Sonam and the Silence

<p>Sonam and the Silence</p>


Sonam and the Silence


Ayres, Eddie


Taher, Ronak


Allen & Unwin

Published Date



In Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, Sonam lives in a world that is dark and silent. One day she follows a magical melodious sound to a walled garden, and her world is silent no more. The sound is music, and it lifts her up ‘amongst the stars’ and takes her ‘deeper than the tree roots in the earth’. This lyrical text and fable-like story is based on fact. It is told by well-known musician, author and broadcaster Eddie Ayres. After the triumph of the Taliban in Afghanistan, all forms of music were banned. The story imagines one small girl—Sonam—meeting an old man who defies the ban and plays music. When music is forbidden, that, he says, is 'when we need it most'. From the old man, Sonam learns to play the rubab, a traditional instrument made from the wood of a mulberry tree. The book gives a voice to children who live through war. The story is dedicated by the illustrator to 'all kids experiencing war who will never have a chance to read this book'.

Key Concepts

Cultural traditions, Intolerance, Loss, Racial conflict, Resilience, War


Lower primary, Primary, Upper primary


ACELT1594, ACELT1596, ACELT1599, ACHASSK069, ACAMUM085, ACAMUR087, ACPPS033, ACPPS034, ACPPS035, ACPPS036, ACPPS037, ACPPS038, ACPPS040, ACPPS041, ACPPS042, ACELA1498, ACELT1602, ACELT1603, ACELT1605, ACSHE062, ACELA1502, ACELT1608, ACELT1609, ACELT1610, ACELT1612, ACAMUR091, ACPPS051, ACPPS054, ACPPS055, ACPPS056, ACPPS059, ACPPS060, ACELA1518, ACELT1613, ACELT1614, ACHASSK140

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