When young journalist Lesley is sent to Venice to interview world-renowned violinist Paolo Levi, she is warned not to ask the forbidden “Mozart Question”. As she meets Paolo, it is the musician himself who decides to speak about his mysterious background. Paolo heartfully reveals the truth about his haunting past, and the journalist begins to see how one group of musicians were kept alive by playing their music. This story reveals the beauty of music to bring people together, and inspire the heart even through the most difficult times.
Review by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant
Stories of the Holocaust can pull at your heart, and that is certainly true of The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo. Even as a very young boy in post World War II Venice, Paoli Levi was drawn to play and study the violin. He knew his parents would never approve though–but why? Slowly, gently, he learns the reason that lay hidden for many years in his parents’ memories of their imprisonment in a concentration camp. A story told through words and drawings, this book looks not only at the cruelty and sadness of war, but also at the healing power of music and family. I recommend it to 4th through 7th graders who would like to read a heartfelt, sensitive book.