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Silent Music by James Rumford
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Silent Music (2008)

by James Rumford

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Ali is a young boy living in Baghdad in a war zone. Because he lives in such a harsh environment, Ali copes with this undesirable life by doing calligraphy. I would recommend this book for grades 4-8 and up to 12th grade. Although this book can be read on lower levels, it has a much deeper meaner about how Ali copes with his adversities. ( )
  manda76 | Sep 28, 2017 |
This book is about a boy growing up in Baghdad, one of the many cities that has seen many years of war. Ali learns calligraphy, which is a style of writing. He uses it as a coping mechanism to deal with the war his city faces. One night, while the bombing was going on, he would practice different words to help him not think of what is going on outside. Ali finds his peace regardless of his troubles. ( )
  mcsuane | Sep 14, 2017 |
Summary:
This book is about a boy name Bali who lived in Baghadad. He loved writing and thought the Arabic language is just like the silent music on the word when he wrote the word.
He loved his family, his country and his culture. However, the war started in 2003 changed his life. He could no longer write as before because the boombs in Baghdad broke the peaceful life and he had to keep moving to escape the booms.

Genre:
It's a contemporary realistic fiction since the story is based on a war in 2003 in middle east, but the characters and plots are created by the author.
It's also a multicultual book with middle east culture.

Critiques:
1.This book focuses on the fearsome impact of war upon families and children in Baghdad, and on those things that allow people to retain their humanity.
2. The book is written and illustrated by peaceful and elegant language, emotional images.

Common on use:
Teachers can let students read it or read it aloud them on reading or history classes.
Also a good book for students to know about middle east culture. ( )
  LaurieZeng | Apr 10, 2017 |
Summary
This book is about Ali a boy who is living in Baghdad and loves to write in calligraphy. He tell the story of how he loves the way the words of his language look as the ink flows through his pen. Ali also tell a shot story about his silent hero, Yakut, who during times of war would write in calligraphy to bring beauty and peace. In his present day in 2003, Ali writes for beauty and peace while a war is going on in Baghdad once more.

Personal Reaction

I love this story because it has the multicultural element but also shows the importance of the arts for children. In Ali's case, while there is a war going on he is able to uses his talent to bring him joy. He is optimistic to keep practicing because he knows that it all could end soon and that is a powerful message for children.

Exercises

Students could practice writing in calligraphy in English and Arabic.
Students could read this book while learning about Baghdad and the war.
  CaitlinOH_22 | Mar 27, 2017 |
I liked this book for two main reasons. I loved the illustrations in this book. The main character's favorite part of school is calligraphy, so there is calligraphy on every page. There are several names and things that the main character likes to write, and those are written on the page as well. There is also a lot of calligraphy written on records and soccer cards on the pages.
My other reason for liking this story is the way the main character relates writing calligraphy to playing soccer or dancing. He talks about calligraphy as an art form and how some words are harder to write than others, just like in soccer or dancing. Calligraphy is the "silent music" that the main character refers to. He also relates the concept of calligraphy sometimes being easy or hard to the concept of war and peace. This ties into the overall message of the story: War is easy, and peace is hard. The main character shows this in the writing of the two words in calligraphy. Writing war is very easy to do, where as writing peace is not so easy. ( )
  AlexisBadovski | Mar 6, 2017 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Dodie Warren and Tuesday's Class
and for all those who love the art
of making beautiful letters.
First words
My name is Ali.
I live in Baghdad.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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As bombs and missiles fall on Baghdad in 2003, a young boy uses the art of calligraphy to distance himself from the horror of war.

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