(NS) Lauren's Reviews > Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad

Silent Music by James Rumford
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's review
Sep 26, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: multicultural
Read in September, 2009

Grade Level: K-3 read-aloud

This is a moving story about a child in modern-day Iraq, coping with life in a war-torn country through his love of caligraphy. The author uses a powerful analogy as he describes the ease of writing the word war, relative to the difficult formation of the word peace. The illustrations in this book are intriguing layers of texture and design, with beautiful, caligraphy overlays. The story itself gives a real face to the Iraqi people, especially meaningful as an American today. With students, this book could be used to discuss similarities with children across cultures, and coping methods in times of stress. It might also be an interesting book to read aloud as students first begin working on handwriting or cursive. Students could explore writing on different surfaces and compare letter formation to other images, such as "a soccer player in slow motion as he kicks the ball down the field" just as Ali does in the story. Perhaps Ali's artistic vision of handwriting would be contagious, or at least inspire kids to look at letters through a different lens.
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