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2014 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

View all Recommendations by Subjects > Reluctant readers book lists; This list was last updated on 7/22/2014
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This top 10 list is complied by ALA. They also have a full list for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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release date: Jan 29, 2016
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Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

You wouldn't expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie's the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely―until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms―but not both.
It's only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club's robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Of course!
In Faith Erin Hicks' and Prudence Shen's world of high school class warfare and robot death matches, Nothing can possibly go wrong.

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How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language
Do you speak dog? How to Speak Dog is a fun, informative, and photographically driven book that helps kids understand what their dog is trying to tell them through body language and behavior. Super-engaging dog photography, along with National Geographic Kids' signature bold and bouncy design, helps illustrate the key canine concepts. Quick-hit tip boxes, fun facts about mankind's best friends, and informative sidebars from the experts enliven the text. Readers young and old will respond to the irresistible call of the canine in this delightful book that will warm hearts and wag tails everywhere--a must-have in every home where pups are looking for love and understanding.
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Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
Winner of the 2014 Pura Belpré Author Award

In Meg Medina's compelling new novel, a Latina teen is targeted by a bully at her new school — and must discover resources she never knew she had.


One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn't even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she's done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn't Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn't kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she's never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy's life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.
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Casualties of War
"The best Vietnam War novels yet for this age range." - KIRKUS REVIEWS

When his three best friends go to Vietnam, Beck knows he must honor his promise to go with them. He enlists in the US Air Force, where he's able to work as a mechanic, learning about planes and choppers and supersonic jets. He's also able to view the war from above, where he can admire the savage beauty of the jungle at a distance.

Beck thinks he has it all figured out. But when his tour of duty takes a turn for the worse, one thing becomes clear: Beck still has a lot to learn about war, and about friendship, too.
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Proxy
“Put down what you're doing and read this book. Right now. The complex characters, intricate world, and blistering pace are off-the-charts amazing.” —Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy

Syd's life is not his own. As a proxy he must to pay for someone else's crimes. When his patron Knox crashes a car and kills someone, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. The boys realize the only way to beat the system is to save each other so they flee. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test the boys' resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay.
This fast-paced thrill ride of a novel is full of breakneck action, shocking twists and heart-hammering suspense that will have readers gasping until the very last page.

This edition includes a exclusive bonus story featuring Syd and Knox!

“Looking for an awesome YA summer read? Look no further than Alex London's Proxy.” —EW.com

Whipping Boy + Blade Runner with a sprinkling of The Hunger Games (plus, of course, a dash of A Tale of Two Cities) = a treat for teen SF fans.” —Kirkus Reviews
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100 Questions You'd Never Ask Your Parents
What does an orgasm feel like? Does alcohol really kill brain cells? Is it normal to get an erection for no reason at all? Is smoking safe if I don t inhale? What is the G-spot? 100 Questions You d NEVER Ask Your Parents answers these and ninety-five other daunting questions that face teenagers everyday. Addressing the most sensitive of subjects in a real voice and a nonjudgmental manner, 100 Questions communicates the knowledge that every teen wants to know and no teen wants to ask. It imparts factually sound answers in an exciting and fun manner, intending to remove both the mystery and the stigma from such unmentionable topics.
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The Testing

It's graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she'll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.

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Killer of Enemies
Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones―people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human―and there was everyone else who served them. Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones' pets―genetically engineered monsters―turned on them and are now loose on the world.Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen's powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun. As the legendary Killer of Enemies was in the ancient days of the Apache people, Lozen is meant to be a more than a hunter. Lozen is meant to be a hero.
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Jedi Academy
New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Jeffrey Brown takes readers to a middle school in a galaxy far, far away....

This incredible, original story captures all of the humor, awkwardness, fun, and frustrations of middle school--all told through one boy's comics, journal entries, letters, doodles, and newspaper clippings. The setting? A galaxy far, far away...

Roan's one dream is to leave home and attend Pilot Academy like his older brother, father, and grandfather. But just as Roan is mysteriously denied entrance to Pilot School, he is invited to attend Jedi Academy--a school that he didn't apply to and only recruits children when they are just a few years old. That is, until now...

This inventive novel follows Roan's first year at Jedi Academy where, under the tutelage of Master Yoda, he learns that he possesses more strength and potential than he could have ever dreamed. Oh, and he learns other important things too--like how to make a baking soda volcano, fence with a lightsaber, slow dance with a girl, and lift boulders with the Force.
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