Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review: Symphony for the City of the Dead

SYMPHONY FOR THE CITY OF THE DEAD by M.T. Anderson tells the compelling true story of composer Dmitri Shostakovich known for the symphony he created during the Siege of Leningrad.
This outstanding biography chronicles the life of Dmitri Shostakovich and his passion for music and the city he loves. After an engaging prologue that sets the stage, the book details the composer’s childhood through early adulthood. The middle section of the work focuses on the Siege of Leningrad, Shostakovich’s work on what become known as the Leningrad Symphony, and the impact of the symphony around the world. The book concludes with the legacy of the symphony, the end of World War II, and the rest of Shostakovich’s life.
Librarians will find that both performing arts and history students will find the book appealing. Much more than a biography, this story of bravery and patriotism explores not only the life of a person but also the history of a country, a city, and a symphony. Youth who enjoy biography will be drawn to the conversational narrative and inspiring storyline.
There are many excellent biographies for middle school youth and adults, but few quality works written for serious young adult readers. This biography contains the in-depth research expected of an adult work without the length and detail that can bog down high school scholars. The author’s note, source notes, bibliography, and index will be useful for student researchers ready to learn more.
Look for this magnificent biography to appear at the top of many awards lists for 2015.
Listen to Symphony No. 7 Op. 60 at https://youtu.be/HON-9Z1Greo.
Explore the score for Symphony Number Seven at http://goo.gl/pxkSkl.
Published by Candlewick on September 22, 2015.