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Urbandale Public Library/All Urbandale Reads 2021

At the April 6 Urbandale City Council Meeting, Mayor Robert Andeweg signed a proclamation naming  “When the Emperor Was Divine” by Julie Otsuka as the All Urbandale Reads selection for 2021. 

The Library has several copies of this book available, so please check out one to read today! Click here to view this title in our catalog.

Beside book discussions, we’re also offering programs related to themes present in this book throughout the rest of 2021. Read on to learn more!

About the All Urbandale Reads Program

All Urbandale Reads is a “one book, one community” reading initiative that attempts to get everyone in a city to read and discuss the same book. The goal of All Urbandale Reads is to unite the community and promote literacy through one inspiring read. Now in its third year, All Urbandale Reads features book discussions and a variety of programs related to themes found in the selected book.

How is the All Urbandale Reads book selected?

Library staff review a variety of critically acclaimed books based on their themes, readability, and the opportunities for related programs each book may present. A selection committee made up of the Library Director, various representatives from around the community, as well as a representative from the State Library of Iowa read and review a list of finalists based on this same criteria and make a final selection. This year, the list of finalists were selected from the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read a program designed to showcase a diverse range of titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives.

What are the past All Urbandale Reads books?

  • “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith (2018)
  • “The Story of Arthur Truluv” by Elizabeth Berg (2019)
  • “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien (2020)

Next page: Upcoming book discussions and special events