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Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Hood tells the story of a real child growing up in an actual place—Cateura—a community of people who live and feed themselves by picking through the tons of trash generated by the capital city of Asunción, Paraguay, and salvaging items to recycle and sell. Despite her bleak surroundings, Ada Ríos liked to imagine each garbage truck was "a box of surprises. One never knew what might be inside." When Ada was 11, a man named Favio Chávez started to hold music classes for the local young people. Since there weren't enough instruments to go around and they were too precious for the kids to take them home to practice, the project seemed doomed to be short-lived. Watching the children play amid the rubble gave Señor Chávez an idea. He enlisted the help of the gancheros (recyclers), and they fashioned cellos from oil drums, flutes out of water pipes, and guitars from packing crates. Ada chose a violin made from an old paint can, an aluminum baking tray, a fork, and pieces of wooden crates. Through hard work and long hours of practice over time, she and the rest of the ragtag crew of kids formed the Recycled Orchestra, and the rest is history, as they've grown and made a name for themselves internationally. Comport's mixed-media collages are nothing short of brilliant as she plays with light and dark throughout. The spreads capture the look and feel of the cramped and stinking landfill, the oppressive heat, and the hardscrabble lives of the residents. They also convey the resourcefulness and warmth of the families and the aspirations of the children. The scenes of the kids embracing their instruments and sharing their joy at making music are absolutely transcendent. "With her violin, Ada could close her eyes and imagine a different life. She could soar on the high, bright, bittersweet notes to a place far away. She could be who she was meant to be." VERDICT A virtuoso piece of nonfiction, gloriously told and illustrated.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal
"The mixed-media collages are a particular effective medium for this true story, layering images of Ada and the orchestra over the landfill. The nuances of the subject may strike a stronger chord with adults rather than children, but the interesting visuals and the underlying message of hope and perseverance should help this find an audience." (Booklist)
"Comport's complex, digitally enhanced collages combine acrylics, drawing, and layered typographic elements, conveying both the oppressive omnipresence of garbage and the functional beauty of the handcrafted instruments. . . . Pair with the suggested video links to experience the music of a remarkable, resilient cultural community. " (Kirkus Reviews)
*“A virtuoso piece of nonfiction, gloriously told and illustrated.” (School Library Journal, Starred Review)
* “Comport (Love Will See You Through) employs a vibrant collage technique…to form colorful, almost ethereal backdrops. . .[An] uplifting, instructive story.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
"The illustrations, compilations of torn paper, paint, and pen and ink illustrations, add to the feeling of being within the landfill, and are a beautiful representation of the location...Highly Recommended." (School Library Connection)
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Top Customer Reviews
Pros: An inspiring story of how one man has made an amazing difference in the lives of an entire community. The illustrations do a great job of capturing the designs of the different instruments, as well as the emotions of their players.
Cons: I wanted to hear the music! Fortunately, YouTube helped me out. Just search for “Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay” to learn more and to see and hear these amazing instruments in action.
Favio Chavez, wow, now he is an amazing role model for all of us. He has a college education and a good job and yet he looked around and saw a need. He did not stop there though, he actually did something. It started as a small idea. He offered music lesson to very poor children on Saturdays at 8:00 am. That seems a relatively small sacrifice and yet is is more than most of us offer. His small sacrifice grew into something that had a huge impact on so many lives. It is hard to even fathom such an impact. This is my favorite part of the book. It reminds us that we do not need to have grandiose plans of saving the world, we can just see a need and be willing to help. Most of us probably will never reach the level of impact as Chavez but you know what, that is ok too.
We loved this book. It was also amazing to watch videos online of the orchestra performing. I think that made it even more real for my girls. I am glad this book was written.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the story is well written.Read more