2022 All Iowa Reads Selections Announced

2022 All Iowa ReadsThe 2022 All Iowa Reads selections were announced on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa program with host Charity Nebbe. Nebbe was joined by All Iowa Reads committee member Jillian Rutledge of the Waterloo Public Library to announce the title for adults; and Tegan Beese, Youth Services Consultant at the State Library and head of the All Iowa Reads teen and kid committees, to announce the titles for teens and kids.

Established in 2003, the All Iowa Reads program is one of the first projects to be provided by the Iowa Center for the Book. The purpose of All Iowa Reads is to foster a sense of unity through reading. We encourage Iowans statewide to come together in their communities to read and talk about a single book title in the same year. Libraries, book clubs, schools, and other local organizations are encouraged to sponsor discussions of the title.

2022 All Iowa Reads
The Butterfly Effect: a novel by Rachel Mans McKenny
A Man Called Ove meets The Rosie Project in this “delightfully off-kilter” (Rachel Yoder, Nightbitch) tale of a grumpy introvert, her astonishing lack of social skills, and empirical data-driven approach to people and relationships. 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.

2022 Teen All Iowa Reads
What I Carry by Jennifer Longo
“Dubbed not only a necessary book — [but] a charming, honest, and hopeful one by A Heart in a Body in the World author Deb Caletti, Longo’s What I Carry centers on Muiriel, a self-described “foundling” approaching her 18th birthday in the foster-care system. She has become an expert at moving, because she’s bounced around to nearly two dozen foster homes. With her emancipation from the system on the horizon, Muiriel just needs to keep herself out of trouble until her birthday. But when her home city of Seattle can’t place her anywhere, Muiriel is shipped off to a remote island in the Puget Sound, where she finds people who complicate, and may heal, her personal philosophy against attachments. And she may find a home at last.” – BUSTLE

The 2022 Kids All Iowa Reads
The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy
Perfect for readers who enjoyed the bittersweet tenderness of Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale and the road trip fun of Ingrid Law’s Savvy, Kate O’Shaughnessy’s debut middle grade novel, The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane, follows a girl who sets out on the adventure of a lifetime to enter a singing competition and—she hopes—meet her father, one of the competition’s judges, for the first time.

More About All Iowa Reads

Book Reviews From Deena

Heart shape filled with books on shelvesCheck out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena!

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

Always by Sarah Jio  DB86940

Kailey is having dinner with her fiancé, Ryan in a fancy restaurant.  As they leave they encounter a homeless man, Cade McCallister.  Kailey suddenly recognizes him as a man she once loved and lost.  Kailey’s world is turned upside down.  She is torn between helping Cade and her loyalty to Ryan, a man she now loves.  Who will she choose?

House at Riverton by Kate Morton  DB66900

Grace, from the age of fourteen, worked as a maid in England called Riverton.  Today, Grace at the age of 98, is contacted by a producer who is making a film about Riverton and a poet who committed suicide on the grounds of Riverton in 1924 during a party. Grace was witness to what happened, so many years ago and has kept silent about what really went on that night.  Grace who feels her life ebbing away believes it is time that the truth be told.  If you enjoy the series Downton Abbey this book might be for you.

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld DB99840

Rodham is an alternative history.  What if Hillary Rodham Clinton never married Bill Clinton? Could she possibly have won the 2017 election? This is an interesting fantasy of the relationship of Hillary and Bill when they meet at Yale Law School.  They fall madly in love, but Hillary soon realizes Bill is a womanizer and leaves him.  Both move on with their lives, but their lives cross again several times in the book. This is a look at how things could have been through the author’s imagination. Don’t expect reality, her whole idea of who was president between 1988-2017 is completely different than the real world. This departure from reality is a fun read.

Iowa Center for the Book: Great Reads from Great Places

Grasshopper Jungle book coverThe Iowa Center for the Book (ICB) is a program of the State Library of Iowa and an affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. Founded in 2002, ICB’s mission is to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy, and libraries. Bookmark this page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  The Iowa Center for the Book is funded in part with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

From the Iowa Center for the Book

The Iowa Center for the Book has selected Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (DB80786) as the 2021 title for the Great Reads from Great Places program. Great Reads from Great Places is a program from the Library of Congress Center for the Book to showcase the literary heritage of the nation’s states and territories. Each book is selected annually by the Center for the Book affiliates and highlighted during the National Book Festival. The books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage. 

About the Book 

Austin and Robby didn’t exactly mean to start the end of the world here in Ealing, Iowa but that’s what happens when they unleash an army of six-foot-tall praying mantises and now this is the truth, this is history … and nobody knows anything about it. 

