Mary Ann and Miss Mozart by Ann Turnbull (Published by Usborne Publishing, April 27, 2007)
Mary Ann is a twelve-year-old girl living in a wealthy merchant family in London in 1764. She loves music and hopes to someday become an opera singer, but her parents do not think that is a respectable profession for a young woman. However, her parents do encourage her musical talents, as they believe an accomplished young lady is more likely to find a wealthy husband.
At the beginning of the story, Mary Ann is sent to a boarding school where she will be educated to become a proper young lady, and also receive singing and music lessons. Mary Ann loves the school and becomes good friends with the other students her age. She is even able to see the two Mozart siblings, famous child prodigies, perform. But then her father loses money from a risky investment and Mary Ann is told her parents will no longer be able to afford to pay for her schooling. Can Mary Ann find a way to stay at the school?
Mary Ann and Miss Mozart is a short and sweet story that should appeal to young girls who enjoy middle grade historical fiction. It’s a bit shorter than most middle grade books and I think the characters could have been more developed but it was a cute story with some interesting historical details. I also really liked that it mentioned Mozart’s sister since she was a very talented musician herself who did not receive the recognition she deserved during her lifetime.