and authors cannot nominate their own books, although they are free to submit titles to the committee for evaluation).
To become an officially nominated Quick Pick title, two QP blogging team members have to read and vote yes for its inclusion. In our work to produce the final list, team members read and nominate titles, read field nominations, create blog posts, and attend monthly virtual meetings to discuss titles. In December, the team will meet to vote on the final list. To make the list, a title must be read and approved by a majority of team members. We also compile a top ten list. Quick Picks typically considers upwards of 100-150 titles a year with about 50-75% making the final list.
The #QP2022 team is made up of 12 YALSA members from different types of library settings and backgrounds all over the country. They are:
Megan Baird, AZ
Diana Ford, MD
Laura Indick, NY
Jayna Ramsey, CO
Ness Shortley, NC
Sarah Sullivan, NH
Jennifer Sutton, IL
Carolyn Vidmar, MD
Emily Williams, OK
Molly Moore, Admin Assistant, GA
We are excited to get started in our work and again, we welcome field nominations from all! If you have a title you think would make a great fit for this list, please fill out this form.
-Molly Dettmann (she/her)
2022 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team