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Isabella's Libretto

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4.36  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  14 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)
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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
Cindy
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
...more
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
...more
Darlene Cruz
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful tale of an orphan girl and her love and inspiration in music and for music. What a coming of age read. All the drama trapping of one coming of age contemplating her life and where it is going. Isabella is talented, just ask her cello? I would say, gifted and extraordinarily awesome. This story consume your emotions and the author's writing made me feel the lost and grief and just plain agony. But wait Isabella turns of emotion change towards someone? Instead of a nuisance this person b ...more
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.
Aspasia
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
...more
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
...more
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