From award-winning author Susan Hood and illustrator Sally Wern Comport comes the extraordinary true tale of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay, an orchestra made up of children playing instruments built from recycled trash.
Ada Ríos grew up in Cateura, a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill. She dreamed of playing the violin, but with little money for anything but the bare essentials, it was never an option...until a music teacher named Favio Chávez arrived. He wanted to give the children of Cateura something special, so he made them instruments out of materials found in the trash. It was a crazy idea, but one that would leave Ada—and her town—forever changed. Now, the Recycled Orchestra plays venues around the world, spreading their message of hope and innovation.
Hood's (Rooting for You) beautifully narrated true tale begins in Cateura, a "noisy, stinking, sweltering slum" of Paraguay. That's where Ada R os lives with her family, recyclers (gancheros) who collect and sell trash from the nearby landfill. When engineer Favio Ch vez begins teaching music to at-risk children there, Ada learns the violin, and she and other students play instruments made from recycled trash. Comport (Love Will See You Through) employs a vibrant collage technique, using pictures of food labels, tires, and other detritus to form colorful, almost ethereal backdrops. Light-infused scenes of gancheros picking through mountains of trash, children playing soccer in Cateura's streets, and Ada practicing violin all include hopeful shades of yellow. Torn bits of a musical score edge out the garbage scraps as the story progresses. When the Recycled Orchestra gains fame, its members perform in some of the world's biggest, brightest cities: "Buried in the trash was music. And buried in themselves was something to be proud of." An author's note expands on this uplifting, instructive story; a Spanish-language edition is available simultaneously. Ages 4 8. Author's agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator's agency: Shannon Associates.