Youth One Book, One Denver Program

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“Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus” by Dusti Bowling is the selected book for this year’s Youth One Book, One Denver (YOBOD) program, now in its seventh year. It’s an annual program for kids ages 9-12 to participate in educational shared reading events and fun activities – based on a single book!
Organizers have squeezed lots of material from the book to create this program. Because its story takes place in a Wild West-themed amusement park in Arizona where the main character – a 13-year-old girl with no arms – lives, the program covers topics like the history of the West, amusement park design, and desert ecology. It also invites kids at home to do experiments and artwork projects, every one of them connected in some way to Bowling’s book.
Most importantly, the program encourages learning about physical disabilities – including limb differences and Tourette’s Syndrome, a disorder that causes uncontrollable tics – which are challenges that the main characters in the book have to overcome.
The program is scheduled to run for a month, starting on June 11 and ending on August 10. The events take place at multiple locations across the Denver area, including 4-day summer camps, a week-long writing camp, and an opportunity for kids to talk with the author.