Of Mockingbirds and McNuggets: Denver book club brought to you by McDonald’s

Have a side of McNuggets with your Mockingbird, why don’t you?

Participants in Denver’s “One Book, One Denver” initiative may find themselves doing just that at yellow and orange counters around the city this month. The city’s innovative book program, championed by Mayor John Hickenlooper and Denver’s Office of Cultural Affairs, recently announced it had partnered with McDonald’s to encourage the city to read and relish American literary classic To Kill a Mockingbird and also to purchase and savor classic American fast-food cuisine!

On Wednesday, Hickenlooper along with the Office of Cultural affairs set out the programming for One Book, One Denver beneath the golden arches at 16th Street and Cleveland and added that its new partnership with corporate sponsor, McDonalds will help to promote the book through point-of-sale displays at all 28 McDonalds in the Denver area. The signs will include reader and event guides. But that’s not all.

As part of the promotion, McDonald’s will give away 8,000 lucky bookmarks, which also serve as a coupon for a free Apple Dipper, which incidentally aren’t that bad for your health.

One Book, One Denver encourages Denver residents to share in a collective experience, as residents all around the city are encouraged to read the same book simultaneously, getting into the same headspace through literature. The program is now entering its sixth year and has usually included one book chosen by the mayor. This year, Denver Residents chose To Kill a Mockingbird.

According to a Office of Cultural Affairs press release, copies of the book will be in ready supply due to a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The money has pumped 2,000 copies of the book into Denver Public library branches, 100 of which are Spanish translations editions. An additional 1,000 books are being distributed to local youth-oriented nonprofits.

Below is a list of One Book, One Denver To Kill a Mockingbird events.

For film buffs:

Popular film series returns featuring courtroom dramas, Saturdays at 2 p.m. at Starz FilmCenter

Kicks off September 12 with Adam’s Rib

Ends October 24 with To Kill a Mockingbird

For music lovers:

Shifting Sands: A Musical Evocation of To Kill a Mockingbird, October 22, 7 p.m.

Come hear multi-instrumentalists Eric Moon and Derek Payne explore the sonic landscapes of To Kill a Mockingbird while carefully chosen Denverites read their favorite passages.

For crafty types:

To Felt a Mockingbird, October 24, 11:00 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.

Jamie from Fancy Tiger Crafts will teach you how to needle felt a mockingbird.

Boo Radley’s School of Sewing , September 24 & October 15, 7 p.m.

Join artist Rebecca Vaughan as she teaches you several simple, must-know hand-sewing techniques.

For foodies:

Calpurnia and Miss Maudie Atkinson’s School of Baking, September 18 & 25, 6:30 p.m.

Join professional baker and instructor Amy Hoyt of The Seasoned Chef Cooking School for a demonstration and tasting of four baked goodies featured in To Kill a Mockingbird.

For fans of slam poetry:

Come listen to some of the best slam poets in the world compete at this year’s Café Nuba Slam—Never Kill a Mockingbird, October 26, 7 p.m.

For art enthusiasts:

Don’t miss the To Kill a Mockingbird temporary art installation! Search around 17th & Wazee to find it!!

Book discussions abound at 20 of 23 Denver Public Library branches. These include several discussions with Denver ’s own Dr. Art Jones, innovative thinker and community leader.

“Book Club in a Bag” returns and is available for checkout at any Denver Public Library branch. One tote, eight copies of To Kill a Mockingbird and eight Reader’s Guides makes for one FANTASTIC book club!

Tapings of dramatic radio readings of To Kill a Mockingbird return, presented by the University of Colorado Denver . Dates are September 30 and October 7, 14 & 21, 6:30 p.m. Podcasts will be made available at www.DenverGov.org/OneBook.

Finally, a workshop for first-time novelists and a Teen Essay Contest will be presented by Lighthouse Writers Workshop. The workshop will take place on September 12, from 10 a.m. to noon. The deadline for entry for the Teen Essay Contest is October 19.

Event guides with complete details on the programs listed above are available at McDonald’s as well as all Denver Public Library branches and participating bookstores. They’re also available online. All events are free, but some require reservations.

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