I Am Mozart, Too: The Lost Genius of Maria Anna Mozart

by Audrey Ades (Author) Adelina Lirius (Illustrator)

I Am Mozart, Too: The Lost Genius of Maria Anna Mozart
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

To everyone who has heard of my famous younger brother but has never heard of me.

I Am Mozart, Too is a picture book biography about Wolfgang's older sister, Maria Anna Mozart, who was a child prodigy and a secret composer, perfect for Women's History Month.

Nannerl and Wolfie love playing the harpsichord together. They are so talented, the Mozart siblings perform all over Europe for packed audiences in beautiful concert halls. Even Empress Maria Theresa requests that they stop in Vienna to play especially for her.

But then Nannerl does something naughty: She starts writing music of her own. Papa fumes. Girls are not allowed to compose! Girls belong behind the curtain.

While Wolfie's solo career takes flight, Nannerl must settle for a life offstage. But it doesn't stop her from pursuing her dreams in secret.

With vivid, sweeping art by Adelina Lirius, author Audrey Ades tells the powerful true story of a talented, ambitious girl who has been hidden from history--a girl who was and always will be a genius, too.


Publishers Weekly

Narrated by Maria Anna Mozart (1751-1829), known as "Nannerl," this creative nonfiction narrative offers a glimpse into the older Mozart prodigy's life, from early travels and performances with younger brother Wolfgang to their domineering father's forcing her early retirement and subsequent marriage. Ades's personal-sounding, contemporary prose focuses on Nannerl's love for both music and her brother: "Wolfie and I practiced all day./ Two bodies. Four hands. One perfect purpose." This empathically rendered portrayal of a lesser-known musical wunderkind, with fanciful gouache and digital art by Lirius that visualizes music's flow, highlights the figure's talent and passion while asking whether her legacy could have been more extensive. Back matter includes a note about creative nonfiction and artistic liberties, and more about patriarchy in 18th century Europe. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 4-6—Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart, nicknamed Nannerl, is the older sister of Wolfgang Mozart, the famous 18th-century Austrian composer. She calls him "Wolfie." In this work of creative nonfiction, Nannerl tells us her tale. Written in first person, her voice as imagined by the author, she tells us she was a talented composer and musician. Sadly, she was silenced by own father, who believed that young women were not supposed to play music. The narrative spans more than 30 years of her life. Nannerl has a happy, music-filled childhood and a somber, quiet adulthood. The story is told with lots of text per page; however, it is clearly written and well placed within the rich illustrations. Lirius's artwork is airy and lyrical. Bright yellow and pink pastels accent Nannerl's happy childhood days. When her father takes away her music, the entire family is clad in a suffocating blue. On the night Nannerl is separated from her brother, even the moon frowns. In the book's final pages, Wolfie dies. Nannerl remembers him by playing music once again. Her symphony is rendered as a fantastic city skyline with beautiful steeples and minarets limned by moonlight. Nannerl and Wolfie laugh cheerfully in the margin of her memory. Back matter explains the concept of creative nonfiction and lets readers know which story elements are fact and which are embellishments. Also included is a glossary of musical terms and a time line for Nannerl's life. VERDICT A must-buy for any collection. Not only is this a story that needs to be shared, but the back matter educates young readers on critical reading distinctions.—Chance Lee Joyner

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

A must-buy for any collection. Not only is this a story that needs to be shared, but the back matter educates young readers on critical reading distinctions. — School Library Journal, starred review

This empathically rendered portrayal of a lesser-known musical wunderkind, with fanciful gouache and digital art by Lirius that visualizes music's flow, highlights the figure's talent and passion while asking whether her legacy could have been more extensive. — Publishers Weekly

The gouache and digital illustrations . . . are sublime, painted in delicate shades with whimsical touches and flowing floral scroll motifs. — Kirkus Reviews

Audrey Ades

Audrey Ades grew up in New England and holds degrees in theater and psychology. She is the author of Judah Touro Didn't Want to Be Famous and The Reverend and the Rabbi. She lives in South Florida with her husband, son, and persnickety Pomeranian, Cookie.

Adelina Lirius is an illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden. She loves painting imaginary scenes, portraying nature, and depicting the diffferent cultures she grew up with. Adelina is the illustrator of a picture book adaptation of The Secret Garden and The Fort.

Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9780374314767
Lexile Measure
N/A
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publication date
February 20, 2022
Series
-

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