Michael Morpurgo The Mozart Question

ISBN 13: 9781406312201

The Mozart Question

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A moving tale of secrets and survival bound together by the power of music, from a master storyteller. When Lesley is sent to Venice to interview world-renowned violinist Paulo Levi on his fiftieth birthday, she cannot believe her luck. She is told that she can ask him anything at all - except the Mozart question. But it is Paulo himself who decides that it is time for the truth to be told. And so follows the story of his parents as Jewish prisoners of war, forced to play Mozart violin concerti for the enemy; how they watched fellow Jews being led off to their deaths and knew that they were playing for their lives. As the story unfolds, the journalist begins to understand the full horror of war, and how one group of musicians survived using the only weapon they had - music.

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About the Author:

Michael Morpurgo, the 2003-2005 Children's Laureate, is widely recognized as a master storyteller, and has won numerous awards for his work, including the Smarties Book Prize, the Writer's Guild Award and the Children's Book Award (for The Wreck of the Zanzibar). Michael lives in Devon. Michael Foreman is one of the world's leading illustrators. He has won several major awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal, most recently for War Boy. His titles for Walker Books include Beowulf (9781844287543), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (9781844287307) and Mia's Story (9781844282784). He lives in London.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4–6—Set in Venice in the 1960s, this tale intertwines a famous violinist's boyhood reminiscences with the story of his parents' Holocaust experiences. Usually reticent Paolo Levi gives an interview to a young reporter and the story's narrator, answering the long-standing "Mozart question." When he was nine, Paolo badgered his mother into showing him the violin that was hidden away atop a cupboard, and she made him promise not to tell his father. The boy knew that Papa had once been a violinist, though he'd never heard him play. Soon after, Paolo became mesmerized by the music of Benjamin, a street performer. Longing to play himself, he secretly took the violin to Benjamin, who repaired it and gave him lessons. When the youngster finally confessed to his parents, they shared their own secrets: during World War II, the three adults were in the same concentration camp where they were forced to play music—mostly Mozart—for incoming prisoners to divert them from the horror that awaited them. After liberation, Papa vowed to never play again; however, Mama and Benjamin felt that music had saved them. When Paolo's parents heard how talented he was, they forgave his secrecy. The adult Paolo refused to play Mozart until after his father's death. Morpurgo breathes life into this touching tale, which is conveyed with compassion and honesty. Foreman's watercolors enrich the narrative, capturing both Venice's beauty and the camp's misery. This fine selection offers another view of the Holocaust and music's potential to heal.—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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ISBN 10:  1406366390 ISBN 13:  9781406366396
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