The Boy Who Refused to Sing

The Boy Who Refused to Sing was inspired by Leeza's father, Nikola Baric, who escaped from former Yugoslavia in search of freedom in 1957.

Based on a true story, it is a simple narrative with universal themes. While it is about the brutality of life under communism, the book questions how free any of us are today.

What songs are you being forced to sing and how far would you go to fight for your freedom?


what people say

Wow...what an incredibly unique book with a deeply emotive and thought-provoking true story to tell. Based on a family memoir of life in the former Yugoslavia under Marshall Tito's regime, it's an evocatively dark and sombre reminder of the price many have paid to stand for what they believe in.

The stunningly tenebrous illustration and discriminating narrative took me on a heart-felt, voyeuristic journey into this family's suffering and determination to fight for their freedom. It seeped through me in silent tears and left me in a quiet reverence...realising we are all fighting for freedom on some level.

Definitely a one for the in-print bookshelf!


Interesting concept for a picture book. I like how you've got images placed around that mean something. It's like everywhere you look, it's a symbol, reflecting the theme of the story. Strong message. Not for kids but sure gives adults something to think about. free are we? Good Question. Can't say we are. Interesting book. Something that could be studied perhaps at older level in schools. A lot in it. Thanks.

s d welling

The book was quite dark, in idea and in the images. But...I liked it. Made me think and question. I'd love to know more about what inspired it. 

name withheld on request

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Chapter 01

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