By examining a sample of books chosen by participants in Brooklyn Public Library’s Young Adult Pre-GED program, this article will explore characteristics of reading materials that appeal to out-of-school youth. Authors will share the selection process behind the creation of a special collection targeted to low-literacy young adults (16–24 years old). Using youth participants’ independent reading logs, we will compare what we expected students to enjoy reading with what youth chose to read. A discussion will include lessons learned about collection development for out-of-school youth and how libraries can improve access for struggling adolescent readers.



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