Ada Rios grew up in a town made of trash." So begins the moving and inspirational true story: Ada's Voiolin, the Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay.
I don't read a lot of non-fiction picture books and discovered this one through my participation in Reading for Research (ReForReMo). And what a fantastic discovery!
The story takes place in a slum town in Paraguay, where the inhabitants' main source of income is picking and selling trash from a landfill. In this environment, Ada struggles to stay out of trouble and focus on school.
One day, a new person comes to town and starts offering music lessons to the local children. But, he only has three instruments and 10 students. And that's not that only problem. In a town "where a violin is worth more than a house," it's not safe for the children to take the instruments home to practice.
Fortunately, the teacher comes up with an extremely innovative solution: making instruments from the materials at hand: recycled trash!
Over time, more and more children join the "recycled orchestra," which began to improve...so much that the orchestra of kids from one of Paraguay's poorest towns go on to perform around the world!
This tale of hope, creativity and the power of music is lyrically written by Susan Hood and beautifully illustrated by Sally Wern Comport. A Spanish-language version is also available.
If you're interested in the fascinating, real-life story behind this book, here's an interesting YouTube video.
Title: Ada's Violin the Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
Author: Susan Hood
Illustrator: Sally Wern Comport
Published: 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Age range: 7-10
To read more reviews of Perfect Picture Books, check out author Susanna Hill's website.