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The Mozart Question

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  1,043 Ratings  ·  139 Reviews
When cub reporter Lesley is sent to Venice to interview a world-renowned violinist, the journalist is told she can ask Paolo Levi anything about his life and career as a musician, but on no account must she ask him the Mozart question. Paolo has finally realised he must reveal the truth.
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published November 5th 2007 by Walker (first published 2007)
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Feb 16, 2009 EAK rated it really liked it
This would be a great extended picture book to use during a Holocaust unit for middle schoolers or older. A beautiful story of family, secrets, and hope.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This is one of those books that could be an adult or a children's book. It opens with a reporter interviewing a violinist, and feels like an adult book. But when the violinist begins to speak of his boyhood, it feels like a children's book. Either way, it's good. I like the addition of full-page and double-page illustrations, with a shade of blue that lent an overall upbeat feel to the story despite its grim moments. I usually enjoy anything that Michael Morpurgo writes, and I'm pleased to say t ...more
اليازية خليفة
Mar 22, 2014 اليازية خليفة rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-readers
الفئة المستهدفة من القراء -هم من الصغار مابين إلى سنة تقريبا.
الشخصية الرئيسية طفل في التاسعة من العمر ، و شخصيات رئيسة في القصة الأم، الأب، وعازف الكمان، وشخصيتين مساندتين المديرة التي لم تذكر في القصة إلا في البداية، والثانية هي الصحفية، وأشعر هنا أن الكاتب قد سرد تفاصيل حياة الطفل أولاً ثم قرر تغليفها بوجود هذه الصحفية التي لم يكن لها دور حقيقي في القصة .
ناقش الكاتب فكرة الأسرار في الحياة الأسرية، ورهافة الحس في الحياة البسيطة، ومبدأ تعلم الحرف أو الفنون فالأب -أفضل حلاق في مدينة فنيسيا- وا
May 14, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing
Unbelievably beautiful, moving story. It will take fifteen minutes to read-you'll remember it for the rest of your life. I don't want to give anything away, but I cried through the entire story. So touching.
Michael Morpurgo is a master story-teller and manages to keep the reader hanging on to his words right up to the last pages. An excellent read and a highly recommended author.
Feb 08, 2009 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Is it a picture book? Is it a metaphor for adults? Is it a novella? Is it a memoir? Whatever, this book with its soft blue water color cover invited me into a quiet, focused, reflective read. It is so true to childhood experiences of sneaking into parents' memories, finding a treasure that the child assumes is forgotten or ignored by the parents. Yet, through the boy's curiosity and interest in music, a horrible story immerges. So many of the children's books present horrors of war and oppressio ...more
Jan 21, 2009 Barbara rated it liked it
This haunting novella is a Holocaust tale of trauma, strength, survival and ultimately reunion. A young journalist is given the opportunity to interview Paolo Levi, a famous violinist, but she is told that under no circumstances is she to ask him the Mozart question. If she does, he will refuse to continue the interview. Not even knowing what the Mozart question is, she opens the interview by telling him she won't ask it. Instead she asks how he started playing the violin. After a few tense mome ...more
This is a brilliantly written book about a world famous violinist from Venice, who has never spoken about his background, family history or why he started to play the violin. He decides it is time to tell the truth, and so goes through his life from a young boy to the present day, talking about how his parents wee violinists and how he learnt. Through out the book we see a deeper meaning within the story- his parents were saved from the concentration camps by being in the camp orchestra and play ...more
A poignant and beautifully executed short story about Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, presented in a glossy, illustrated book format. I liked the way the author framed the narrative as a story-within-a-story-within-a-story. He eases the reader back through layers of time and space to tell the tale of three musicians in a way that is resonant and comprehensible to readers as young as eight or nine, while not being too gory or emotionally immediate. I suppose that there is something to be s ...more
Oct 19, 2013 Jenni rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, even after coming back to Morpurgo years after I first discovered his books. Music, love, it will make you happy and sad. I picked this one up in the library and was inspired how original and creative the story is, which is what makes a great writer.

Pick it up, give it a try because although it is short it is a great read for when you want to think about what you are reading, not just read it...

For all ages, 4 stars. Try other Michael Morpurgo books too while you're t
Elisabetta Da Pelo
Ho tre grandi passioni a questo punto della mia vita: i libri, le serie tv e la musica.
Coltivo l'amore per la musica classica a scuola, con il mio flauto traverso, che nonostante all'inizio non fossi per niente entusiasta di dovere suonare, ora quello che per alcuni è uno stupido pezzo di metallo, ora fa parte del mio corpo e della mia mente. In realtà questo è un libro da leggere per la scuola, la nostra professoressa ha deciso di approfittare del nostro suonare, per assegnarci questo libro.
Katy Noyes
Feb 21, 2014 Katy Noyes rated it really liked it
We are never told outright what 'the Mozart Question' is. Though that might be the first thing I'd ask a class upon finishing this short piece.

It's perfect for class reading, would probably take about a week and would fit in nicely with Literacy lessons on narrators, history lessons on WW2 and the Holocaust, music lessons (on instruments and Mozart in particular) and geography and PSHE.

There's a story within a story as rookie journalist Lesley is sent in her superior's stead to Venice to intervi
Jun 20, 2016 Ellie rated it really liked it
Fantastic book to read to my 5/6 students. They loved it and so did I.
Simon Taylor
Feb 06, 2016 Simon Taylor rated it really liked it
The Mozart Question is a short children's book by former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo.

Reporter Lesley McInley interviews renowned violinist Paulo Levi, with strict instruction not to ask 'the Mozart question'.
As Levi tells his story to McInley, punctuated with beautiful illustrations by Michael Foreman, the reader is drawn into provincial post-war Venice, and the tale is truly moving.

