Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme created by GreenBeanTeenQueen, one of my favorite blogs. Surprise, surprise - it features books aimed at Tweens.
I'm a little behind in my reading of current MG books, so I'm going back to review some of my favorite books as a young teen. I expect I may be doing this for the next few weeks until I read a few more contemporary novels.
The Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff
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. (courtesy of Goodreads)
I first read this book when I was 12 or 13 years old. I was unimpressed. The book is about Allegra's 12th summer and her preparation for a large violin competition. There is a very clear plot to the book, but nothing really happens. No huge conflicts or page-turning climaxes. Just a girl, her violin, and her family.
I finished the book and thought nothing of it...for awhile. Then little tidbits, little memories from the book popped into my head at random times. Allegra's nighttime, insomniac-driven walks; turning pages for her parents at an outdoor concert; Mr. Trouble; big vocabulary words; her music teacher; Mozart's fourth violin concerto; and more. I soon realized I treasured this book with its collection of vignettes about a girl on the cusp of adolescence.
I've since reread the book many times. For me, the book is neither plot-driven or character-driven. It is atmospheric. The book takes me to a world of cool summer outdoor concerts, to the intricate sounds of Mozart, to the love of a family, to the memory of starting to understand the world around me.
The Mozart Season is a beautiful book. Not engrossing or page-turning. But thoughtful and sweet. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a gentle read.
Rating: 5 / 5 (Realistically, I think this book deserves more or a 4 or 4.5 but it gets a 5 from me because it had such a significant effect on me)