YOUTH ONE BOOK HAS SOME MAGIC
“Upside-Down Magic,” a book about 9-year-old students who struggle to control their magic and are teased by their peers, is the choice for the 2017 Youth One Book, One Denver.
Elementary students cheered with excitement Monday as “Upside-Down Magic” was announced as the 2017 Youth One Book, One Denver at Ashley Elementary School.
“Upside-Down Magic,” by Sarah Mlynowski, Emily Jenkins and Lauren Myracle, is a children’s book about 9-year-old students who struggle to control their magic and are teased by their peers. The character Nory can turn herself into a cat but sprouts wings when she thinks about being a dragon, while Andres, another character, has to be held by a leash so he does not fly away. With the help of their teacher and each other, the characters realize being different is not so bad, Myracle said.
“The inspiration for this book was to be the best version of ourselves and open our path to inclusiveness,” she said. “The more we read, the more we realize that we are so much alike, and we have this life-changing revelation. We are all in this together.”
Third-grader Aliyanna Rivas, 9, waited in line for Myracle to sign her book after the ceremony. She said she loves to read, and just finished reading a book about a character named Nikki who learns to train her dog.
“I am excited for summer,” she said, pointing to the bright, grassy-colored cover of her new book. “But I am very excited about summer reading and this book.”
Youth One Book, One Denver is a reading program for 9- to 12year-olds that is combined with workshops, classes and group activities to offer children a shared learning experience during the summer. The educational program is in its sixth year and is part of Denver Plan 2020, which works to help prepare students at Denver Public Schools for a successful future. Last year’s selection was “Book Scavenger.”
Mayor Michael Hancock announced “Upside-Down Magic” and said the goal of Youth One is to promote lifelong learning among young people. Hancock asked the students sitting crosslegged to raise their right hands and repeat a mantra:
“I swear I will read every day from this point forward,” he said, standing at a podium. “If I want to go to Africa, I will read. If I want to go to Japan, I will read. If I want to go to Mexico, I will read.
“If you can’t fly there, pick up a book and it will take you right there.”
Three thousand free copies of “Upside-Down Magic” will be distributed throughout Denver Public Schools, said Brooke Dilling, Denver Arts & Venues special events coordinator. A supplementary book titled “Not Your Typical Dragon,” by Dan Bar-el, will be made available as an alternative for kindergarten through third-graders and struggling readers.
Dilling expects that both books will be available at Tattered Cover Book Store and at Denver Public Libraries.
Third-grader Tatum Coleman, 9, said she was excited to read “Upside-Down Magic” because she loves chapter books.
“I love reading, and actually one of the books I read inspired me to go see a musical,” she said, referring to “Junie B. Jones, The Musical.” “I am excited the author and the mayor are signing our books. Last summer I read a lot.”
Lauren Myracle, co-author of “Upside-Down Magic,” and Mayor Michael Hancock distribute free copies of the book at Ashley Elementary School in Denver on Monday.