Tween Tuesdays (9)

Tuesday April 27, 2010

Tween Tuesday is a meme I first saw at Green Bean Teen Queen and really liked because she is also a librarian who deals with teens and tweens. So, since most of my blog is devoted to YA and teen books I figured that on Tuesdays I can do posts for all the tweeners out there!

Anna Maria's Gift
by Janice Shefelman
Illustrated by Robert Papp
April 27, 2010
Random House Books for Young Readers
A Stepping Stone Book

From GoodReads: When Anna Maria's father, a famous violin maker, dies, she is sent to live in the Pieta, an orphanage in Venice. Though she misses her father, she knows he will always be with her, as long as she has the beautiful violin he crafted for her.

Luckily, the Pieta is not just an orphanage—it’s also a renowned music school whose teacher is none other than composer Antonio Vivaldi. When Anna Maria becomes his star pupil, another orphan’s jealousy leads her to throw Anna Maria’s precious violin into the canals. With help from her beloved teacher and new friends, Anna Maria searches Venice’s bridges, streets, and canals, but it seems hopeless. Will Anna Maria ever find her father’s violin?

Review: A lovely, beautiful story about young Anna Maria and her life after the death of her father, a well known violin maker.

In a sense Anna Maria's story is, loss, jealousy, understanding and forgiveness, which won't be lost on young readers. The story flows nicely and readers will definitely want to see what happens. There are also some great supporting characters like the gondolier who helps Anna Maria and the sisters at Pieta (which was really one of the four orphanages in Venice.) I'm glad that the story does not adhere to the stereotypical strict, cold nuns that are often portrayed in historical fiction. The violin instructor, Antonio Vivaldi is also a real historical figure and there is a historical note at the end of the book that gives a little bit more history about him and the orphanage.

 The story has some black and white illustrations and the author supplements those with vivid descriptions of Venice and its illustrious culture.  An awesome pick for beginning chapter book readers!


Rebecca Herman said...

This sounds like something I would have enjoyed when I was younger. And the cover is cute!

La Coccinelle said...

This looks pretty good!

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Sounds good! I love finding great early chapter books-I'll have to look this one up.