Play to the angel

by Dahlberg, Maurine F., 1951-

Format: Print Book 2000
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
Carnegie Library of McKeesport - Duquesne Children Fiction J DAH
Location  Carnegie Library of McKeesport - Duquesne
Collection  Children Fiction
Call Number  J DAH
Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Children Fiction J DAHL
Location  Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison
Collection  Children Fiction
Call Number  J DAHL
A budding pianist will not be stopped, even by Nazis In February 1938, in Vienna, twelve-year-old Greta Radky is devastated to learn that her mother plans to sell the family piano. Greta's brother, a concert pianist, died the previous April, and her mother thinks of the piano as his. But Greta is an equally committed musician, and when she meets a mysterious piano teacher who agrees to work with her, she proves it. With his help the piano is saved, and inspired by his tiny angel doll, Greta practices furiously for her first recital. Then, on the day of the performance, the Nazis invade Austria. Suddenly Greta discovers her teacher's secret and knows that his life is in danger. Having stood up to her mother, Greta must now confront the Nazis...Maurine Dahlberg's fascinating first novel features an indomitable heroine in an unusual and subtle Holocaust setting.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Gr. 5^-9. First-novelist Dahlberg fuses the political with a strong sense of time and place and with the personal story of a 12-year-old gentile girl's coming of age as a musician. In Vienna in 1938, Greta Radky dreams of being a concert pianist, and, as she practices for her first big recital, she tries to ignore the rising Nazi presence. Despite her mother's opposition, Greta secretly takes lessons with a kind music professor, Herr Hummel, who fled Germany after helping Jews escape. He helps her with her music and builds her self-confidence. The suspense of her recital grows, and her performance is a triumph. The same night, however, Hitler takes over in Austria, and the Nazis riot and round up the Jews. Then Greta must rescue her beloved teacher and help him escape to Prague. There are some plot contrivances here, but many young people will recognize both the artist's story--how it feels to practice and practice, the nervousness, the mastery--and Greta's wish to ignore the outside world and be invisible. Connect this with Hans Richter's Friedrich (1970) and other stories about ordinary people who get involved despite themselves. --Hazel Rochman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Greta Radky, the 12-year-old heroine of this historical novel, has much to contend with: a burning desire to play the piano, like her recently deceased brother, Kurt; a widowed mother who, in her grief over Kurt's death, cannot bear to hear Greta even talk about music; and the recent move of her best friend, Erika, from their Viennese neighborhood to the U.S. As the story opens, in February 1938, Frau Radky precipitates a crisis by announcing her plans to sell Kurt's piano. As chance would have it, a piano teacher from Germany has moved into Erika's apartment, and his enthusiastic support gives Greta the confidence to persuade her mother to keep the piano. Greta knows that Herr Hummel, the piano teacher, has had to flee the Nazis; what she does not know, of course, is that Hitler will annex Austria within the month. When the SS come looking for Herr Hummel, he owes his escape as much to Greta's quick thinking and courage as to luck. First-novelist Dahlberg offers memorable passages about music and musicianship, and her plotting is solid. But some key characterizations (e.g., of Greta's mother) are unconvincing and the setting feels thin, especially in comparison with a book like Doris Orgel's The Devil in Vienna, which also takes place during the Anschluss. Although Dahlberg shows promise, this effort doesn't quite come to life. Ages 9-12. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Piano -- Fiction.
Music -- Fiction.
Mothers and daughters -- Fiction.
Vienna (Austria) -- History -- 1918- -- Fiction.
Austria -- History -- 1918-1938 -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Farrar, Straus and Giroux,2000
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 185 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 0374359946
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