Nonfiction Monday: For the Love of Music by Elizabeth Rusch

For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart
written by Elizabeth Rusch
paintings by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
Tricycle Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58246-326-1
Grades 1 and up
Reviewed from book borrowed from public library.
Reviewed for Beehive Book Awards

BLURB: By the time she was 12, she was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe, but today few people know her name. Maria Mozart, like her famous brother Wolfgang, was a musical prodigy. The talented siblings toured Europe, playing before kings and empresses, were showered with gifts and favors, and lived in a whirlwind life of music and travel. They were best friends, collaborators, and confidantes. As they grew older, Wolfgang was encouraged to pursue his musical ambitions, while Maria was told she must stop performing and, ultimately, marry. But she was determined to continue playing the piano every day, for the love of music . . . .

I'll say up front that I loved this book, so much so that I bought myself a copy.  Not only are the illustrations a gorgeous combination of fabric collage, paper, and oil and acrylic on canvas, but the writing follows the parts of a piano sonata. Even those who do not particularly care for classical music know who Mozart is, but I did not realize that at first, his sister was as famous as he was.  Clearly Maria had a gift for playing the piano.  Unfortunately for her she lived in an era when women were expected to marry and have children, not have a career.  What I especially admired about her was that she continued to play and nourish her gift and passion despite having the opportunity to share her gift with the world taken away. 

This book provides a glimpse into the mind and heart of a brother and sister who not only shared a love for music, but love for each other.  A great story about finding a way to pursue one's dreams whatever the limitations life puts on you. I highly recommend this book.

Head on over to Capstone Connect for today's Nonfiction Monday.


  1. Hello Heidi, I've learned about Anna Mozart while I was reading The 39 Clues (yup, THE 39 clues ehhehe) as Amy and Dan were heading on towards Vienna in Book 2 I think (One False Note). Since that time, I've been interested in knowing more about Mozart's sister, will look for this book. :)

  2. The illustrations look amazing , especially the fabric collage. It gives an authentic centuries old feel to the book.


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