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“Graceful lines of calligraphy flow across and are incorporated into the artwork. In addition to engendering appreciation for this art form, Rumford’s book sheds light on life in war-torn Iraq and builds empathy for those caught in the crossfire.”
School Library Journal,
Starred Review

Silent Music

Written by James Rumford
Published by Roaring Press Books

When bombs begin to fall, Ali drowns out the sound of war with a pen. Like other children living in Baghdad, Ali loves soccer, music and dancing, but most of all, he loves the ancient art of calligraphy. When bombs begin to fall on his city, Ali turns to his pen, writing sweeping and gliding words to the silent music that drowns out the war all around him. Gorgeously illustrated with collage, pencil and charcoal drawings and, of course, exquisite calligraphy, this timely and yet universal story celebrates art and history but also offers young children a way to understand all they see and hear on the news.

Primary ISBN: 9781596432765
Available As: Hardcover
Picture Book, Age 05 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , ,

Setting: Iraq

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: In Home Country

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Multi-Subject Lesson Plan (PDF)
Source: British Columbia Teachers’ Federation

Story Map Multi-Level Lesson Plan
Source: Teaching Books


This book is part of the Welcoming Library. The Welcoming Library is a traveling collection of picture books set in our New Arrival and 
New American communities. From small towns to big cities, these immigration stories are helping readers 
(of all ages) Welcome and Belong. WelcomingLibrary.org