In the middle of October 2023, the All Iowa Reads Selections for 2024 were announced on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa program. All Iowa Reads was established in 2003 as a way to foster a sense of unity through reading. In libraries across the state, patrons are encouraged to read these selections at some point within the calendar year.
The All Iowa Reads titles are selected by three different committees run entirely by volunteers. One committee selects the adult titles, another selects the teen titles(ages 12-18), and the third selects the kids titles (ages 8-12). For more information about their process and requirements, visit the State Library of Iowa All Iowa Reads website.
More information and resources about the All Iowa Reads Selections for 2024 will be posted in 2024 on the State Library of Iowa’s website in January.
The 2024 Adult All Iowa Read selection is The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson. The following description is provided by the publisher, Milkweed Editions.
A haunting novel spanning several generations, The Seed Keeper follows a Dakota family’s struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most.
Rosalie Iron Wing has grown up in the woods with her father, Ray, a former science teacher who tells her stories of plants, of the stars, of the origins of the Dakota people. Until, one morning, Ray doesn’t return from checking his traps. Told she has no family, Rosalie is sent to live with a foster family in nearby Mankato—where the reserved, bookish teenager meets rebellious Gaby Makespeace, in a friendship that transcends the damaged legacies they’ve inherited.
On a winter’s day many years later, Rosalie returns to her childhood home. A widow and mother, she has spent the previous two decades on her white husband’s farm, finding solace in her garden even as the farm is threatened first by drought and then by a predatory chemical company. Now, grieving, Rosalie begins to confront the past, on a search for family, identity, and a community where she can finally belong. In the process, she learns what it means to be descended from women with souls of iron—women who have protected their families, their traditions, and a precious cache of seeds through generations of hardship and loss, through war and the insidious trauma of boarding schools.
Weaving together the voices of four indelible women, The Seed Keeper is a beautifully told story of reawakening, of remembering our original relationship to the seeds and, through them, to our ancestors. – Milkweed Editions
The 2024 Teen All Iowa Reads selection is Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed. The following description has been provided by the publisher, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
This powerful, gripping thriller from a New York Times bestselling author shows the insidious nature of racism, the terrible costs of unearthing hidden truths—and the undeniable power of hope.
Safiya Mirza dreams of becoming a journalist. And one thing she’s learned as editor of her school newspaper is that a journalist’s job is to find the facts and not let personal biases affect the story. But all that changes the day she finds the body of a murdered boy.
Jawad Ali was fourteen years old when he built a cosplay jetpack that a teacher mistook for a bomb. A jetpack that got him arrested, labeled a terrorist—and eventually killed. But he’s more than a dead body, and more than “Bomb Boy.” He was a person with a life worth remembering.
Driven by Jawad’s haunting voice guiding her throughout her investigation, Safiya seeks to tell the whole truth about the murdered boy and those who killed him because of their hate-based beliefs.
This gripping and powerful book uses an innovative format and lyrical prose to expose the evil that exists in front of us, and the silent complicity of the privileged who create alternative facts to bend the truth to their liking. – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
The 2024 Kids All Iowa Reads selection is Tumble by Celia C. Pérez. The following description has been provided by the publisher, Kokila.
From the award-winning author of The First Rule of Punk and Strange Birds, a dazzling novel about a young girl who collects the missing pieces of her origin story from the family of legendary luchadores she’s never met.
A 2023 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book
Twelve-year-old Adela “Addie” Ramírez has a big decision to make when her stepfather proposes adoption. Addie loves Alex, the only father figure she’s ever known, but with a new half brother due in a few months and a big school theater performance on her mind, everything suddenly feels like it’s moving too fast. She has a million questions, and the first is about the young man in the photo she found hidden away in her mother’s things.
Addie’s sleuthing takes her to a New Mexico ranch, and her world expands to include the legendary Bravos: Rosie and Pancho, her paternal grandparents and former professional wrestlers; Eva and Maggie, her older identical twin cousins who love to spar in and out of the ring; Uncle Mateo, whose lucha couture and advice are unmatched; and Manny, her biological father, who’s in the midst of a career comeback. As luchadores, the Bravos’s legacy is strong. But being part of a family is so much harder—it’s about showing up, taking off your mask, and working through challenges together.
Stay tuned in January 2024 for more information about these All Iowa Reads selections.