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The Mozart Question

Written by Michael Morpurgo

Illustrated by Michael Foreman

Featured Books for 7+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Historical Fiction Recommended Children's eBooks

LoveReading View on The Mozart Question

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.



reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Mozart Question a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'Captivating you from the first turn of a page, and mesmerising you throughout, this book is likely to only last a few sittings.'

Scroll down to read more reviews...

Author's Note

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.


The Mozart Question Synopsis

This is 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.

The Mozart Question Press Reviews

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.


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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781406366396
Publication date: 11/05/2015
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781406306484
Publication date: 05/11/2007
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781406312201
Publication date: 05/11/2007
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406312201
Publication date: 5th November 2007
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator: Michael Foreman
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Suitable for: 7+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Historical Fiction
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children

About Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo, began writing stories in the early '70's, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent.  One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003, a post he helped to set up with Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE in 2007 and a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours in 2018 for services to literature and charity. He has written over 150 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, ...

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