Silent Days, Silent Dreams

By Allen Say


James Castle was born two months premature on September 25, 1899, on a farm in Garden Valley, Idaho. He was deaf, mute, autistic, and probably dyslexic. He didn't walk until he was four; he would never learn to speak, write, read, or use sign language.

Yet, today Castle's artwork hangs in major museums throughout the world.  The Philadelphia Museum of Art opened "James Castle: A Retrospective" in 2008. The 2013 Venice Biennale included eleven works by Castle in the feature exhibition "The Encyclopedic Palace."  And his reputation continues to grow.

Caldecott Medal winner Allen Say, author of the acclaimed memoir <i>Drawing from Memory</i>, takes readers through an imagined look at Castle's childhood, allows them to experience his emergence as an artist despite the overwhelming difficulties he faced, and ultimately reveals the triumphs that he would go on to achieve.


Reviews and Awards

⋆ "Drawings done in the style of Castle accompany the story -- blocky, sometimes surreal human figures and houses -- and Say also supplies pen-and-ink vignettes and anguished charcoal portraits of the bullying the man endured throughout his life.. After living alone in outbuildings on family properties for decades, Castle at last came to the attention of local artists and gained some financial security. Say’s moving portrait of Castle’s work and life (“I think he was happy,” he concludes) pays tribute to a man who was compelled to create despite the torments he underwent." - Publishers Weekly, starred review


Purchase Options
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Fall 2017
Picture Book
ISBN: 978-0-545-92761-1
Price: $21.99
Trim Size: 8 1/2" x 10 3/4"
Page Count: 64
Foreign Rights: Scholastic Inc.
Translation Rights: Scholastic Inc.
Rights Available? yes


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