YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) has released one of their annual reading lists, 2016 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, which represents:
The Quick Picks list, presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting suggests books that teens, ages 12-18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure; it is geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read. The 2016 list features 67 titles and 2 series, drawn from 181 nominations.
Of the 67 books, quite a few graphic novels were selected; titles marked with a * are on the Top Ten list.
Wicks, Maris. Human Body Theater. Illus. 2015. First: Second/Macmillan, $19.99. 9781626722774. Dance your way through the human anatomy with this graphic novel.
Chmakova, Svetlana. Awkward. 2015. Yen Press/Hachette, $11.00. 9780316381307. When the science and art clubs do battle over school space, things are bound to get awkward.
Cloonan, Becky. Gotham Academy 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy. 2015. Illus. DC Comics, $14.99. 9781401254728. Gotham Academy is a school as strange as its students. https://youtu.be/6k_myplfwQ8
Jamieson, Victoria. Roller Girl. 2015. Illus. Dial Books/Penguin, $20.99. 9780525429678. As Astrid discovers that best friends aren’t always forever, she falls in love with roller derby.
O’Connor, George. Ares: Bringer of War. 2015. Illus. First Second/Macmillan, $9.99. 9781626720138. Ares has many vested interests in the Trojan War and can’t bear to lose to his nemesis, Athena, without a fight.
Stevenson, Noelle. Lumberjanes Vol. 1. 2015. Illus. Boom! Studios, $14.99. 9781608866878. The Roanoke cabin are the worst campers any counselor could ever imagine, but these Lumberjanes scouts prove themselves battling all sorts of supernatural critters and embarking on fun quests.https://youtu.be/3G9w960xmYY
* Stevenson, Noelle. Nimona. 2015. Illus. HarperTeen/HarperCollins, $17.99. 9780062278234. Nimona can, literally, be anything she wants and what she wants more than anything is to be evil Lord Ballister Blackheart’s sidekick. When these two team up, the lines between good and evil begin to blur and chaos reigns.https://youtu.be/BJsomBpAY6c
Tynion, James. The Woods 1: The Arrow. 2014. Illus. Boom! Entertainment/Boom! Studios, $9.99. 9781608864546. A high school is mysteriously transported to another world where students and faculty have to figure out how to survive.
Wilson, G. Willow. Ms. Marvel 3: Crushed. Marvel Enterprises, $15.99. 9780785192275. After defeating the Inventor, Kamala enjoys a period of peace which she knows is too good to be true. A new enemy arises and she is shocked to see how closely they are connected.
Matsui, Yusei. Assassination Classroom V. 1. 2014. Illus. Viz Media, $9.99. 9781421576077. A destructive alien, who just finished taking a chunk out of the moon, makes a deal with the government: It will take over as the teacher for a class of troubled students, class 3-E, while they attempt to assassinate him.
Matsui, Yusei. Assassination Classroom V. 2. 2015. Illus. Viz Media, $9.99. 9781421576084. The students of Class 3-E have a uniquely skilled foreign language teacher, Ms. Jelavich.
Matsui, Yusei. Assassination Classroom V. 3. 2014. Illus. Viz Media, $9.99. 9781421576091. A killer robot enrolls in Class 3-E and Ms. Jelavich has a guest that may force her to leave the school.
Matsui, Yusei. Assassination Classroom V. 4. 2015. Illus. Viz Media, $9.99. 9781421576107. Koro Sensei has a brother! Can he stop Koro Sensei before he destroys the world?
Matsui, Yusei. Assassination Classroom V. 5. 2015. Illus. Viz Media, $9.99. 9781421576114. A ruthless new combat instructor joins class 3-E but they show him how tough they already are.
Matsui, Yusei. Assassination Classroom V. 6. 2015. Illus. Viz Media, $9.99. 9781421576121. Class 3-E attempts a dangerous assassination.
A couple of books that aren’t comics but are sort of “allied” to the field also made the lists:
* Maggs, Sam. A Fan Girl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbooks for Girl Geeks. 2015. Illus. Quirk Books, $15.95. 9781594747892. An illustrated guide to navigating the world of fandom and conventions for female geeks. https://youtu.be/L7gsjZmGF3M
Munroe, Randall. What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $20.00. 9780544272996. Scientifically accurate answers to wildly improbable questions.
Stohl, Margaret. Black Widow: Forever Red. 2015. Marvel Press/Disney, $17.99. 9781484726433. Ava Orlova becomes the target of the man who trained the Black Widow. Now she and Agent Romanoff must work together to uncover past secrets and stop a madman. https://youtu.be/IhRxusevRV0
Getting named on the YALSA list is an immediate boost for any book, with increased library sales.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.