Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Isabella's Libretto” as Want to Read:
Isabella's Libretto
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Isabella's Libretto

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Isabella’s Libretto is the tale of one orphan seeking her dream in Venice, Italy, in 1715—a time when music permeated the canals and lanes of the floating city. Abandoned as a baby at the Ospedale della Pietà, Isabella dal Cello has spent her entire life wondering why her mother deserted her. Now she is an ambitious teen who has worked hard to earn a place playing her cell ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published September 3rd 2014 by Excalibur Press (first published September 1st 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Isabella's Libretto, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Isabella's Libretto

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  36 ratings  ·  13 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Isabella's Libretto
Gail Nall
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Fourteen-year-old Isabella dal Cello was abandoned as a baby at the Pieta, an orphanage in Venice. She grew up learning to play the cello and never knowing her mother. Isabella's dream is to play a solo in the Pieta's renowned orchestra. She practices daily and hopes to impress Don Vivaldi, the orchestra's conductor. But then one wrong choice threatens Isabella's dream, and her punishment is to care for Monica, a girl new to the Pieta. Monica feels like a burden, especially when Isabella needs t ...more
D.G. Driver
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ten years ago I co-wrote a biography on Antonio Vivaldi with classical music composer Daniel Felsenfeld for Morgan Reynolds Publishers. In researching that book, I became fascinated by the fact that Vivaldi composed music and conducted for this amazing orchestra of orphaned girls. I wasn't smart enough to write a novel about it, though. That remained to be the task of Kimberly Cross Teter, and what a wonderful job she did. This book is smart, touching and beautifully written. You can tell it is ...more
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story, beautifully written!
Katie Ritter
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How is it possible that I know the streets of long-ago Venice with such intimacy? How can I, who have never played an instrument, feel the breathtaking soar of an orchestra, with a bow under my fingers and a cello speaking deep in front of me? How can I understand the deepest yearning in a human heart – for the sound of a mother, long gone, never to return again?

It’s because ISABELLA’S LIBRETTO brings splendidly to life the story of one of composer Antonio Vivaldi’s greatest achievements: an or
Alana White
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed "Isabella's Libretto," a coming-of-age novel set in the real-life, 1700s Venetian orphan's hospital where desperate mothers abandoned their babies in the hope of giving them a better life. Left at "Ospedale della Pieta" as an infant, Isabella dal Cello is a teen questioning her past and coming to terms with her future. At the orphanage, Isabella has blossomed into a gifted musician who plays the cello in the school's celebrated orchestra. Her teacher is none other than the f ...more
Julia Nashif
I still have no idea what an oboe is.

Thank you, Kimberly Cross Teter, for this free book to review! Gotta love Goodreads' giveaways.

So, I just looked up what an oboe is. For other uninstrumentality inclined people, it's like an advanced recorder, and what Isabella's best friend played. I was pretty confused about that; my mistake. ;)

Isabella is a great character. On one hand, she's selfish and rash, as is seen by the way she treats most people. On the other hand, you can really see her passion f
Debbie E.
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written in a style that complements Isabella’s spirit and the passionate music of her world. Isabella’s struggles with identity, loss, and punishment bring out the depth of her character as her love for the cello’s magic guides her destiny.

The setting surrounds you. The sounds come off the page while the orchestra of orphan girls play together under the guidance of famous composer Vivaldi.
Rae Parker
Isabella’s Libretto is a beautiful story of courage and resilience as an orphan girl in Italy 1715 uses her passion for music to forge a place for herself in the world.
I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Kimberly Cross Teter last week at the 4th annual Augusta Literary Festival. She was one of five finalists for the Yerby Award for fiction for her debut YA historical novel Isabella's Libretto.

Isabella's Libretto takes place in Venice in 1715. The title character, Isabella dal Cello, is a teenage orphan who lives in the Ospedale della Pieta- an all-girls orphanage. This orphanage is special because the girls receive a musical education and play in a weekly
Amber Hart
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kim Teter weaves us effortlessly through the history of 1700's Venice, orphan life, Vivaldi's orchestra, friendships, losses, and self-discovery through Isabella's eyes. Isabella's voice feels genuinely teenaged. And though the story is set in 18th century Italy, the tale has a timeless quality. The Signoras who run the orphanage are a blend of sweet and stern, loving and firm. Based on my own father's parochial educational stories (circa 1960's), these women felt very authentic. As a former mus ...more
Marcia Tambellini
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Melissa Tedesco
Shelves: catholic
This is such a lovely read! The creativity, language, and imagination are the qualities that made this a page turner for me.
I can see this as a Mom/Daughter Book Club selection. I will share my edition with our women in my "Sisterhood Circle of Friends." That doesn't happen often. This book has BLESSED me!
I look forward to more from Kim Teter.
Carrie Dalby
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Historical fiction at its finest. Lovely, deep story with historical tidbits both fascinating and disturbing.
Christy Harris
rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2015
Emma C.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical-fiction lovers, musicians, travel lovers
Isabella dal Cello doesn't know her given name. Like many of the other orphan girls at the Ospedale della Pietà in 18th-century Venice, Italy, she draws her identity from the instrument she plays in Don Vivaldi's famous orchestra. She's haunted by questions about the mother who gave her up as an infant, and dreams of proving her worth to the world by becoming a virtuoso cellist...

Intrigued? On my blog, I interview Kim about Isabella and her 18th-century Venetian world! Vivaldi's Venice at emmafo
Thais Rencher
rated it really liked it
May 29, 2015
rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2014
rated it really liked it
May 31, 2015
Towana Wright
rated it it was amazing
Mar 08, 2016
Mary Kierst
rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2021
rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2015
rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2021
mary fryz
rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2019
rated it liked it
Dec 15, 2014
Carol Curley
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2016
Maria Koshute
rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2014
rated it liked it
Aug 18, 2015
Marye Pat
rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2019
rated it liked it
Nov 21, 2018
Melissa Ashby
rated it really liked it
May 22, 2020
rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2018
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Moment of Weakness (Forever Faithful, #2)
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  • Elizabeth Bennet's Excellent Adventure: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
  • Never Never (Never Never, #1)
  • Walk Me Home
  • The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1)
  • The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2)
  • The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World
  • Ovenly: Sweet and Salty Recipes from New York's Most Creative Bakery
  • The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)
  • Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3)
  • The Chicken Sisters
  • Clockwork Boys (Clocktaur War, #1)
  • The Lost and Found Bookshop
  • May It Be So: Forty Days with the Lord's Prayer
  • Needles and Pearls (Jo Mackenzie, #2)
  • Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2)
  • The Little Black Book for Lent 2021: Six-minute meditations on the Sunday Gospels of Lent (Cycle B)
See similar books…

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
61 likes · 28 comments