Get our latest staff recommendations, award news and digital catalog links right to your inbox.
The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
Table of Contents
About The Book
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.
About The Illustrator
Sally Wern Comport has illustrated numerous picture books and novels, including Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Guiding Beliefs (as told by his niece); Brave Margaret: An Irish Adventure; Hanging Off Jefferson’s Nose: Growing Up on Mt. Rushmore; and the Spy Mice series. She has also translated her picture making skills to various large-scale public, private, and institutional artworks. Sally lives with her husband and two daughters in Annapolis, Maryland, where she operates Art at Large Inc. Learn more at ArtAtLargeInc.com.
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 3, 2016)
- Length: 40 pages
- ISBN13: 9781481430951
- Grades: P - 3
- Ages: 4 and up
- Lexile ® 820L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
- Fountas & Pinnell™ P These books have been officially leveled by using the F&P Text Level Gradient™ Leveling System
Browse Related Books
Raves and Reviews
"The mixed-media collages are a particular effective medium for this true story, layering images of Ada and the orchestra over the landfill. The nuances of the subject may strike a stronger chord with adults rather than children, but the interesting visuals and the underlying message of hope and perseverance should help this find an audience."
"Comport's complex, digitally enhanced collages combine acrylics, drawing, and layered typographic elements, conveying both the oppressive omnipresence of garbage and the functional beauty of the handcrafted instruments. . . . Pair with the suggested video links to experience the music of a remarkable, resilient cultural community. "
– Kirkus Reviews
*“A virtuoso piece of nonfiction, gloriously told and illustrated.”
– School Library Journal, Starred Review
* “Comport (Love Will See You Through) employs a vibrant collage technique…to form colorful, almost ethereal backdrops. . .[An] uplifting, instructive story.”
– Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"The illustrations, compilations of torn paper, paint, and pen and ink illustrations, add to the feeling of being within the landfill, and are a beautiful representation of the location...Highly Recommended."
– School Library Connection
Recipient of the E.B. White Read Aloud Award
Awards and Honors
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle List PrimaryTitle
- Christopher Award
- Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
- Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
- Great Lakes Great Books Master List (MI)
- ILA Notable Books for a Global Society
- Texas Bluebonnet Master List
- Connecticut Book Award Nominee
- Red Clover Book Award Nominee (VT)
- Green Earth Book Award Selection Title
- Rhode Island Children's Book Award Nominee
- Eureka! Excellence in Nonfiction Gold Award (CA)
- Wisconsin State Reading Association's Reading List
- NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book
- Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature Best Multicultural Books List
- New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
- Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee (MD)
- Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature
- Louisiana Young Readers'Choice Award Nominee
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
Book Cover Image (jpg): Ada's Violin
Author Photo (jpg): Susan Hood
Photograph courtesy of the author(0.1 MB)
Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit
More books from this illustrator: Sally Wern Comport
More to Explore
Our Summer Reading Recommendations
Red-hot romances, poolside fiction, and blockbuster picks, oh my! Start reading the hottest books of the summer.
This Month's New Releases
From heart-pounding thrillers to poignant memoirs and everything in between, check out what's new this month.