The Cello of Mr. O by Jane Cutler

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In a ravaged, war-torn city, where heat must come from burning furniture and even cherished books, where even the relief truck is destroyed by enemy fire, how can people find hope? In this powerfully evocative picture book, one little girl discovers the answer.

Mr. O is a crotchety old man. The heroine of this story and her friends like to tease him--they run in the halls, making noise, and they pop paper bags outside his door. But every Wednesday afternoon, when the relief truck used to bring flour and other staples, Mr. O marches into the square, sits down, and begins to play his cello. It's not until the Wednesday when a bomb again hits the square that the little girl realizes what Mr. O has been trying to teach them all: that music--and courage--can sustain the spirit just as bread sustains the body.

Jane Cutler has created a poignant tribute to the unnamed city of Sarajevo in a story that celebrates the kinship between generations. Greg Couch's timeless illustrations, abstract in form yet piercingly beautiful in the emotions they capture, portray at once the tragedy of war and the power of human dignity.

About Jane Cutler

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Jane Cutler has written three other books about the Fraser brothers: "No Dogs Allowed, Rats!," and '"Gator Aid," She lives in San Francisco, California. Tracey Campbell Pearson is the author and illustrator of many children's books, including "Bob," She lives in Jericho Center, Vermont. Sue Stauffacher is a professional journalist and has been writing a children's book review column for 10 years. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Greg Couch is the illustrator of many children's books. He has received two Society of Illustrators Silver Medals. He lives in Nyack, New York.
Published September 1, 1999 by Dutton Juvenile. 32 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In a shelled, rubble-strewn city, women and children huddle indoors and wait—for the war to be over, for the men to come home, for the fear to end.

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Publishers Weekly

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At night, from my window, I can see the white trails of tracer fire and the orange flash of mortars in the sky. I pretend I am watching shooting stars and meteors, says the nameless girl protagoni

Aug 30 1999 | Read Full Review of The Cello of Mr. O

Publishers Weekly

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As the girl stands outside his apartment, she remembers how her father described the craftsmanship of Mr. O's cello and the command performances of the cellist's youth.

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