- Paperback: 1 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic; 1st American ed edition (March 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0531068285
- ISBN-13: 978-0531068281
- Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beethoven Lives Upstairs Paperback – March 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Fans of the audio and video versions of this tale will be delighted to see that it's finally made it to print. Although a bit is lost in the translation (the music, namely--it's difficult to describe the splendor of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and Nichol, wisely, doesn't attempt it), the story remains a compelling one. Weaving fact and fiction, Nichol chronicles a slice of the great composer's life via correspondence between young Christoph, a boy living in Vienna in 1822, and his Uncle Karl, a music student in Salzburg. Christoph's mother, recently widowed, has taken in a tenant, and Christoph is alarmed at the deaf composer's strange ways: he's a slob, he's got a terrible temper, he's up at all hours of the night making dreadful noises "like the sounds of an injured beast," and once--to Christoph's intense mortification--he was caught composing in the nude, standing at the window in full view of all the neighbors. How the boy comes to appreciate the man and his music makes for a satisfying yarn. Cameron's warmly lit oil paintings are rich with period detail, lending an authentic atmosphere. Paired with a recording of some of Beethoven's works, the book affords a splendid introduction to classical music. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-When young Christopher's family takes Ludwig van Beethoven as an upstairs tenant, their home life becomes noisy and chaotic. Tortured by blinding headaches and diminishing eyesight, frustrated by deafness, Beethoven rips off his constraining clothes in the throes of composition. He pours pitchers of water over his head and removes the legs from his four pianos on which he pounds relentlessly, regardless of the hour. The boy, grieving over his father's recent death, writes to his uncle, a music student in another city, asking him to rescue him and his mother from their plight. In the exchange of letters over several years, Christopher comes to understand Beethoven's torments, overlook his extreme behavior, and even befriend him. Climaxing with the boy's attendance at the first performance of the composer's Ninth Symphony, this realistic, touching picture book about the musician's life endears this irascible genius to readers. The richly colored paintings are outstanding; the exterior scenes of Beethoven and Christopher that are bathed in accented light and gold tones are exceptional. A praiseworthy effort.
Barbara Peklo Abrahams, Oneida City Schools, Manlius, NY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I thought this was a wonderful introduction to Beethoven. The story was engaging and touches on many important points in the life of the man. It sparked our curiosity and now we will be looking for more about him.
A nice read aloud, good for the early reader as well.
The illustrations are beautifully done.