Flowers for Sarajevo
by John McCutcheon (Author) and Kristy Caldwell (Illustrator)

Booktalk: 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.

Snippet: The next day the square is strangely silent.

Twenty-two people were killed. They were just waiting to buy bread.

The church bells ring ten o’clock again. I cringe remembering that terrible moment.

Then the door to the rehearsal hall opens. But this time only one man steps out.

I’ve seen him before, this man with the extraordinary mustache. Today he is dressed in a tuxedo, as if he is going to a concert. In one hand he carries a chair and in the other a cello.

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