Ada’s Violin

Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
by Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

For Ada’s family, and most others in the Paraguay town of Cateura, the large, smelly landfill was a source of income, as they searched through it for items to be sold or used for other purposes.   When Ada was 11, a devoted music teacher used items from that landfill to change the lives of many children.   After advertising music lessons, Favio Chavez found he had more students than instruments.   Not wanting to turn away students, Favio was able to turn items from the landfill into instruments.   Ada, and other children of Cateura, finally had instruments to play!  Over time, the devoted musicians became the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay, which now travels the world, using their recycled instruments to share their music with people all over.

What an inspiring story!  I love books that are about someone overcoming an obstacle.  After reading this, I found myself searching for more information about the Recycled Orchestra.  This will be a great book to share around Earth Day for a recycling/reusing themed unit, perhaps with a collaboration with the art and music teachers to have the students use discarded materials to design and create their own instruments!


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