With uplifting messages shining through the horrendous experiences of the Holocaust, Morpurgo once again
Wow, what an amazing book! Every book I read by Morpurgo seems to cement in my mind how awesome this author is.

I know exactly who to pass this on to, his heart is even bigger than mine, and he has a huge love of music too! And I'll probably read it again on the journey :D
Oct 12, 2010 Emily rated it liked it
This was a book for the mother daughter book club. It was actually a very good and beutifua and was veru dofferent than i thought it would be like. Its like a book i have never read before. I would reccomend this book to people that like music especially the violin.
Apr 28, 2009 Kelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by Kori-Carter read it first and enjoyed it. I read it quickly (it's a short children's book) and ended up crying at the end. OK, I'm a little hormonal, but it was touching. A good read.
Feb 10, 2014 Heidi rated it really liked it
A beautiful story that weaves music, history, love and dreams together. A young boy living in Venice discovers that his father used to play the violin but refuses to do so ever again. He pesters his father and his mother to find out why but they will not tell him. He then meets a street musician who in secret repairs his father's old violin and teaches the boy how to play. He has incredible natural ability. When the musician finds out the boy has kept his lessons a secret, he insists he tell his ...more
Sep 27, 2016 Emily marked it as to-read
I know the picture I chose for this book is kind of funny – Mozart wearing aviator glasses – and I picked that because this whole booktalk is on such a serious, depressing topic. I wanted to give you guys at least one reason to smile today.
This book begins with the narrator, a journalist, getting ready for an interview with famous violinist Paolo Levi. She’s nervous – the interview is tomorrow and she’s only just been asked to do it today, and Paolo Levi is so famous – world renowned…
The only
Anne Hamilton
Sep 29, 2012 Anne Hamilton rated it really liked it
Shelves: pseudo-kid-books
This is one of those strange books, presented in a format for children with exquisite watercolour illustrations, but with a framing story and language level that both seem incongruous for a young audience. The very nature of the presentation suggests it will miss the adult readers better suited to appreciate the storyline.

When her boss is injured in a skiing accident, Lesley is sent to Venice to interview the famous reclusive violinist, Paoli Levi. The cub reporter's instructions are strict: wh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Rumohr
Oct 31, 2009 Laura Rumohr rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
On the eve of this 50th birthday in which he is to perform a solo concert, famed violinist, Levi Paolo reveals to a young reporter the story of how he first learned to play violin. As a boy living in Venice, young Levi hears that his father was once a magnificent violin player. He begs his mother to tell him about it, and one day she promises to show Levi his fathers violin only if he promises to never ask about it again. Levi is immediately transfixed by the instrument and begins taking lessons ...more
Big Book Little Book
May 01, 2012 Big Book Little Book rated it really liked it
Caroline for

Just three weeks in to her fledgling career, cub reporter Lesley is handed the opportunity of a lifetime. Stepping in at the last minute for her hospitalised boss, Lesley is whisked away to Venice to interview world famous Violinist Paolo Levi. She has strict instructions to focus on the music and avoid asking the private musician any personal questions and under no circumstances should she ask the Mozart question. The only problem is that Lesley has no idea
Oct 16, 2010 Lukedd96 rated it it was amazing
The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo is about a reporter who goes to Venice to interview the great violinist Paolo Levi. She asked him How he got started on the violin and he told about his childhood. He found a violin in his attic, but his mother told him not to play it. Then he met a violin teacher named Benjamin who repaired the violin. It turns out that Paolo's parents knew Benjamin when they played in an orchestra while they were prisoners in a concentration camp together. That is why Pa ...more
Feb 25, 2008 Scope rated it it was amazing
Upon first glance, I didn’t know how to classify this book. Its size - slim and square - is a bit unusual for a book aimed at the upper elementary set. While there are illustrations throughout, this is definitely no graphic novel. From the outside it kind of looks like a mini picture book with extra pages. I had similar trouble predicting the storyline. The cover makes some obvious Holocaust allusions, but the title and illustration underneath it had me perplexed. After reading “The Mozart Quest ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Rll52013_andrea rated it really liked it
This little book is a bit of a fooler. At first glance, it may seem to the reader to be for young children- it is small and squarish and the illustrations seem soft and a bit innoculous if one doesn't look to closely. But this book has a punch unlike many other books; this LITTLE book is really best suited for BIG kids.

The sock-you-in-the-gut punch of this book lies in what the title has you questioning from the very beginning, "Why won't the main character play Mozart music anymore?" Morpugo da
Barbara Triggs
A reporter gets her big chance when her no nonsense boss is unable to do an interview with a famous violinist, Paolo Levi. She has been warned not to ask the "Mozart Question" and tells him right off the bat that she won't ask that question. Given his rapport with her, he tells her the story behind the question. His parents were musicians who never played again after being forced by the Nazis to play in the orchestra for the SS in their concentration camp. Eventually, they realize they are pract ...more
Books Kids Like
Oct 24, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it it was amazing
Shelves: morpugo-michael
Journalist Lesley McInley goes on assignment to Venice to interview Paolo Levi, a world famous violinist. Paolo tells Lesley that he can ask one question. Unable to sort through his notes for the best question, Lesley begins babbling about how he's not supposed to ask Paolo about "the Mozart question." A long silence follows, and, then, Paolo begins to tell his story. He relates the day that he saw his mother's violin and learned that his father was a famous violinist who refuses to play or hear ...more
Mar 10, 2015 Fiona rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
A truly beautiful book - beautifully told and beautifully illustrated. The Holocaust, and the lessons learnt from it, is something that we should never forget, and this story introduces the topic to children with sensitivity and at a level they can understand. I also found it very moving and challenging to read as an adult. I can not recommend this book highly enough.
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Michael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to ...more
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