Official State of Iowa Website

All Iowa Reads Winners and Shortlists


All Iowa Reads: 

The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson

Adult Runners Up

  • Don't Cry for Me by Daniel Black
  • How to Think Like a Woman by Rebecca Penaluna
  • The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson 
  • When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill
  • You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

Teen All Iowa Reads: 

Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed

Teen Runners Up

  • One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

  • In The Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

  • This Place Is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian

  • Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert 

Kids All Iowa Reads: 

Tumble by Celia C. Pérez

Kids Runners Up

  • Cress Watercress by Gregory Maguire

  • Anybody Here Seen Frenchie? by Leslie Connor

  • The Best Liars in Riverview by Lin Thompson

  • Attack of the Black Rectangles by Amy Sarig King

Previous Years Winners and Shortlists

Click on a year below to expand the section and see that year's All Iowa Reads selected title(s) as well as the runners up. Note that prior to 2018, there was only one program for adults so teen and kids titles are not listed. Discussion guides for previous titles have been archived in Iowa Publications Online; click the link below to access the archived guides:

Archived Discussion Guides


All Iowa Reads: How High We Go in the Dark: A Novel by Sequoia Nagamatsu

Adult Runners Up

  • Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson
  • Mercy Street by Jennifer Haigh
  • The Orphans of Davenport: Eugenics, the Great Depression, and the War over Children’s Intelligence by Marilyn Brookwood
  • Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff
  • We Heard It When We Were Young by Chuy Renteria

Teen All Iowa Reads: Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Teen Runners Up

  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo 
  • From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo
  • Himawari House by Harmony Becker
  • The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons
  • Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park 

Kids All Iowa Reads: The Golden Hour by Niki Smith

Kids Runners Up

  • Brother's Keeper by Julie Lee
  • Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk
  • How to Find What You're Not Looking For by Veera Hiranandani
  • Starfish by Lisa Fipps 


All Iowa Reads: The Butterfly Effect by Rachel Mans McKenny

Adult Runners Up

  • Barn 8: A Novel by Deb Olin Unferth
  • How Much of These Hills is Gold by Pam Zhang
  • The Lager Queen of Minnesota: A Novel by J. Ryan Stradal
  • Love, Zach: Small-Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy by Reid Forgrave
  • The Monsters We Make: A Novel by Kali White
  • Valentine: A Novel by Elizabeth Wetmore

Teen All Iowa Reads: What I Carry  by Jennifer Longo

Teen Runners Up

  • Slay by Brittney Morris
  • Displacement by Kiku Hughes
  • Camp by L.C. Rosen
  • Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

Kids All Iowa Reads: The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O'Shaughnessy

Kids Runners Up

  • Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte
  • Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim
  • Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
  • Itch by Polly Farquhar


All Iowa Reads: Little Faith by Nickolas Butler

Adult Runners Up

  • After the Flood by Kassandra Montag
  • Arrowood: A Novel by Laura McHugh
  • The Heap: A Novel by Sean Adams
  • How to Forget: A Daughter's Memoir by Kate Mulgrew
  • Prairie Fever by Michael Parker

Teen All Iowa Reads: Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Teen Runners Up

  • We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden
  • Sorry for Your Loss by Jessie Ann Foley
  • Like A Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
  • Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

Kids All Iowa Reads: Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

Kids Runners Up

  • Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya
  • I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day
  • The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles
  • The Best At It by Maulik Pancholy
  • Cog by Greg van Eekhout


All Iowa Reads: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Runners Up:

  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
  • Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens
  • Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
  • Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
  • When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka

Teen All Iowa Reads: Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Runners Up:

  • We'll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss
  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
  • You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
  • The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Kids All Iowa Reads: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

Runners Up: 

  • New Kid by Jerry Craft
  • Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
  • The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
  • The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang


All Iowa Reads: This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm by Ted Genoways

Runners Up:

  • Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
  • The Homesman: A Novel by Glendon Swarthout
  • Interior Places by Lisa Knopp
  • A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America's First Indian Doctor by Joe Starita

Teen All Iowa Reads: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

Runners Up:

  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  • Burn, Baby, Burn by Meg Medina
  • The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
  • Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Kids All Iowa Reads: Amina's Voice by Hena Khan

Runners Up:

  • All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
  • Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
  • The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
  • Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • The Witch Boy (graphic novel) by Molly Knox Ostertag


All Iowa Reads: The Boys in the Bunkhouse by Dan Barry 

Runners Up:

  • At the Edge of the Orchard: A Novel by Tracy Chevalier 
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond 
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi  
  • Loving Day by Mat Johnson 

Teen All Iowa Reads: The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse 

Runners Up:

  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds 
  • How It went Down by Kekla Magoon
  • I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Kids All Iowa Reads: Ghost by Jason Reynolds 

Runners Up:

  • Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet
  • Crunch by Leslie Connor
  • Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson
  • Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin


Bottomland by Michelle Hoover

Runners Up:

  • Hulse, S.M. Black River, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
  • Ng, Celeste. Everything I Never Told You: A Novel, Penguin Press, 2014
  • Krueger, William Kent. Ordinary Grace, Thorndike Press, 2013
  • Haruf, Kent. Our Souls at Night, Knopf, 2015
  • Smiley, Jane. Some Luck, Thorndike Press, 2014


Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Runners Up:

  • Macallister, Greer. The Magician's Lie, Sourcebooks, 2015
  • Butler, Nickolas. Shotgun Lovesongs, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2014
  • Smiley, Jane. Some Luck, Anchor, 2014
  • Henriquez, Cristina. The Book of Unknown Americans, Vintage, 2014


My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

Runners Up:

  • Bates, Laura. Shakespeare Saved My Life, Sourcebooks, 2013.
  • Bly, Jonah. Third Hill North of Town, Kensington, 2014.
  • Fountain, Ben. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Ecco, 2012.
  • Rhodes, David. Jewelweed, Milkweed, 2014.
  • Watson, Larry. Let Him Go, Milkweed, 2013.
  • Whaley, John Corey. Where Things Come Back, Athenium, 2011.


Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman

Runners Up:

  • Coplin, Amanda. The Orchardist, Harper, 2013.
  • Geye, Peter. Lighthouse Road, Unbridled Books, 2013.
  • Haruf, Kent. Benediction, Knopf, 2013.
  • Ivey, Eowyn. The Snow Child, Reagan Arthur Books, 2012.
  • Oliveira, Robin. My Name is Mary Sutter, Penguin, 2010.


The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson

Runners Up:

  • Brooks, Geraldine. Caleb's Crossing, Penguin, 2012.
  • Harback, Curt. Art of Fielding, Back Bay, 2012.
  • Patchet, Ann. State of Wonder, Harper, 2012.
  • Quindlen, Anna. Every Last One, Random House. 2011.
  • Revoyr, Nina. Wingshooters, Akashic, 2011.


Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder

Runners Up:

  • Doig, Ivan. Work Song, Riverhead Press, 2010.
  • Hoover, Michelle. The Quickening. Other Press, 2010.
  • Martin, Lee.  River of Heaven. Three Rivers Press, 2008.
  • OBrien, Dan. Stolen Horses, Bison Books, 2010.
  • Olmstead, Robert. Coal Black Horse, Algonquin, 2008.


Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos

Runners Up:

  • Lynch, Jim. Border Songs. Knopf, 2009.
  • Gudenkauf, Heather. The Weight of Silence. MIRA, 2009.
  • Cleave, Chris.  Little Bee. Simon & Schuster, 2009.
  • Martin, Lee.  River of Heaven. Three Rivers Press, 2008.
  • Sheers, Owen.  Resistance. Talese/Doubleday, 2008.
  • Barrett, Andrea.  The Air We Breathe. WW Norton, 2007.
  • Lodge, David.  Deaf Sentence. Viking, 2008.


Driftless by David Rhodes

Runners Up:

  • Choi, Susan. A Person of Interest.Viking, 2008.
  • Canin, Ethan. America, America. Random House, 2008.
  • Drew , Alan. Gardens of Water. Random House, 2008.
  • Lovely, Stephen. Irreplaceable. Voice, 2009.
  • Jordan, Hillary. Mudbound. Algonquin, 2009.


The Rope Walk by Carrie Brown

Runners Up:

  • Brooks, Geraldine. People of the Book. New York, Viking, 2008.
  • Danticat, Edwidge. Brother I'm Dying. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2007.
  • Harrison, Jim. Returning to Earth. New York, Grove Press, 2007.
  • Petterson, Per. Out Stealing Horses. Saint Paul, Minn., Graywolf Press, 2007/ 2005.
  • Quindlen, Anna. Rise and Shine. New York, Random House, 2006.


Digging to America by Anne Tyler

Runners Up:

  • McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York, Vintage, 2007.
  • McDermott, Alice. After This, New York, Farrar, Straus, $ Giroux, 2006.
  • Pollen, Michael. Omnivore's Dilemma. New York, Penquin, 2007.
  • Powers, Richard. Echo Maker. New York, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2006.
  • Zusak, Marcus. Book Thief. New York, Knopf, 2006.


Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio by Jeffrey Kluger

Runners Up:

  • Brooks, Geraldine. March. New York, Viking, 2005.Fisher,
  • Karen. A Sudden Country. New York, Random House, 2005.
  • Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.
  • Hornby, Nick. A Long Way Down. New York, Riverhead Books, 2005.
  • Oates, Joyce Carol. Missing Mom. New York, Ecco, 2005.


Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Runners Up:

  • Brooks, Geraldine. Year of Wonders; a Novel of the Plague. New York, Viking, 2001.
  • Jones, Edward. The Known World. New York: Amistad, 2003.
  • McLarty, Ron. The Memory of Running. New York: Viking, 2005.
  • Spragg, Mark. An Unfinished Life. New York: Knopf, 2004.


The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

Runners Up:

  • Haddon, Mark.The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  New York, Doubleday, 2003.
  • Holman, Sheri. Mammoth Cheese. New York, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003.
  • Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York, Riverhead Books, 2003.
  • Niffenegger, Audrey. The Time Traveler’s Wife. San Francisco, MacAdam/Cage, 2003.
  • Otsuka, Julie. When the Emperor was Divine. New York, Knopf, 2002.
  • Quindlen, Anna. Blessings. New York, Random House, 2002.


Niagara Falls All Over Again by Elizabeth McCracken

Runners Up:

  • Erdrich, Louise. The Master Butchers Singing Club. New York, HaperCollinsPublishers, 2003.
  • Frazier, Charles. Cold Mountain. New York, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.
  • Hamilton, Jane. The Short History of a Prince. New York, Random House, 1998
  • Hillenbrand, Laura. Seabiscuit: an American Legend. New York, Random House, 2001
  • Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. New York, Harcourt, 2001.
  • McMurtry, Larry. Sin Killer. New York, Simon & Schuster, 2002.
  • Russo, Richard. Empire Falls. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001.


Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Runners Up:

  • Canin, Ethan. Carry Me Across the Water. New York, Random House, 2001.
  • Haruf, Kent. Plainsong. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.