Saturday, September 17, 2011

Irresistible Books for Resistant Readers

RESISTANT READER: n. teen who can read, but chooses not to; may even say they hate reading

I have plenty of resistant readers in my library. Here's what I recommend for them (some high school choices included):

Notes From A Totally Lame Vampire (Tim Collins)
Also titled Diary of a Wimpy Vampire. Similar to Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid, vampire style. Nigel Mullet, a 100-year-old vampire doomed to spend eternity in the body of a socially awkward fifteen-year-old boy, records his attempts to impress the love of his life, Chloe, while battling an embarrassingly overwhelming desire to sink his fangs into her.

Prince of Dorkness: More Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire (Tim Collins)

Sequel to Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire. After changing from lame to super-attractive over school break, vampire Nigel acquires a girlfriend, Chloe, and starts the new term as one of the most popular students at school, but then a new student sets his sights on Chloe and Nigel must compete for her affections.

Dork Diaries series (Rachel Renee Russell)

Fourteen-year-old Nikki Maxwell writes and sketches in her diary about her struggle to be popular at her exclusive new private school, and about giving up on being part of the elite group, before figuring out a way to simply be herself.

Big Nate series (Lincoln Peirce)

Supremely confident middle school student Nate Wright manages to make getting detention from every one of his teachers in the same day seem like an achievement.

Geek Chic: The Zoey Zone (Margie Palatini)

Eleven-year-old Zoey is suffering the pains of entering the sixth grade, stressing over things such as having a bad hair day and finding a place at the primo lunch table.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (James Patterson)

When Rafe Kane enters middle school, he teams up with his best friend, "Leo the Silent," to create a game to make school more fun by trying to break every rule in the school's code of conduct.

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to NOT Reading (Tommy Greenwald)

Middle schooler Charlie Joe is proud of his success at avoiding reading, but eventually his schemes go too far.

Aliens on Vacation (Clete Smith)

Scrub arrives at his grandmother's Washington bed-and-breakfast only to discover she has opened the doors to aliens that arrive through off-Earth portals, and he must decide what to do when the local sheriff, already suspicious of Granny, notices some of the kids Scrub is chaperoning at a campout glow in the dark.
Bluford High series (various authors)

Set in urban America and featuring adolescent characters, this series addresses topics and themes relevant to today's teenagers.

What My Mother Doesn't Know (Sonya Sones)

Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right.

What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know (Sonya Sones)

Artistic fourteen-year-old Robin Murphy is so unpopular at high school that his name is slang for "loser," so when he begins dating the beautiful and popular Sophie, her reputation plummets.

I Heart You, You Haunt Me (Lisa Shroeder)

A verse novel in which fifteen-year-old Ava, feeling guilty over the role she believes she played in her boyfriend Jackson's death, experiences a whole new range of emotions when she realizes he is back from the dead.

Chasing Brooklyn (Lisa Shroeder)

As teenagers Brooklyn and Nico work to help each other recover from the deaths of Brooklyn's boyfriend--Nico's brother Lucca--and their friend Gabe, the two begin to rediscover their passion for life, and a newly blossoming passion for one another.

Skellig (David Almond)

Unhappy about his baby sister's illness and the chaos of moving into a dilapidated old house, Michael retreats to the garage and finds a mysterious stranger who is something like a bird and something like an angel.

The Tequila Worm (Viola Canales)

Text mainly in English with some Spanish. Sofia finds that her experiences as a scholarship student at an Episcopal boarding school in Austin only strengthen her ties to her family in the barrio community of McAllen, Texas.

Monster (Walter Dean Myers)

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

Tyrell (Coe Booth)

Fifteen-year-old Tyrell, who is living in a Bronx homeless shelter with his spaced-out mother and his younger brother, tries to avoid temptation so he does not end up in jail like his father.

Perfect Chemistry (Simone Elkeles)

When wealthy, seemingly perfect Brittany and Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, develop a relationship after Alex discovers that Brittany is not exactly who she seems to be, they must face the disapproval of their schoolmates--and others.

Suckerpunch (David Hernandez)

Shy, seventeen-year-old Marcus and his sixteen-year-old brother, Enrique, accompanied by two friends, drive from their home in southern California to Monterey to confront the abusive father who walked out a year earlier, and who now wants to return home. 

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series (Heather Brewer)

Thirteen-year-old half-vampire Vladimir Tod struggles to navigate the ups and downs of eighth grade while keeping his untested powers and impulses under control. 

Ask CosmoGirl About Beauty
The editors of "CosmoGirl!" magazine answers dozens of reader questions about beauty, offering teenage girls advice on hair, makeup, skin, teeth, and nails.

What Happened to Cass McBride? (Gail Giles)

After his younger brother commits suicide, Kyle Kirby decides to exact revenge on the person he holds responsible.

The First Part Last (Angela Johnson)

Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.


  1. Don't know about Skellig, but the rest of the list looks good. The ones that my students are liking right now are the District 13 and Surviving Southside books. The downside is that they are so short that they need about two a day.

  2. Oh, yeah, Surviving Southside is a great choice! I had not previously heard of District 13, but I just added the whole set to my next order.

  3. We have the Perfect Chemistry series and it is very popular with our not-fussed-on-reading Pasifika students (at a girls' high school). They always look amazed when I start raving about the series.


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