Iowa Teen Award (6th-9th)

Purpose of the Iowa Teen 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 6th - 9th grades.
  • 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

The Iowa Teen Award is unique in that it gives students an opportunity to choose the book to receive the award and to suggest books for the yearly reading list.

2018-19 Iowa Teen Award Books

ITA slides 2018-19

Voting Specifications

Deadline for Voting: March 30, 2020.

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. 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.
  2. Students may vote for only one title and may not vote for any title they have not read or heard read.
  3. 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 Iowa Teen Award chair. There will be a voting template available created by the ITA chair for those attendance centers who wish to use them. Students can then suggest titles for upcoming ITA 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. ITA 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 IASL website.

Iowa Teen Award Selection and Nomination Criteria

Selection Criteria

Book Criteria

  • Eligible works must be published for young adults within the last three years.
  • Works may be fiction or nonfiction and should represent a wide range of subjects and reading levels.
  • Fifteen works from fifteen different authors will be selected.
  • A variety of genres will be selected to as a great an extent as is practical.
  • Works selected will appeal to readers of both genders and to the range of readers in grades 6-9.
  • Works must have at least one positive review from a major library reviewing periodical.
  • Works NOT considered for inclusion on the list include:
      • Works in a series (e.g., Sweet Valley High, Hardy Boys, Fear Street, etc.)
      • Novelizations of movies or TV programs
      • Newbery Winners (although Honor Books are eligible)
      • Books which have appeared on previous Iowa Teen Award lists

Process for Nominations

  • In March, teens across Iowa take part in nomination of books for the Iowa Teen Award. Votes and nominees for the next year's list are due by March 30th.
  • These books are then reviewed by the ITA committee and volunteer readers until the list is narrowed.
  • During the summer, the adult readers read and rate the titles. The summer read list is issued by the end of May.
  • Ratings of summer reading list are due by the beginning of September of each school year.
  • The committee members finalize the list and provide it prior to the end of the school year prior to the competition. For example, the 2019-20 nominee list will be made available prior to the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

Previous Winners




2019

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

2018

Kwame Alexander

2017

Sarah Darer Littman

2016

Donna Cooner

2016

Rick Riordan

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

Contact Information

Iowa Teen Awards Committee

Shanel Slater, Chair

Committee is open to new members. Contact Alicia Patten.

Awards Chair

Alicia Patten serves as the Awards Chair, a Board-level position, and oversees all the book and personal awards. Contact her about questions regarding any book or mission awards.