The Fall 2019 Iola Reads selection is A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen. The fall read runs from September 30 to November 12.
The upper elementary/middle school level book is about Gerta, a girl in East Berlin who finds her family suddenly divided by the Berlin Wall. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, yet she can’t help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city. But one day on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Gerta concludes that her father wants her and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. If they are caught, the consequences will be deadly.
Read the book and attend one or both of the following programs:
November 5: Author Jennifer Nielsen will speak and sign books at the Creitz Recital Hall. 7:00 p.m.
November 12: Eyewitness to the Fall. In the Iola Reads book A Night Divided, Gerta is there when the Berlin Wall goes up. In real life, Iolan Carl Slaugh was there when it fell. He tells about his family’s experience. The program will be at the library at 7:00 p.m.
Iola Reads is a cooperative project involving the library, USD #257, and the Bowlus Fine Arts Center.