Funny, intense, complex, and brave, Grasshopper Jungle brilliantly weaves together everything from testicle-dissolving genetically modified corn to the struggles of recession-era, small-town America in this groundbreaking coming-of-age stunner. 

About the Author 

Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Grasshopper Jungle (2015 Michael L. Printz Honor, 2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Carnegie Medal Longlist) and Winger. He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. The Alex Crow, a starred novel by KirkusPublishers Weekly, and Booklist, is his ninth novel. He lives in Southern California. Find out more at www.authorandrewsmith.com

See what titles other States chose for their Great Reads from Great Places 

Library Chat Podcast: September 2021

In September’s Library Chat library staff discuss Banned Books Week and more.  We also discuss two podcasts focusing on banned books.

Library Chat Podcasts:  September 2021

Library Chat Booklist:  September 2021

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020

  1. George by Alex Gino DB82273 
    It was challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community” 
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds DB98926 and BR23102 
    It was banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people 
  3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely  DB83370 
    It was banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now” 
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson DB49958 and BRN27713 
    It was banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity 
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie DB65403 and BR21549 
    It was banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author 
  6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin DB100015 
    It was challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views 
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee DB77672BR12850 and LT10965 
    It was banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience 
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck DB48515, BRN19107 and LT4820 
    It was banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students 
  9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison DB49914BR12618 and LT5895 
    It was banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse 
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas DB101117BR21874 and YA LT Tho 
    It was challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message

Every year the Office for Intellectual Freedom, a part of the American Library Association, compiles a list of the 10 most challenged books of the previous year. 

Book Reviews from Deena

Heart shape filled with books on shelvesCheck out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena!

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

When We Were Sisters by Emilie Richards  DB98713

Cecilia and Robin were foster sisters.  Robin went on to marry and have children.  Cecilia became a singer, who made it big.  Cecilia is making a film about foster care and asked Robin to talk about their shared experiences.  The two women uncover long-buried secrets about their lives when they were in foster care.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes  DB33245

Charley, a mentally handicapped young man is given experimental surgery to improve his intelligence by a recommendation of his teacher.  At the same time a mouse, Algernon is given the same surgery.  To gauge his mental ability, he “races” the mouse in a maze.  Before his operation, the mouse almost always wins. After the surgery, Charley becomes a genius.  He realizes how he was taunted and made fun of by other people before his surgery.  After a while, Algernon goes back to the way he was originally and Charley realizes it will happen to him too.  This book is what I would classify as a modern classic.  This story has been made into a movie twice.

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica  DB92975

Quinn’s roommate, Esther, is missing.  As Quinn investigates she comes to believe Esther was trying to kill her.  Meanwhile, Alex living in another state meets a mysterious girl, who won’t tell him much about herself.  The parallel stories finally converge and Esther is found with the help of Quinn’s friend. This is an interesting psychological thriller with a surprise ending.

Book Reviews from Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team who recently retired.  She has generously continued to share book reviews with us.  Thank you, Deena!

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

The Crush by Sandra Brown  DB55058
Oren asks his old, friend, Wick to join him in a search for a killer of a doctor at the hospital.  Their number one suspect is Dr. Rennie Newton.  Dr. Newton served on a jury recently that acquitted Rick Lozada of murder.  Lozada is convinced Dr. Newton is interested in him and he tries to woo her.  The lives of all the characters become tangled when a second murder follows.  This is romantic suspense at its best.

Have You Seen Luis Velez?  DB96316
On the way out of his apartment to go to school, Raymond hears someone call “Have you seen Luis Velez?” and he sees an elderly woman.  When Raymond returns he sees the same woman, and as he visits with her he learns she is blind.  She explains she is looking for Luis Velez, who used to come by weekly and help her with her shopping and banking.  She has been unable to contact him.  Raymond volunteers to help Millie by taking her to the bank and going grocery shopping with her.  As Raymond and Millie become friends, Raymond decides to try to help find Luis Velez for Millie.   As their friendship deepens Raymond’s life begins to change along with his relationship with his family. This is a heartwarming story about kindness and stepping in to help.

A Time for Mercy by John Grisham  DB102496
Jake Brigance returns with a capital murder case. Drew Gamble has shot and killed his mother’s boyfriend, who was a policeman, after he physically assaulted his mother.  Drew is only sixteen years old but looks a lot younger.  Jake becomes a pariah in Clanton, Mississippi and his income dries up as the town turns against him for taking the case. Jake masterly defends Drew and becomes involved with his family.  This is the third book in the Jake Brigance series.