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

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

By Marni Fogelson and Mahani Teave and Illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns


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The true story of award-winning pianist and environmental activist Mahani Teave and the beloved island she is helping to save.

Imagine living on a tiny island more than a thousand miles from any other inhabited place! That's where a girl named Mahani lived—on Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island. Mahani grew up taking music lessons on the island's only piano. She had the talent to become a great pianist, but pursuing that dream meant leaving the home she loved.

As Mahani toured the world as an acclaimed concert pianist, Rapa Nui stayed close to her heart. She knew the island struggled with problems like ocean trash and wondered how she could help. So she returned to Rapa Nui with a new dream—to build a music school! The unique building is constructed with recycled trash and has solar panels and a food garden. Now Mahani is helping build a more sustainable future for her island home—where the music continues.

About the contributor(s)

Mahani Teave is an award-winning concert pianist from Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Her debut album, Rapa Nui Odyssey, launched as number one on the Billboard Classical charts. She is one of the founders of Toki Rapa Nui, a nonprofit dedicated to the island’s ecological and cultural preservation. She lives with her family on Rapa Nui, where she leads the Rapa Nui School for Music and the Arts.

Marni Fogelson is a children’s book author, lifestyle writer, and community volunteer. She has worked in nonprofit development for nearly two decades and loves eating ice cream, swimming in the ocean, watching movies, and dancing. She has an insatiable love for reading and believes that books have a tremendous power to make us better humans. Marni lives with her husband, two children, and a very loud and affectionate hound in Philadelphia.

Marta Álvarez Miguéns is a self-taught children’s illustrator. She was born in a small town in Galicia, Spain, and currently lives in La Coruña, Spain. She is the illustrator of Shark Lady (written by Jess Keating), which was named a 2018 Best STEM Book by the Children’s Book Council as well as a Best STEM Book by the National Science Teachers Association.

Book details

ISBN: 9781728262314
Publisher: Sourcebooks Explore
Date published:
Page count: 40
Categories: Juvenile Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Music, Juvenile Nonfiction / Science & Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection, and Juvenile Nonfiction / Places
Ages: 4 to 8

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