Publishers' Preview: Spring 2023: Five Questions for Marni Fogelson and Mahani Teave

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2023 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2023, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.

Sponsored by

Coauthor and classical pianist Teave is The Girl Who Heard the Music and, with journalist Fogelson, tells her remarkable story of building hope with 85,000 bottles and cans.

1. Mahani, what is the most challenging aspect of playing the piano?

The biggest challenge is having to adjust to a new piano for performances. A violinist or cellist can carry their instrument around. With the piano, each one is absolutely different from the last one I played, and I have to instantly become friends with it and find the magic in that instrument.

2. Marni, where did you first learn about Mahani?

There was a segment about her on CBS Sunday Morning. I was so inspired by her story that I reached out via social media.

3. Mahani, what is the most important thing for a teacher to remember?

That we are all teachers; we set the examples for children. We have to try to be the kind of human beings we want children to become.

4. Marni, how has the island of Rapa Nui changed your mind?

I knew very little before embarking on this book’s journey, so it’s been less about changing my mind and more about understanding and getting a fuller picture of its culture, traditions, community, and history. It has been such a pleasure to take a deeper dive into Mahani’s own life and learn about Rapa Nui — from their ­environmental efforts to the moai to the local flowers and birds.

5. Both: favorite moment in the solo piano repertoire?

MT: The second section of Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B Minor when the light is ­coming down from the heavens. There are others, but this is very special for me.

MF: My fourteen-year-old son plays the piano. Whatever he’s working on at the moment becomes my favorite!

Sponsored by

Photo of Mahani Teave (right): Pilar Castro.

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton

Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton was editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., from 1996-2021. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his MA in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a BA from Pitzer College in 1978.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.