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Elizabeth Wellburn
Deryk Houston, Illustrator

On a bomb-devastated street in Sarajevo in 1992, the midst of sniper bullets and exploding shells, Vedran Smailovic played his cello for 22 days in honour of the 22 victims of a horrendous bomb blast. His music was his personal stand against the insanity of war, and his courageous act touched people around the world.

Inspired by Smailovic’s musical plea for peace, Elizabeth Wellburn wrote this fictional story about a gentle boy whose life is shattered by war and how he learns to hope again when he encounters a cellist playing on the street.

The end of the book contains dialogue with quotes from Vedran Smailovic about the “Adagio” that he played, his fear, hope and action during these 22 days.

This is an exceptionally moving and inspiring book with powerful paintings by Deryk Houston.

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