The Boy Who Speaks in Numbers
The Boy Who Speaks in Numbers is a darkly satiric account of childhood in times of war. Set in Sri Lanka, the events it narrates could equally happen elsewhere — in all places where human deaths are reduced to numbers, and where guns do not differentiate between adults and children.
Mike Masilamani’s ironic narrative centers around an unnamed boy who is more at home with numbers rather than words. Along with a constantly chattering — and prophetic — cow he bears witness to a bizarre and violent time. Matthew Frame’s textured illustrations are a powerful testimony to the absurd horror of prolonged civil strife.
Age: 12 and up
Number of Pages: 96
Publisher: Tara Books
Author: Mike Masilamani (Author), Matthew Frame (Illustrator)
Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
2016 SABA Honor Book. From SABA, "An unnamed boy, obsessed with numbers, must not only navigate war torn Sri Lanka, but also the cast of characters and talking animals occupying the refugee camp where he lives. At the heart of this fantastical and often humorous tale is a story about resistance and dealing with the tragedy of a country ripped apart by civil war. The amazing illustrations are dark and rough, which expertly reflect the horrors of the story. (Grades 8 and up)."