Flowers for Sarajevo

Flowers for Sarajevo

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
852   0
Write Review
Flowers for Sarajevo
Age Range
6+
Release Date
April 01, 2017
ISBN
978-1561459438
The moving story of a young boy who discovers the power of beauty and kindness during a time of war. Drasko helps his father sell flowers in Sarajevo, but when war threatens and his father is called to the battlefront, Drasko must take over the flower stall. One morning the boy's familiar routine is shattered when a mortar shell hits the bakery, killing twenty-two people. The next day, a cellist from the Sarajevo Opera Orchestra goes to the crater and plays the most beautiful music that Drasko can imagine. Inspired, he looks for ways to ease the sorrow of those around him. Based on real events of the Bosnian War, award-winning songwriter and storyteller John McCutcheon tells the uplifting story of the power of beauty in the face of violence and suffering. The story comes to life with the included CD in which cellist Vedrun Smailovic accompanies McCutcheon and performs the melody that he played in 1992 to honor those who died in the Sarajevo mortar blast.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Beauty Amid Pain

Haunting and hopeful.

The bombing one of the last working bakeries in the city of Sarajevo might have been remembered as just one more senseless act of violence at the height of a terrible ethnic war, if not for the venerable tribute of a lone cellist. The day following the explosion he donned a tuxedo, carried a chair to the crater, and played Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor—a moving and unfinished piece. He came at the same time and repeated this performance for twenty-two consecutive days.

This story is about a horrendous true incident of the Bosnian war, as experienced through the eyes of a fictional young boy named Drasko. The author does a tactful-yet-impactful job of humanizing a flashpoint in history, giving it more meaningful weight and depth, whilst highlighting a heroic act of dignity. I’ll admit to being a bit hesitant at first about how my 7 and 8 year old might handle something this heavy, but I needn’t have worried. The audio narration held their rapt attention, and provided opportunities for us to discuss difficult questions.

The CD included in a sleeve at the back of the book contains 6 tracks, which include audio of the author narrating the book (one version with page-turning prompts and one without), a reading of the historical note and brief biography, a piano/cello/vocal composition called “The Streets of Sarajevo,” an interview conversation with the author, and the mournful cello piece referenced in the book--performed by Vedran Smailovic—“The Cellist of Sarajevo” himself.

It’s rare to find a children’s book that’s so completely a work of art—but that’s exactly what John McCutcheon and Kristy Caldwell have partnered to bring us. An artistic experience that is visual, musical, and empathic—creating a lyrical and emotional resonance. This book is a treasure.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Don't Date Rosa Santos
Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that's what...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Got Next
It’s game day! In this action-packed picture book from Daria...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Friend for Bently
Like all pigs, Bently loves to play in the mud,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Great Pumpkin Contest
Mimi and Clara are neighbors. Both cats want to win...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Save Your Friends!
This laugh-out-loud adventure encourages family sharing and is a perfect...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Dibs!
Teaching your little brother his first word —dibs —is funny....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Where Are You From?
This resonant picture book tells the story of one girl...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Out of Place
When twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein becomes the target of a school-wide...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Salvation Day
A lethal virus is awoken on an abandoned spaceship in...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Startup Squad (The Startup Squad, #1)
Girls mean business in a brand-new middle grade series about...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Possibility of Whales
Twelve-year-old Natalia Rose Baleine Gallagher has to move, again. ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Peppa in Space (Peppa Pig)
Get ready for a Peppa Pig story that's out of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Stars We Steal
Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo”...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Pete the Cat and the Itsy Bitsy Spirder
Pete the Cat’s cool adaptation of the classic children’s song...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Superlative Birds
Explore the fascinating world of superlative birds―from the bee hummingbird,...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In Another Life
Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Don't Date Rosa Santos
 
5.0
"DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS is a sweet and touching book about family. Rosa lives with her grandmother, and she sees..."
Not Now, Not Ever
 
4.0
"Lily Anderson’s sophomore novel follows Elliot "Ever" Gabaroche during an intense summer program to compete for a scholarship. It’s Not..."
A Monster Calls
 
4.7
"4.5 Stars This low-fantasy middle grade story is at once hefty and heartrending—despite its relative brevity and target audience..."
Salvation Day
 
4.3
"Zahra wants the world to know the truth about her father. She believes he wasn't to blame for the deaths..."
The Stars We Steal
 
4.7
"Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie "Leo" Kolburg has a title, but not much else. She's heir to an older European spaceship.When the..."
In Another Life
 
4.0
"I really loved this storyline. The Story: Chloe is going through a tough time with her family. After her..."
When Summer Ends
 
5.0
"This book is everything. The Story: Olivia and Aiden have good lives. Olivia has a boyfriend she loves..."
Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2)
 
5.0
"VOW OF THIEVES is a thrilling end to a wonderful spin-off YA fantasy. Although a spin-off series from the Remnant..."
The Beautiful Lost
 
3.3
"A first-person past-tense telling exclusively from the perspective of Maia, a depressed high school sophomore with some ambitious—if half-formed—plans for..."
Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1)
 
5.0
"Absolutely fantastic! "Dance of Thieves" is a really wonderful YA fantasy that takes place in the world of 'The Remnant..."
10 Blind Dates
 
4.7
"10 BLIND DATES is the must-read romantic comedy of the fall! Sophie is staying with her grandparents and her very..."
Maybe This Time
 
4.7
"Sophie is bound and determined to make it out of her small Alabama town and attend design school in New..."
Brawler
 
4.7
"Eddie McGuire is a talented high school wrestler with a horribly short fuse. This is no doubt a result of..."
Skyjacked!
 
3.3
"Six students from an elite private school are returning home after a camping trip on the private plane belonging to..."
Wicked Fox (Gumiho, #1)
 
4.0
"WICKED FOX is a unique urban fantasy that uses Korean mythology to bring a mythological creature to life. Miyoung is..."
Wilder Girls
 
4.7
"Beware. Wilder Girls will draw you in, softy whispering tendrils creeping through your mind and thorny vines entangling your heart..."
Aurora Rising
 
5.0
"Now I am huge huge fan of both Jay and Amie as individuals and as co-authors. Their Illuminae series completely..."
Crown of Coral and Pearl
 
4.7
"CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL Is a story of sisters, adventure, and change. Nor and Zadie, whose names mean coral..."
The Grace Year
 
5.0
"THE HANDMAID'S TALE meets LORD OF THE FLIES in this dark, atmospheric, and sweeping YA dystopian. Tierney James is 16-years-old,..."
The Last True Poets of the Sea
 
5.0
"THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA is a beautiful coming-of-age story. After her brother attempts suicide, he is sent..."