The books selected for this collection were chosen following the criteria of reluctant reader books created by the Quick Picks committee sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association. While these guidelines were designed for young adult books, they also work well for middle-grade books. The criteria include:
- clear writing (no convoluted long sentences with sophisticated vocabulary),
- high interest “hook” in the first few pages,
- well-defined characters,
- interesting plot, and
- familiar themes.