Saturday, December 28, 2013

Iowa Statehood

On this day in 1846, Iowa became the 29th state. To celebrate, here are some books that take place in, or were written by people from America's Heartland.


The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes. After the accident, Paige was shipped off to France so her mother could do damage control. Paige is expected to step back into her picture-perfect life when she returns to Willow Grove, Iowa, but she finds it has shifted and moved on without her. From her new prospective, she's not entirely sure she wants to step back into it, anyway. Backes went to college in Grinnell.

I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It by Adam Selzer. Living in Des Moines in the post-human era when the undead are part of everyday life, high schooler Alley breaks her no-dating rule when Doug catches her eye, but classmate Will demands to turn her into a vampire and her zombie boyfriend may be unable to stop him. Selzer grew up in the Des Moines area.

Ashfall by Mike Mullin. In Yellowstone, there is a caldera, a supervolcano. It has erupted before. It will again. Mullin imagines what will happen when it erupts, as Alex is home alone in Iowa and must try to find his family in a devastated landscape populated by desperate people. The first in a trilogy, follow it with Ashen Winter.


Rotters by Daniel Kraus. After his mother dies, Joey is sent to live with a father he doesn't know. Rural Iowa is far away from his friends and the life he's known. It gets harder when he discovers his father is a grave-robber. Kraus grew up in Iowa.

Hunger: A Novella and Stories by Lan Samantha Chang. All of these short stories focus on immigrant families (mostly Chinese) and lost love. Published for adults, many feature teenagers and they will enjoy the book. Chang lives in Iowa City.

The Fall of Alice K. by Jim Heynen. Alice is a star student and athlete, but her world is crumbling. The farm is failing and her staunchly Dutch Calvinist town of Dutch Center is not happy about an influx of Hmong farm-worker immigrants. Things get shaken up even more when Alice starts dating Nickson--the son of some of the immigrants.


The Project by Brian Falkner. With flood waters rising in their Iowa town, Luke and Tommy are helping the library move books to higher ground. It's how they discover the most boring book in the world-- which is the perfect place to hide secrets. Soon, they're on a thrilling adventure involing time travel, Nazis, and a nefarious plot to rewrite history.

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd. It's the summer after high school and Dade's realizing that his secret boyfriend isn't a very good boyfriend. It might be time to come out and experience real love. Burd went to the University of Iowa.

A & L Do Summer by Jan Blazanin. Laurel and Aspen are best friends and sick of being single. They decide to do summer right in order to get the guys to notice them in Cottonwood Creek, but everything seems to go wrong-- in the most hilarious ways possible. Blazanin grew up in, and still lives in, Iowa.

What are your favorite Hawkeye reads?

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