Monday, February 4, 2013

Quick Picks

I have a few more lists to highlight that were released this week. The next up is Quick Picks, which honors books that will appeal to reluctant readers. Here's the full list. But here are the top ten:


My Friend Dahmer by by Derf Backderf. In this graphic memoir, Backderf tells us the story of Jeffrey Dahmer as he new him in high school, shedding new light and perspective on one of America's most horrifying serial killers. This was also an Alex winner this year.

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry. Kayla was delivering pizzas when she's kidnapped. Her coworker Gabie is horrified to learn that she was the intended victim. Plagued with guilt, Gabie and other coworkers are determined to find out where Kayla is, before it's too late.

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. When bodies start showing up in town, it's all too familiar to Jazz-- his father is a notorious serial killer and made sure to teach Jazz the tricks of the trade. Knowing how these things work from the other side, Jazz uses his knowledge to help track down the new killer, and to prove it isn't him.

Vietnam #1: I Pledge Allegiance by Chris Lynch. The first three books in this series share this top 10 designation. The other two titles are Vietnam #2: Sharpshooter and Vietnam #3: Free-Fire Zone. The series follows a group of four friends. When one is drafted into service during Vietnam, the others join up and they vow to all survive together. Each end up in a different branch in the service and have different experiences. Each book follows a different characters. The fourth in the series, Vietnam #4: Casualties of War just came out in January and wasn't eligible for this quick picks list, but fans will want to read it.


Ten by Gretchen McNeil. This reworking of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None has ten teens enjoying an exclusive house party on an island. But a storm comes up and cuts off all power and contact with the mainland, and then the teens start dying one by one. Can they find the killer before it's too late?

The Pregnancy Project: A Memoir by Gaby Rodriguez with Jenna Glatzer. Gaby's mother and older sisters were all teen moms. Despite Gaby's efforts to excel academically and her dreams of something more, being another statistic is all anyone expects from her. To see how perceptions and interactions would change, Gaby proves them right. As part of a school project, Gaby fakes a pregnancy, hiding the truth from her family and friends.

Juvenile In Justice by Richard Ross. Ross spent years visiting juvenile detention centers, photographing inmates and learning their stories. This is the result. It's self-published, so can be hard to find. It's worth tracking down, as it was also an Alex Award winner this year.


This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers. Sloane was contemplating suicide when the zombies attack. She finds herself holed up in the school with five other students-- students who actually want to live. Sloane's just counting the time until the zombies take her, but those around her will do anything they can to make sure that doesn't happen.

Unchained by LB Tillit. TJs father died of a drug overdose, and his mother was completely strung out. He spent two years in a loving home, a place that gave him stability and showed him a new kind of life and a different path. But in those two years, his mom cleaned up, and now she has him back. TJ had no say, he's just back to where he started, but this time he knows how much better it could be.

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson. When Katrina struck, Laurel lost everything--her home, her mother, and her grandmother. But now she's in Mississippi, a cheerleader with a football player boyfriend. But she still misses everything she lost and when she discovers that meth can easily erase the pain for a while, she quickly falls under its spell.

What are your favorites on the list? What would have picked if you were on the committee?

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