One Book One Independence 2020

book cover oboi 2020

What did you think of One Book One Independence (OBOI) 2020?

Please don’t do the survey until you are done participating in all the programs, books and reading, and activities related to OBOI.

Here is the link to the OBOI 2020 Survey:


The Independence Public Library is excited to announce One Book One Independence, a community-wide reading campaign!  Through reading, presentations, events, discussions, and performances; One Book One Independence (OBOI) will build a sense of community and encourage relationships while promoting literacy.

Though One Book One Independence has become a staple of the Independence community, the concept for this popular series of programming actually began halfway across the country in the wet streets of Seattle, Washington. It evolved throughout the cities all across the United States, using names such as One City One Book, [City] Reads, and On the Same Page.

The goal of the program is to have as many people as possible reading and discussing the same book in order to build a community of friends and readers. We hope you will read A Man of His Own and participate in the many events and activities.

For a chance at becoming a One Book One Independence champion and and opportunities for prizes, sign up on Beanstack or ask us for a paper checklist to keep track!


The One Book One Independence citizens’ committee has chosen A Man of His Own as this year’s featured book selection.  During the March book discussion, IPL will host a meeting via skype with author Susan Wilson!

A Man of His Own
by Susan Wilson is the amazing story of Pax, a rescued puppy, his life and the lives of Rick, Francesca, and Keller. Set in the early 1940s, when America is being drawn into World War II, this is a story of love, courage, and re-kindled hope. Pax, with his amazing loyalty, may be the only one who can guide his people home. 

The library also has read-alikes book lists available for further reading.  The read-alikes are available in print or digital format.  If you do not have a device, you can check one out at IPL.  Click on the links below to access the lists.

A Man of His Own Fiction Read-Alikes
A Man of His Own Nonfiction Read-Alikes
A Man of His Own Author Read-Alikes
A Man of His Own Teen Read-Alikes
A Man of His Own Juvenile Fiction Read-Alikes
A Man of His Own Juvenile Nonfiction Read-Alikes
A Man of His Own Picture Books Read-Alikes

Author Susan Wilson

Susan Wilson

Get the Book

 Books for One Book One Independence are currently available! Get the book in many locations including:

• Independence Public Library
• Em’s Coffee Co.
• Falcon Civic Center
• S&K Collectibles
• Little Free Libraries

Borrow a book on the honor system. Then pass it along to a friend or neighbor or return the book to any of the One Book locations. Alternate formats like large print and the audiobook on CD will be available for checkout from the library. Also, copies of the book are available for checkout on the eReaders and through BRIDGES for download to your device.


Book Discussions take place in February and March.  There are three scheduled at the library during various times and days.  You are also welcome to set up your own discussion or read it as part of a book discussion group in which you are already involved.


Tues, February 18 at 2:00 pm
Mon, February 24 at 6:30 pm


Tues, March 3 at 6:30 pm
Don’t forget the Virtual Connect with the
author on Tuesday, March 10 at 6:30 pm!


Experience a variety of programs, all free of charge, being offered in February and March to compliment the themes in A Man of His Own. Examples are service dogs, WWII, grief and loss, baseball, writing letters, and the home front.

 Kids, enjoy finding out about the Otter Creek Animal Shelter and Local K9 Celebrities at EDGE early out programs. Read to a trained therapy dog during Tales to Tails in February or March...don’t forget to register!  Also, find out about service dogs trained through Retrieving Freedom with a veteran panel.

 Teens can paint their own canvas in Paws for Painting with Molly Hocken (register today), find out about communication during grieving from high school student, Breanna Lorenzen, and learn about baseball legend, Bob Feller, from a man who knew him personally.  

 Additional programming includes a staged reading by the Independence Area Community Theater...A Journey to Love in Letters, a presentation on how Iowa contributed to the war effort, a film showing of Megan Leavey at the Starlight Cinema, and stories specifically from Iowa Veterans!

 Be sure to pick up a copy of our event calendar at the library and make sure you’re signed up for the Library Link detailing events!

The OBOI Challenge

If you enjoy One Book One Independence, you can really get involved with the OBOI Challenge! Read the book, attend events and bring friends, watch a veteran’s interview, talk to others about the book, post your thoughts on the library’s Facebook page, etc.  

beanstack logo small

You can track your participation through Beanstack or pick up a paper checklist at the library. Some activities are good for an entry into our prize drawings for a themed gift basket. The themes are Baseball, Kid’s Read-alike, Movies, One Book One Independence, and Writing. Come to the library to see them.  Each activity counts towards your 10 - if you complete 10 you are an OBOI Champion and get a yard sign, bragging rights, and a chance to win an OBOI shirt! 

Let us know if you have questions about the challenge at 319-334-2470, stop in, or email at

Following is a list of opportunities which are linked to more information about the events.


* Events will be held at the library unless a different location is stated.  

Sponsors and Committee

Thank you to the sponsors of One Book One Independence for making One Book One Independence possible.  We appreciate your generous support!  Thanks also to all the individuals who made donations!  

Sponsors include:

  • Independence Public Library Foundation
  • Greenley Family Charitable Fund
  • City of Independence
  • Friends of the Independence Public Library
  • Phillip Copenhaver Memorial

The One Book One Independence Committee deserves our thanks as well, as each member spent many hours reading, discussing and making decisions about One Book One Independence 2020.  Committee members include Sheila Gerken, Audrey Hill, Lynn Isham, Jim Jorgenson, Andy Rasmussen, Amy Scheer, Brooke Starling, Jennifer Halbur, and Amy McGraw.

More information

You are welcome to call 319-334-2470 or email for more information.