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Welcome to All Iowa Reads!

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. Please use this site for information as you read and study the book. We offer a wealth of materials including book reviews. discussion questions, and publicity materials to help you prepare successful discussions.

The 2014 selection is "Little Wolves" by Thomas Maltman

Congratulations to Thomas Maltman whose brilliant second novel will be at the center of discussions among hundreds of Iowans next year! Its themes resonate with current events even though it was written before the shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.

AND "Little Wolves" has just been named one of "School Library Journal's" Best Books 2013 Adult Books 4 Teens!

Set on the Minnesota prairie in the late 1980's during a drought season that’s pushing family farms to the brink, Little Wolves features the intertwining stories of a father searching for answers after his son commits a heinous murder, and a pastor’s wife (and washed-out scholar of early Anglo-Saxon literature) who has returned to the town for mysterious reasons of her own. A penetrating look at small-town America, Little Wolves weaves together elements of folklore and Norse mythology while being driven by a powerful murder mystery; a page-turning literary triumph.

Thomas Maltman's first novel, The Night Birds, won an Alex Award, a Spur Award, the Friends of American Writers Literary Award, and was also chosen by the American Library Association as an "Outstanding Book for the College Bound." Maltman holds an MFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and lives in the Twin Cities.

Past AIR Books:

  • 2013The Year We Left  Home by Jean Thompson
  • 2012Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
  • 2011.   Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos
  • 2010.   Driftless by David Rhodes
  • 2009The Rope Walk by Carrie Brown
  • 2008Digging to America by Anne Tyler
  • 2007Splendid Solution:  Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio by Jeffrey Kluger
  • 2006. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  • 2005. The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich
  • 2004. Niagara Falls All Over Again by Elizabeth McCracken
  • 2003. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

How All Iowa Reads is chosen

The All Iowa Reads Committee welcomes, but does not solicit nominations. Members of the Committee read widely, seeking books with broad appeal. In a series of meetings, members discuss possibilities that meet the criteria listed below. The list is narrowed to approximately five titles which are read by all members. Members provide their honest impressions, independent of outside influence, and the final selection is made by consensus.

Criteria used to select the All Iowa Reads title

The AIR book must:

  • Raise universal social issues relevant to Iowans

  • Lend itself to sustained, spirited and in-depth discussion
  • Be accessible to adults and high school aged youth
  • be available by January 1st of the selection year in the following formats:
    • paperback
    • unabridged audio
    • and either large print or downloadable eBook format that is available for purchase and circulation by public libraries*

It is desirable, but not required, that the book:

  • have an Iowa or Midwest connection
  • is a recent publication that has not been widely read

*In the event that the book is not available in large print, the Committee will request that the publisher make it available in LP.

For more information, contact the Coordinator.

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