The Girl Who Heard the Music: How One Pianist and 85,000 Bottles and Cans Brought Hope to an Island

By Marni Fogelson, Mahani Teave
Illustrators Illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher Sourcebooks Imprint Explore ISBN


The Girl Who Heard the Music: How One Pianist and 85,000 Bottles and Cans Brought Hope to an Island

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Shark Lady will appreciate this incredible feminist story that empowers kids to use their passions to change the world

Mahani Teave grew up on Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, one of the most remote islands in the world. When she began taking lessons on the island’s only piano, her incredible talent led her to leave Rapa Nui when she was just nine years old to continue her music education. Although she wished she didn’t have to leave such a beautiful place to pursue her dreams, she became an internationally acclaimed classical pianist, playing around the world for all kinds of audiences.

But her island home kept calling her back. Years later, she returned to Rapa Nui to stay, and with a new dream: to save its environment and culture. Mahani saw the island’s struggles with pollution from tourism and ocean plastics, and found a unique solution. She created the island’s first music and arts school so that children there could learn music in ways that kept the island’s unique traditions alive—and did so through recycling! The school was built using of thousands of tires, bottles, and cans in its walls, incorporating rain barrels, solar panels, and a food garden.

Because Mahani pursued her dreams, she changed the fate of the island, creating an inspiring place that celebrates the land of Rapa Nui and its people—and showing children everywhere that they can stand up for their passions too.

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