The Iowa Center for the Book Chooses Land of Permanent Goodbyes as an All Iowa Reads!

By Luis Diaz | February 5 2019 | Community Reads

The Iowa Center for the Book Chooses Land of Permanent Goodbyes as the 2019 All Iowa Reads for ages 12-18. The novel, set in Syria, tells the story of a refugee escaping his war-torn country in search of survival. Author Atia Abawi, a journalist and refugee herself, captures the hope that spurs people forward against all odds as she depicts Tareq’s journey – from Syria, across Turkey to Greece.

While this is one family’s story, it is also the timeless tale of the heartbreaking consequences of all wars, all tragedy, narrated by Destiny itself. When you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss.

The purpose of All Iowa Reads (through the Iowa Center of the Book) is to foster a sense of unity through reading. The program encourages 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. The Iowa Center of the Book offers a wealth of materials including book reviews, discussion questions, and publicity materials to help groups prepare successful discussions.

Atia Abawi is an award-winning foreign correspondent and author who lives in Jerusalem with her husband and young son. She has won numerous awards for both her journalistic achievements and written, including The George Foster Peabody Award and The duPont-Columbia Awards. Atia will be scheduling Skype sessions with the Iowa Center of the Book this winter in order to connect with her readers and fans. Land of Permanent Goodbyes is Abawi’s second novel. Her first novel, The Secret Sky received critical acclaim and a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
A powerful novel of refugees escaping from war-torn Syria, masterfully told by a journalist who witnessed the crisis firsthand.
Age 12 and up
Grade 7 & Up

The Secret Sky
A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan
An eye-opening, heart-rending tale of love, honor and betrayal from veteran foreign news correspodent Atia AbawiFatima is a Hazara girl, raised to be obedient and dutiful. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy raised to defend the traditions of his tribe. They were not meant to fall in love. But they do. And the story that follows shows both the beauty and the violence in current-day Afghanistan as Fatima and Samiullah fight their families, their cultures and the Taliban to stay together. Based on the people Atia Abawi met and the events she covered during her nearly five years in Afghanistan, this stunning novel is a must-read for anyone who has lived during America's War in Afghanistan.Perfect for fans of Patricia McCormick, Linda Sue Park, and Khaled Hosseini, this story will stay with readers for a long time to come.* “A suspenseful, enlightening, and hopeful love story.” Publishers Weekly, starred review“Riveting plot, sympathetic characters and straightforward narration studded with vivid, authentic detail: a top choice.” – Kirkus review “Heartbreaking and heartwarming.” – VOYA review
Age 14 and up
Grade 9 & Up