Michele Wallace Campanelli
In “Musicians are Superheroes,” Michele Wallace Campanelli paints a picture of a world where musicians are not just artists but transformative heroes. The book combines a love for music and a deep understanding of its significance with the charm and charisma of the comic book world—set in an imaginary universe where music is used to resolve conflicts and create joy, much like the magic of a superhero’s superpower.
Campanelli weaves the tale of two brothers born into music royalty—the Conductor, who inherits the throne, and Anti-Music, the jealous and resentful sibling. The Conductor uses his powers to spread the love of music around the world, while Anti-Music becomes a threat to the music universe due to his disdain for all music except polka.
A poignant scene is when an elderly man named Charlie, who refuses to participate in physical activities, is moved to dance when a violinist plays an upbeat waltz. The author writes, “Charlie begins to listen. As Nurse 1 and Nurse 2 gasp in amazement. Charlie rises from his rocking chair, holds out his hand, and dances a Waltz with Nurse 1.”
This encapsulates the power of music, and throughout the pages, Campanelli maintains a delicate balance of drama, humor, and emotion. These elements are reflected in another scene where a couple’s argument is abruptly halted when the Conductor plays their wedding song—exploring music’s ability to evoke memory and emotion, heal and bring people together.
One of the main themes is the importance of music education, and the author advocates for its preservation in schools. When the school Principal plans to cut the music programs, the Conductor intervenes, declaring, “If you cut the music programs, you’ll have me and my entire band of musical superheroes to deal with!” This dialogue successfully highlights the role of music in education and underscores the passion and determination of those who stand up for its preservation.
This read is all about resilience, how music brings about change, and the essence of pursuing one’s goals despite obstacles. “Musicians are Superheroes” is a beautifully illustrated book that underscores the significance of music in our lives and is a testament to the power of perseverance and passion.
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2024