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Anna Maria's Gift
     

Anna Maria's Gift

by Robert Papp, Janice Shefelman
 

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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

Overview

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?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Anna Maria, a young girl who is a gifted violinist, lives with her father in Italy in 1715. When her father, who is a famous violin maker, dies, she is sent to an orphanage in Venice. All that remains of her former happy life is the violin that her father made for her, one that "sings with his own voice." Nevertheless, Anna Maria finds some friends at the orphanage and quickly becomes the star pupil of the renowned composer Antonio Vivaldi, who teaches there. Trouble comes when a jealous schoolmate steals her violin and throws it into the canal. After several setbacks, Anna Maria finds her violin and she and the jealous schoolmate make peace with one another. At the end of story, Anna Maria takes part in a concert and is certain that she will be happy playing her violin at the orphanage. This book will appeal especially to girls with an interest in music or in Italy. The story has many references to Italian culture and religion, and a glossary is provided to help readers with specialized terms and words. There is also an historical note at the back that explains the true story of Antonio Vivaldi and his connection with the orphanage in Venice, a story that is worthy of a book of its own. Reviewer: Leona Illig
Kirkus Reviews
Shortly after her father's death, Anna Maria is sent to study violin at the Pieta, an orphanage and music school for girls in Venice. She is welcomed by a new friend, Silvia, but victimized by a talented but jealous fellow violinist, Paolina. The composer Antonio Vivaldi teaches both girls, and they vie for the same solos. In a fit of jealousy, Paolina takes Anna Maria's beloved violin-a last gift from her father-and drops it into a nearby Venetian canal. Anna Maria searches for her treasured instrument while Paolina pays for this act of passion. A fascinating view of 18th-century Venice with its vibrant music scene, this novel explores the powers of friendship and forgiveness. The simply told tale, with its direct plot and characterizations, is suited to younger readers than Pat Lowery Collins's Hidden Voices (2009), with which it shares a setting. The secondary characters-the gondolier, the sisters of the Pieta and the wealthy merchant who ends up with Anna Maria's violin-add much to this offering for independent readers who love history. Papp's illustrations not seen. (Historical fiction. 6-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375858819
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
04/27/2010
Series:
A Stepping Stone Book(TM) Series
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.58(h) x 0.55(d)
Lexile:
470L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Janice Shefelman’s love of children’s books from an early age led to careers as a teacher, a librarian, and a writer. Her first book, A Paradise Called Texas, was a Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee. Since then she has written dozens of children’s books. She lives in Austin, Texas.

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