Mayor Hancock announces 2019 YOBOD selection; Graphic novel appeals to the reluctant reader, celebrates neighborhood diversity

Apr 11 2019

En español

Mayor Michael B. Hancock today unveiled the 2019 Youth One Book, One Denver (YOBOD) program selection at College View Elementary School.

“The Cardboard Kingdom” by Chad Sell, a graphic novel published by Random House Graphic, tells the stories of sixteen neighborhood kids over the course of a summer as they transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes and set out on adventures encountering knights, robots and superheroes in their cardboard kingdom.

Mayor Hancock was joined by Sell, as well as Councilman Jolon Clark, students from College View Elementary School, and representatives from Denver Arts & Venues, the Denver Office of Children’s Affairs, Denver Public Library, Denver Afterschool Alliance, and other YOBOD partners.

“The best thing about the Youth One Book, One Denver is that is really brings books and reading to life in the minds of our children, and because of it, students gain a life-long love for reading as they participate in the book-related events and activities,” Mayor Hancock said. “Chad’s wonderful graphic novel is especially appealing because it combines the visual and written art to provides a whole new literary experience for every child who will pick it up and dive into its pages.”

Sell partnered with different authors, each chapter following a different character on a summer vacation adventure. With so many varied perspectives, stories and challenges, the novel highlights the diversity found in any neighborhood as the children interact with each other and their families.

“When ‘The Cardboard Kingdom’ came out last year, I never could have imagined that it would be selected for something like the Youth One Book, One Denver program, where thousands of kids throughout an entire city would read these stories and share in the summer-long activities that Denver’s Arts & Venues has put together!” said author Chad Sell. “Throughout every step of this process, I’ve been blown away by the incredible scope of the YOBOD program, by the planning, the activities and the educator guides they’ve put together. As a brand-new author, it’s such an honor to think that so many kids throughout Denver will read this book, and I hope that they’ll be inspired to pick up some cardboard and embark on their own amazing adventures this summer!”

Summer YOBOD programming includes group activities, workshops and classes, and self-directed activities found in the free activity guide. Events and activities are based on “The Cardboard Kingdom” and range from science and technology, to arts and crafts, to cooking, to writing and community building.

Now in its eighth year, the YOBOD summer reading program, which runs June through August, offers children ages 9-12 a shared reading experience along with fun and educational programming to help combat summer learning loss through events and activities tied to the book’s themes.

Youth participating in summer partner programs will receive a copy of this year’s selection as well as educational opportunities related to the book. Participants can also check out the book at Denver Public Library branches, and download a copy of the activity guide online at where additional resources and a calendar of YOBOD events may also be found.

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