All Iowa Reads
Established in 2003, the purpose of All Iowa Reads is to foster a sense of unity through reading. Iowans are encouraged to come together in their communities to read and talk about a single book title in the same calendar year. All Iowa Reads consists of three programs, each with one title chosen per year: adults, teens ages 12-18, and kids ages 8-12.
Libraries, book clubs, schools and other local organizations are encouraged to sponsor discussions of the titles. See the information below for current and past selections as well as materials including book reviews, discussion questions, author bios, and publicity materials to help libraries and groups prepare successful discussions.
Announcing the 2023 All Iowa Reads Selections!
The selections for the 2023 All Iowa Reads program have been announced:
- Adults: HOW HIGH WE GO IN THE DARK: A NOVEL by Sequoia Nagamatsu
- Teens: FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER by Angeline Boulley
- Kids: THE GOLDEN HOUR by Niki Smith
Listen to the announcement on the Talk of Iowa podcast.
More information about the 2023 All Iowa Reads program, including discussion guides, author bios, promotional materials, and more, will be available soon.
2022 All Iowa Reads Selections
Adult Program Selection:
The Butterfly Effect by Rachel Mans McKenny
Is there such a thing as an anti-social butterfly? If there were, Greta Oto would know about it--and totally relate. An entomologist, Greta far prefers the company of bugs to humans, and that's okay, because people don't seem to like her all that much anyway, with the exception of her twin brother, Danny, though they've recently had a falling out. So when she lands a research gig in the rainforest, she leaves it all behind.
But when Greta learns that Danny has suffered an aneurysm and is now hospitalized, she abandons her research and hurries home to the middle of nowhere America to be there for her brother. But there's only so much she can do, and unfortunately just like insects, humans don't stay cooped up in their hives either--they buzz about and... socialize. Coming home means confronting all that she left behind, including her lousy soon-to-be sister-in-law, her estranged mother, and her ex-boyfriend Brandon who has conveniently found a new non-lab-exclusive partner with shiny hair, perfect teeth, and can actually remember the names of the people she meets right away. Being that Brandon runs the only butterfly conservatory in town, and her dissertation is now in jeopardy, taking that job, being back home, it's all creating chaos of Greta's perfectly catalogued and compartmentalized world. But real life is messy, and Greta will have to ask herself if she has the courage to open up for the people she loves, and for those who want to love her.
The Butterfly Effect is an unconventional tale of self-discovery, navigating relationships, and how sometimes it takes stepping outside of our comfort zone to find what we need the most.
Teen (ages 12-18) Program Selection:
What I Carry by Jennifer Longo
For readers of Robin Benway's Far From the Tree, a powerful and heartwarming look at a teen girl about to age out of the foster care system.
Growing up in foster care, Muir has lived in many houses. And if she’s learned one thing, it is to Pack. Light. Carry only what fits in a suitcase.
Emotional attachment to friends? foster families? a boyfriend? Nope!
There’s no room for any additional baggage.
Muir has just one year left before she ages out of the system. One year before she’s free. One year to avoid anything–or anyone–that could get in her way.
Then she meets Francine. And Kira. And Sean.
And everything changes.
Kids (ages 8-12) Program Selection:
The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O'Shaughnessy
Maybelle Lane is looking for her father, but on the road to Nashville she finds so much more: courage, brains, heart–and true friends.
Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane collects sounds. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door squeaking. But the crown jewel of her collection is a sound she didn’t collect herself: an old recording of her daddy’s warm-sunshine laugh, saved on an old phone’s voicemail. It’s the only thing she has of his, and the only thing she knows about him.
Until the day she hears that laugh–his laugh–pouring out of the car radio. Going against Momma’s wishes, Maybelle starts listening to her radio DJ daddy’s new show, drinking in every word like a plant leaning toward the sun. When he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she signs up. What better way to meet than to stand before him and sing with all her heart?
But the road to Nashville is bumpy. Her starch-stiff neighbor Mrs. Boggs offers to drive her in her RV. And a bully of a boy from the trailer park hitches a ride, too. These are not the people May would have chosen to help her, but it turns out they’re searching for things as well. And the journey will mold them into the best kind of family–the kind you choose for yourself.
All Iowa Reads is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of Iowa.