This quirky collection of fiction and nonfiction shorts, chosen annually by high-school students in California and Michigan, is part of the prestigious Best American series. Mentored by Eggers (McSweeney’s, A Hologram for the King, 2012), the voluntary, extracurricular Best American Nonrequired Reading committee, comprised of bright young minds from dozens of different high schools, meets regularly to read, debate, and compile the country’s best fiction, journalism, essays, comics, tweets, letters, humor pieces, and so on for inclusion in this eclectic anthology. The 2012 edition boasts an introduction written shortly before his death by the legendary Ray Bradbury and cover art by Caldecott-winning author-illustrator Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret, 2007). A veritable time capsule of the past year, this mostly winning edition includes nonfiction ruminations from the front lines of the Occupy movement as well as a transcript of the eulogy written by the sister of Steve Jobs. Fiction contributors include George Saunders and Julie Otsuka. Proceeds from the book benefit youth literacy via 826 National, a network of eight youth tutoring, writing, and publishing centers in eight cities across the country. --Chris Keech
"If you need to fall in love with reading again–or just want a reminder that high school students deserve a lot more than their reading lists give them–then THE BEST AMERICAN NONREQUIRED READING 2012 is the book for you."
"As a devoted fan of this series (this is the 11th volume), I can report that this year's anthology of 32 selections might be the best yet."
-Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune
“An eclectic annual that will leave readers marveling over many of the discoveries...category-defying... All readers will find their own favorites that justify the collection as a whole.”
"Lively, eclectic and surprising..."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune