Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Mystery of Beethoven's Hair by Russell Martin

Cover image for Beethoven's hairAs the legendary composer, Beethoven, lay in repose after his death, a young admirer cut a lock of his hair.  The young music student had the lock put into a locket necklace.  This interesting nonfiction traces the journey of the locket from the 1800's to the present.  It is an interesting story.  The lock was passed from father to son, but then was lost in Denmark as its owner fled the Nazi occupation. The new owner passed it to his daughter who eventually sold it at Sotherby's to some Beethoven collectors in America.  The new owners decided to do a chemical analysis of the hair to try to discover clues to Beethoven's frequent illnesses and deafness.  What they found was stunning and changed the way people look at Beethoven. 

This was a well written and interesting nonfiction.  It wasn't quite as engrossing as Written in Bone, but almost. That is perhaps because this book was only dealing with one historical mystery, while the other had several different mysteries to unravel. The book is based on a longer book written by the authors for adults.  It is a good nonfiction choice for either boys or girls, especially ones with a special interest in Beethoven. (270 p)

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