When Anna Maria's father, a famous violin maker, passes away, she is sent to live in the Pieta, an orphanage in Venice. Though she misses her father, she knows he will always be with her, as long as she has the beautiful violin that he crafted for her. Luckily, the Pieta is not just an orphanage—it's also a renowned music school whose teacher is none other than composer Antonio Vivaldi. When Anna Maria becomes his star pupil, another orphan's jealousy leads her to throw Anna Maria's precious violin into the canals. With help from her beloved teacher and new friends, Anna Maria searches Venice's bridges, streets, and canals, but it seems hopeless. Will Anna Maria ever find her father's violin? Can she ever be happy in Venice without it? This lyrical historical fiction story by Janice Shefelman perfectly captures the beauty of Venice, the joy of music, and how a bit of kindness can make a scary new place feel like home.
Anna Maria's Gift by Janice Shefelman; illustrated by Robert Papp