THIS IS NOT A DRILL - In bookstores everywhere - Click to Learn More

YA "Choice" Lists for Middle and High Schoolers

Teachers, have you ever wanted to incorporate "choice" reading into your curriculum but were just too loaded up to figure out the logistics?  I've put together my road-tested system from my 25+ years of teaching here on the blog.)  I promise you it will make the set-up and grading for a "choice" or "independent" program SO much easier. And I'll be presenting at teacher and library conferences across the Southeast in the coming months with Perma-Bound School LIbrary Reps Kristen Ives and John Zeller to share this Step-By-Step program. (We'd love to come to your district!)

Here are the lists of books I recommend that are sure-fire tools to lure reluctant readers into the joy of reading. (Let me know if you have suggestions for additions. We're always looking for books that "hook.") And if you need some good test-data documentation to convince your administrators, there's a blog link here to a Nerdy Book Club post with a great success success story by some friends of mine, Dennis Jolley and Justin Jones, near Atlanta. Oh, and don't forget to follow the Nerdy Book Club on Twitter. It's a fabulous support network for teachers of all grades!

The books on this list with an asterisk are currenlty available through at a discount for teachers. And you'll find reviews for many of them on our website, (along with hundreds of other reviews by students for students.)

If you'd like my annotated NRR list, the Book Interview Questions I use, or the Trailer Instructions and Trailer Grading sheets mentioned in the program, you can request them through my email at Just drop me a quick note to let me know which you'd like and I'll send them as attachments you can print and use.


NotRequiredReading,com Young Adult Book List


Across the Universe by Beth Revis 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 

Ashfall by Mike Mulllin 

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys 

*Boy 21 by Mathew Quick

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacquiline Woodson

*Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

*Cinder by Marissa Meyer

*Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

*Delirium by Lauren Oliver 

*Divergent by Veronica Roth 

The Diviners by Libba Bray 

Dramarama by E. Lockhart 

*Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell 

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card 

*The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

*The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson 

*Grave Mercy by Rogin LaFevers

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Hourglass by Myra McEntire 

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

*I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak 

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

*If I Stay by Gayle Foreman 

*I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan 

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

*The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

*It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini 

King Dork by Frank Portman

*Legend by Marie Lu 

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

*Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

*Maze Runner by James Dashner 

*Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

*Origin by Jessica Khoury 

*Payback Time by Carl Deuker 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

*The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen 

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

*The Selection by Kiera Cass

*Ship Breaker by Paolo Baciagalupi

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

*Small Damages by Beth Kephart

Sold by Patricia McCormick

*Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Speak by Laure Halse Anderson 

*Sunrise over Fallujah,by Walter Dean Myers

*Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

*Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (cover) 

*This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell 

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen 

Tyrell by Coe Booth

Uglies by Scott Westerterfeld 

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher 

*What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell 

*Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Winger by Andrew Smith

Yacqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina Mid-Grade Book List


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Alabama Moon by Watt Key

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle

Bigger Than a Breadbox by Laurel Snyder

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Baillett

Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg-Sloan

Don’t Feed the Boy by Irene Latham

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DeCamillo

Found by Margaret Petersen Haddiz

Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry

Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhhai Lai

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes

One for the Murphy’s by Lynda Mullaly-Hunt

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles

Schooled by Gordon Korman

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The Eighth Day by Dianne Salerni and David McClellan

The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black

The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon




Comments (0)

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.