The Silence in the Mountains

The Silence in the Mountains

4.0 1
by Liz Rosenberg, Chris K. Soentpiet

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When his family leaves their war-torn country to come to live in America, a young boy has trouble adjusting, until his grandfather helps him find what he had missed most.


When his family leaves their war-torn country to come to live in America, a young boy has trouble adjusting, until his grandfather helps him find what he had missed most.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Iskander's family flees the war in Lebanon to resettle in America. Iskander is homesick for his beautiful mountains until his grandfather teaches him how to find a peaceful place in his new home. Rosenberg's narrative is simple and straightforward, while Soentpiet's watercolor paintings are vividly realistic. This book could be utilized to good effect in schools with large immigrant populations.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Watercolors full of vivid reds, blues, and yellows flow across the pages of this book about a boy whose family leaves their beautiful mountain home when war erupts. Coming to America, they eventually settle on a prosperous farm where everyone adapts except for Iskander, who misses the silence of the mountains. Though all of the adults try to help him adjust, only his grandfather understands the nature of his homesickness and is able to show him what this new land has to offer. Yet, Iskander's story lacks intensity. Readers know only what he is feeling, and in the illustrations, the rest of the family radiates happiness and contentment even in the worst of times. While the paintings mirror the boy's limited understanding of the situation, the happy faces bring a sense of unreality to the story. In addition, the resolution of Iskander's sadness is subtle and not entirely convincing. What does lend reality to the story is Soentpiet's depiction of the characters, who seem to be real people. Their homeland is revealed only when one notices that the book is dedicated in part to the people of Lebanon. By leaving Iskander's native land unstated, the author has emphasized the universal nature of a child's homesickness for a life and a place left behind.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Establishing roots in a new country is hard for Iksander and his family, who had to flee their war-torn homeland. As the family adjusts, Iksander knows that something is missing, that there is something he left behind. Each of his family members tries to appease his homesickness, but it's Iksander's grandfather who shows him how to appreciate his new country, and helps him locate a place where there are similarities to the silence found in the mountains of home. This heartwarming tale, with its simple, meditative narrative, will comfort any child who has left a special place behind. Soentpiet's landscapes-which vary from the majestic mountains and olive trees of Iksander's homeland, to the bustle of the city, to the peaceful green hills of an American farm-are breathtaking. His work also captures tender gestures and stirring subtleties such as the vague image of the Statue of Liberty as seen from an airplane window. (Picture book. 4-7) .

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
9.38(w) x 11.34(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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The Silence in the Mountains 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago