The Mozart Season

( 2 )

Overview

“Remember, what’s down inside you, all covered up—the things of your soul. The important, secret things . . . The story of you, all buried, let the music caress it out into the open.”

When Allegra was a little girl, she thought she would pick up her violin and it would sing for her—that the music was hidden inside her instrument.

Now that Allegra is twelve, she believes the music is in her fingers, and the ...

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Overview

“Remember, what’s down inside you, all covered up—the things of your soul. The important, secret things . . . The story of you, all buried, let the music caress it out into the open.”

When Allegra was a little girl, she thought she would pick up her violin and it would sing for her—that the music was hidden inside her instrument.

Now that Allegra is twelve, she believes the music is in her fingers, and the summer after seventh grade she has to teach them well. She’s the youngest contestant in the Ernest Bloch Young Musicians’ Competition.

She knows she will learn the notes to the concerto, but what she doesn’t realize is she’ll also learn—how to close the gap between herself and Mozart to find the real music inside her heart.

Allegra spends her twelfth summer practicing a Mozart concerto for a violin competition and finding many significant connections in her world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It is a pleasure to have a novel of ideas for young adults that describes the delicate dance between honoring traditions of the past and being your own person in the present.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“A book that will richly reward its readers.”—School Library Journal

“Her season of discovery—of Mozart, her own roots, and the creative balance between life’s traumas and trivia—marks a fine achievement.”—Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
When 12-year-old Allegra learns that she will spend her summer studying Mozart's Fourth Violin Concerto in preparation for a young musician's competition, she knows she must make sacrifices. Is this what she really wants to do? Will she embarrass herself, her family, and her teacher with her performance? Her teacher explains that just playing Mozart is not enough, the key to greatness is to find one's own way into the heart of this concerto. For all who have ever seriously studied an instrument, this rich story rings true.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-- Allegra Leah Shapiro is happily making the transition from seventh-grade softball season to summertime when she can concentrate on her violin lessons. At their first session, her teacher informs her that she has been chosen as a finalist in a competition for young musicians, probably the youngest of those selected. Allegra, a gifted violinist, plays in a youth orchestra in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, but she is also a three-dimensional, real 12-year-old who wrangles good-naturedly with her older brother, chafes at her parents' restrictions on late-night bike riding, is loyal to her friends, and is intensely curious about the world around her. As the summer progresses, several themes weave in and out of Allegra's consciousness and growth as she struggles with the Mozart concerto she will play in the competition. A strange dancing man who appears at outdoor concerts, the mysterious sadness surrounding her mother's friend Deirdre, and a very special gift from her grandmother in New York--all these find their way into Allegra's awareness and eventually into her own interpretation of the concerto. With a clear, fresh voice that never falters, Wolff gives readers a delightful heroine, a fully realized setting, and a slowly building tension that reaches a stunning climax at the competition. Like Patricia MacLachlan in The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt (1988) and Bruce Brooks in Midnight Hour Encores (1986, both HarperCollins), Wolff interweaves the themes of adolescence, music, and striving for excellence with great success. A book that will richly reward its readers. --Connie C. Rockman, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312367459
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 7/10/2007
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 531,278
  • Age range: 11 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Virginia Euwer Wolff is an accomplished violinist and former elementary school and high school English teacher. Her first book for young readers, Probably Still Nick Swansen, was published in 1988 and won both the International Reading Association Award and the PEN-West Book Award. Since then she has written several more critically acclaimed young adult novels, earning more honors, including the National Book Award for True Believer, as well as the Golden Kite Award for Fiction and the Jane Addams Book Award for Children’s Books that Build Peace. Her books include Make Lemonade, This Full House and Bat 6. She lives in Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2004

    Great Book!

    The Mozart season was an awsome book for me. I play violin myself, and my friend is about the same level as Allegra, so i can relate to it pretty well. I really liked it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    Classical Music Lover's book

    I thought this book was good in general, but it felt like a book for people who like classical music and played an instrument. I just felt out of place reading it. I would recommend this book to people who are in an orchresta class.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2006

    The Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff

    'May you have great, great fun with this beautiful song today.' This note is written by Mr. Kaplan, Allegra Shapiro's violin teacher before her statewide competition. This quote from the story is my favorite because it shows how caring and courteous Mr. Kaplan is by wishing Allegra good luck, to have fun, not to worry, or be too serious about her performance. As the book was written in 1991, the story probably takes place during that time. Allegra Leah Shapiro, a twelve-year-old girl who plays softball and the violin, lives in Portland, Oregon. At the end of the school year, she finds out that she has been selected to play Mozart's Fourth Violin Concerto for the Ernest Bloch competition. The winner must be twenty-one years or younger and is invited to play with the Portland Symphony. Allegra's parents are musicians, too. They met at Juillbiard, the famous New York music school. Her parents do not force her to play in the competition because they want it to be her choice. So, Allegra has to stay home and practice the violin over the summer for the competition while her best friends, Jessica and Sarah go away for the summer. Jessica travels to Hong Kong and Sarah attends a ballet camp in California. Besides practicing for the competition, Allegra earns money by turning music pages for professional musicians at concerts as a summer job. Then, Deirdre,her mom's childhood friend, comes to Portland to perform and visit her family from New York City. She's a talented opera singer who becomes nauseous before each concert. Deirdre is in pain because her husband and her daughter were killed several years before by a drunk driver. Allegra and Deirdre become good friends and share their worries and feelings with each other. Next, Allegra meets a black, brain-damaged, homeless dancing man who calls himself 'Trouble'. He comes to every concert and dances and tries to hear a song that he heard in his past, 'The Waltz Tree'. His father did not like him and had him sent to reform school during The Great Depression. Allegra tries to find the song for him through her father's orchestral music librarian, but she cannot find it. One day, Allegra receives a letter from her grandmother in New York in honor of Allegra turning thirteen. Since Allegra is half-Jewish, she is not planning to have a bat mitzvah. However, her grandmother sends her a photo of her great-grandmother and the purse that her great-grandmother was holding in the photo. Then, she writes Allegra that she is named for her great-grandmother, Leah, and that she died during World War II in a Holocaust concentration camp called Treblinka. I enjoyed reading The Mozart Season because Allegra Shapiro was very much like me. She played the violin in the Youth Orchestra. I play the cello in the school orchestra. We are both Jewish and the same age. We both have relatives who died during the Holocaust. My Hebrew name is Leah, too. We both have set goals for ourselves and worked hard to achieve things that we believe are important. Allegra is always questioning herself and she tries to be a better musician. I was surprised to find how many things that the main character and I had in common. I would recommend this book because I felt I went on a journey with this main character who is kind, brave, intelligent, determined, and caring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2005

    See Yourself

    As a musician-student, I find it hard to imagine other young people my own age going through Kreutzer Etudes and other technical studies. But through this book with Allegra, I realize I'm not the only one working hard. Plus, it's very real to life. The only thing I didn't like was her aunt's characteristics, and her yoga practice before the competition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2005

    Okay book

    It was okay. I did understand it, but I somehow did not really like it. My friend really liked it, but that is not my opinion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2003

    One of my favorite books ever

    I love this book. I remember reading it when I was in middle school and just being so captivated by Allegra, this wonderfully perceptive girl.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2002

    An Incredible and Educational Book

    This book is incredible. Sometimes I even found myself as her in the story. This is really a great book for all musicians and you can really learn something out of it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2001

    Music to the eyes

    This book is so enjoyable. If you are a musician yourself, or if you enjoy hearing music, which most people do, I think you'll really enjoy this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2001

    Brilliant!

    Wolff has gone to new hights with this book. She has captured emotions never before seen. If you are looking for a great book to read this is definately the one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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