The Mozart Question
Written by Michael Morpurgo
Illustrated by Michael Foreman
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The Lovereading4Kids comment
This is one of the most moving and eloquently written novels I've read in while. For any musically inclined child from 8 or so upwards then they, and indeed you, can't fail to be incredibly moved and gripped all at the same time as the story unfolds. In addition, any child who has a love of writing and yearns one day to be a journalist then this novel will give them that further boost of determination to get there. The Mozart Question will undoubtedly bring tears to your eyes and Michael Foreman's illustrations are a delight to behold.
A note from the author It is difficult for us to imagine how dreadful was the suffering that went on in the Nazi concentration camps during the second World War. The enormity of the crime that the Nazis committed is just too overwhelming for us to comprehend. In their attempt to wipe out an entire race they caused the deaths of six million people, most of them Jews. It is when you hear the stories of the individuals who lived through it - Anne Frank, Primo Levi - that you begin to understand the horror just a little better, and to understand the evil that caused it. For me, the most haunting image does not come from literature or film, but from music. I learned some time ago that in many of the camps the Nazis selected Jwish prisoners and forced them to play in orchestras; for the musician it was simply a way to survive. In order to calm the new arrivals at the camps they were asked to serenade them as they were lined up and marched off, many to the gas chambers. Often they played Mozart. I wondered how it must have been for a musician who played in such hellish circumstances, who adored Mozart as I do - what thoughts came when playing Mozart later in life. This was the genesis of my story, this and the sight of a small boy in a square by the Accademia Bridge in Venice, sitting one night, in his pyjamas on his tricycle, listening to a busker. He sat totally enthralled by the music that semed to him, and to me, to be heavenly.
We have asked a select number of children to review The Mozart Question. You can read their reviews below.
Morgan Steigmann, age 14 - 'Captivating you from the first turn of a page, and mesmerising you throughout, this book is likely to only last a few sittings. Yet with Morpurgo’s writing at its best, and a storyline as powerful as this, the issues raised are likely to linger in one’s mind for much, much longer.' Click Here to read the full review.
Katie Johnson, age 9 - 'The Mozart Question was an absolutely brilliant book. It is very touching as Paolo describes his childhood. If you have enjoyed Michael Morpurgo’s other stories about war, I would recommend you read this book.' Click Here to read the full review.
Evie Ballard, age 11 - 'I really enjoyed this book because I was interested in knowing what the secret was...I would rate this book 10 out of 10; I've never read anything like it before.' Click Here to read the full review.
The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo
The author of the international phenomenon War Horse brings us a moving tale of secrets and survival bound together by the power of music. 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 the time has come for the truth to be told. And so follows the story of his parents in a Jewish concentration camp, 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.
About the Author
Interest Age: From 7
More books by Michael Morpurgo
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Walker Books Ltd
11th May 2015
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