Iowa High School Book Award

Purpose of the Iowa High School Book Award

  • To encourage to read more and better books

  • To provide an avenue for positive dialogue between teachers, parents, and students about books and authors

  • To give recognition to those who write books for young adults.

  • To provide students an opportunity to choose a book to receive the award

  • To offer an avenue for students to suggest books for the yearly reading list

  • To promote leisure reading among Iowa high school students

  • To provide Iowa high school students with a diversified, quality reading list

Iowa High School Book Award

Book Trailers courtesy of Melissa Kane

Bookmarks to print courtesy Deanne Drees

Book Text Bubbles created by Lezley Johnson


Iowa High School Book Award Nominees

Order Here by March 31, 2022

Orders received by March 31 will be guaranteed a poster with their order.


Iowa High School Book Award BINGO - 22

2021-2022 Resources

Book Trailers

List Bookmark

Cover Bookmark

Voting Specifications

Nature of award: Engraved plaque

Frequency and/or number of awards given: 1 each year

Funding from sale of posters, bookmarks and label supplies for award books.

Voting Process for Selecting Winner

Voting Process

  1. In the spring, 9th through 12th grade students across Iowa take part in the nomination of books for the Iowa High School Book Award. The nominations may come exclusively from these students so that it is ensured that these are the favorites of students in this age group. Nominations are not allowed from authors or publishers.

  2. After the suggestions are submitted, these books are reviewed by the committee and volunteer readers and the list is narrowed. During the summer, the adult readers read and rate the titles. The committee members finalize the list a year ahead of time.

  3. Students should read at least two titles to be eligible to vote. It is acceptable for students to read these themselves or have heard them read aloud.

  4. Students may vote for only one title and may not vote for any title they have not read or heard read.

  5. Voting will be conducted on ballots produced by each attendance center. Each participating school will send the results by web ballot unless another method is designated by the IHSBA chair. There will be a voting template available created by the IHSBA chair for those attendance centers who wish to use them. Students can then suggest titles for upcoming IHSBA reading lists at this same time.

Process for notification

  • Notification is sent immediately after winner is announced. Winner is contacted through publisher or agent, or through personal contact. Iowa High School Book Award chair notifies winner.

Requirements of winners, if any, with details as to compliance follow-up procedures

  • None, although if thank you letters are received from winners, they are included on the IHSBA website.

IHSBA Selection and Nomination Criteria

Selection Criteria

Book Criteria

  • Eligible works must be published for young adults within two years of the list year. (If a list will be released in 2021, then books will be copyright year 19& 20)

  • Works may be fiction or nonfiction and should represent a wide range of subjects and reading levels.

  • The total number of books on the final list will be flexible between 15-25 titles. Only one title per author will be on the final list.

  • A variety of genres will be selected to as a great extent as is practical.

  • Books should be written predominately in English and currently in print.

  • Works selected will appeal to readers of any gender and to the range of readers in grades 9-12.

  • Works must have at least one positive review from a major library reviewing periodical.

  • Series books are accepted if they can stand alone.

  • Graphic novels are accepted.

  • Works NOT considered for inclusion on the list include:

    • Newbery Winners (although Honor Books are eligible)

    • Books which have appeared on previous IASL Book Awards Lists

Previous Winners


Jarrett J Krosoczka


Neal Shusterman

Jarrod Shusterman


Angie Thomas


Nicola Yoon


Nicola Yoon


Chris Kyle


Rick Yancey


Rainbow Rowell

Previous Award Winning Books by Year, University of Northern Iowa Rod Library

Contact Information

Committee Members

Kim Carlson, IHSBA Co-Chair

Jennifer Gassman - IHSBA Co-Chair