Oct. 4, 2021: The Iola Reads Young Adult selection for 20201 is…

Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Iola Reads squint flyerJoin us in another great community read!

Copies are available at the Library or around town at:

Senior Center
City of Iola office
Townhouse West
Community Health Center of SEK
Community National Bank
Bennet Laundry
Iola Pharmacy
Around the Corner

Upcoming Events:

November 4 – Chad Morris & Shelly Brown Authors’ Visits

  • 10 am Iola Middle School
  • 1:30 pm Lincoln Elementary School
  • 7 pm Community Presentation at Creitz Recital Hall – Bowlus Fine Arts Center

Comic Strip Contest at Iola Public Library

  • Contest Details (.pdf)
  • Oct. 4 to Nov. 1 Entries Accepted
  • Nov. 4 Comic Strip Awards Reception
    • 6 pm Iola Public Library

About the Book:

From Shadow Mountain Publishing


by: Chad MorrisShelly Brown,

The hero of my comic book can shoot lasers from his eyes when he squints. But it might not be enough to save the Empress. What he’ll need most of all is a friend named Diamond Girl.

Flint loves to draw. In fact, he’s furiously trying to finish his comic book so he can be the youngest winner of the “Find a Comic Star” contest. He’s also rushing to finish because he has an eye disease that could eventually make him blind.

At school, Flint meets McKell. She’s new and doesn’t seem to have trouble making friends. She does have a problem with how some of her new friends treat this boy they call “Squint.” He seems nice and really talented. He also seems like the kind of person who wouldn’t laugh at you. That’s important, because McKell has hidden talents of her own but is worried about what will happen if she shares them.

Squint is the inspiring story of two new friends dealing with their own challenges who learn to trust each other, believe in themselves, and begin to truly see what matters most.

Read an Excerpt


Funding provided by the Helen Gates Whitehead Trust.
Iola Reads is a project of the Iola Public Library, USD 257 and the Bowlus Fine Arts Center


September 11, 2021 Memorial Walk

A silent memorial walk for the 412 first responders killed on 9/11 took place on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 9 a.m. at the Iola downtown square. Lanyards worn during the walk were available at the Library, allowing individuals to walk in remembrance for one of the fallen first responders. Members of the Iola Police and Fire Departments read the names of the fallen during the walk.

A vinyl memorial wall recognizing all of the 3,042 people killed on 9/11 was on display at the library and around the community.

The Winter 2021 Iola Reads selection was a nonfiction book, The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede. Copies may still be available around town or from a neighbor.

When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on 9/11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.

As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.

Over the course of those four days, many of the passengers developed friendships with Gander residents that they expect to last a lifetime. As a show of thanks, scholarship funds for the children of Gander have been formed and donations have been made to provide new computers for the schools. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill.

Iola Reads is a collaborative project of USD #257, Iola Public Library, and Bowlus Fine Arts Center, with additional community volunteers serving on the Iola Reads Committee.  The winter project is funded largely by a grant from the Sleeper Family Trust.