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Maria von Trapp: Beyond The Sound of Music (Trailblazers Biographies)

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These insightful biographies highlight men and women who have struggled to overcome adversity to accomplish their goals. Along the way, these inspiring people have blazed a trail through history. Anyone who has seen The Sound of Music knows how Maria von Trapp's life began--but what happened after the final scene? Discover what Maria's life was like after fleeing Nazi-occu These insightful biographies highlight men and women who have struggled to overcome adversity to accomplish their goals. Along the way, these inspiring people have blazed a trail through history. Anyone who has seen The Sound of Music knows how Maria von Trapp's life began--but what happened after the final scene? Discover what Maria's life was like after fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria for America. With intriguing facts about her life in the nunnery, her romance with Captain von Trapp, their ten children, and their singing careers, this inspiring story reaches beyond The Sound of Music--and reveals the courage and determination of a kind, energetic, and very real woman.


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These insightful biographies highlight men and women who have struggled to overcome adversity to accomplish their goals. Along the way, these inspiring people have blazed a trail through history. Anyone who has seen The Sound of Music knows how Maria von Trapp's life began--but what happened after the final scene? Discover what Maria's life was like after fleeing Nazi-occu These insightful biographies highlight men and women who have struggled to overcome adversity to accomplish their goals. Along the way, these inspiring people have blazed a trail through history. Anyone who has seen The Sound of Music knows how Maria von Trapp's life began--but what happened after the final scene? Discover what Maria's life was like after fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria for America. With intriguing facts about her life in the nunnery, her romance with Captain von Trapp, their ten children, and their singing careers, this inspiring story reaches beyond The Sound of Music--and reveals the courage and determination of a kind, energetic, and very real woman.

30 review for Maria von Trapp: Beyond The Sound of Music (Trailblazers Biographies)

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Freudenburg

    This biography for school-aged children is very well written. It accurately, concisely and clearly describes all of the important material in the autobiographies by Maria von Trapp and the other biographical sources. It does not focus on the "The Sound of Music" but rather treats the subject as important in her own right regardless of the affiliation to the musical. The generous number of primary source photographs are wonderful and give insight into Maria which tends to be absent in other adult This biography for school-aged children is very well written. It accurately, concisely and clearly describes all of the important material in the autobiographies by Maria von Trapp and the other biographical sources. It does not focus on the "The Sound of Music" but rather treats the subject as important in her own right regardless of the affiliation to the musical. The generous number of primary source photographs are wonderful and give insight into Maria which tends to be absent in other adult materials. Her confirmation photo alone is so expressive that it is worth seeing the book just for that one picture.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

    After watching the movie THE SOUND OF MUSIC, I wanted to read the true story. My library only had this biography for middle readers about the family. Since it was a children's book, the structure of the biography was obviously less complex, however, it was well written and certainly understandable to its target audience. Interspersed with a few photos, it provided just enough visual breaks to keep the interest of the younger reader. The Von Trapp family's life was truly remarkable. Certainly, th After watching the movie THE SOUND OF MUSIC, I wanted to read the true story. My library only had this biography for middle readers about the family. Since it was a children's book, the structure of the biography was obviously less complex, however, it was well written and certainly understandable to its target audience. Interspersed with a few photos, it provided just enough visual breaks to keep the interest of the younger reader. The Von Trapp family's life was truly remarkable. Certainly, the movie took liberties with their story but the true story is just as enchanting as the one fabricated by Hollywood.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Devende

    This children's biography is a quick read at just over 100 pages. Some of the early chapters cover the time period portrayed in The Sound of Music. The entire time I read those chapters I wondered why they didn't produce the play and film as her life had reallybeen. I am a fan of the musical but honestly this story, the real story was far more interesting. This is a fun book to read with children.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    So I have always loved the Sound of Music, and after Mark surprised me with a trip to the Indianapolis Symphony to see the Von Trapp Children (decedents of of the original Von Trapps), I was curious to know more about the story of the real Maria Von Trapp. I enjoyed learning more about the real story--I admire Maria and her strength and devotion to family.

  5. 4 out of 5

    J

    Great little book (intended for children?) that provides historical information on the life of Maria von Trapp. After reading her last book, I was curious about the real person and wanted to see what was true from the movie Sound of Music. A surprising amount was! I was expecting huge variations from her life story - for some reason I thought she was with the family 10 years before marrying Captain von Trapp. Not true! Within 3 years of coming to the von Trapp family house, she had married the C Great little book (intended for children?) that provides historical information on the life of Maria von Trapp. After reading her last book, I was curious about the real person and wanted to see what was true from the movie Sound of Music. A surprising amount was! I was expecting huge variations from her life story - for some reason I thought she was with the family 10 years before marrying Captain von Trapp. Not true! Within 3 years of coming to the von Trapp family house, she had married the Captain, had 2 more children with him and they were escaping the Nazis together. What a whirlwind. I found the photos and real story fascinating. This book was the perfect size for me. Lots of information, but not too much. Read easily in one sitting. Her life gives a taste of her personality. Jumping into new things and and bringing the family along with her. Sometimes that was good, other times I wonder if it was. She definitely had a strong personality that could be taken as a positive or a negative. *** UPDATE a few days later: Downgraded this book from 5 stars to 3. I just finished reading "Maria: In My Own Words" by Maria von Trapp and was surprised to see that whole sections from that book were lifted and used in this book ("written" by Candice Ransom). However, in the book containing Maria's own words in full, she is much more personable and relatable - partially due to her vulnerability in candidly sharing her mistakes and her openness in sharing her personal faith. She comes across as extremely likeable, unlike Ransom's biography which sanitized her religious views and left a hinted of vague trouble.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This was a brief, easy to read biography of Maria Von Trapp, the real woman behind the Trapp Family Singers made famous in "The Sound of Music". The real Maria was far different from her on-screen persona. I enjoyed finding out more about her actual story. I thought it was well written. I've always enjoyed reading biographies, even when I was a kid. I thought this was at a perfect level for a light, interesting read for an adult, or a good choice for a younger reader. It would be good reference This was a brief, easy to read biography of Maria Von Trapp, the real woman behind the Trapp Family Singers made famous in "The Sound of Music". The real Maria was far different from her on-screen persona. I enjoyed finding out more about her actual story. I thought it was well written. I've always enjoyed reading biographies, even when I was a kid. I thought this was at a perfect level for a light, interesting read for an adult, or a good choice for a younger reader. It would be good reference for a school project, even if the internet does cover just about anything these days.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pyrate Queen

    If you've ever wondered about the real Maria, this is the story. The love story didn't exist. At least not for her. The age difference was huge. There were more children before the escape from German-occupied Austria. There adventures in America were not pleasant at times. However, it's a quick and informative read; great for any YA who loves the movie.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Interesting to learn more about Maria and the von Trapps.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marcelle

    Easy read. Maria’s story. I enjoyed it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    An enjoyable, accessible biography. As a big fan of the musical, I was delighted to learn more about the real Maria.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    I loved The Sound of Music from the first time I saw the movie--and countless viewings later I still love it. When my mother told me that it was a true story, that Maria and the Captain, their children and their escape from Austria and the Nazis were actual people it enhanced the connection I felt to their story. I came upon this biography by chance at the library when I was researching another topic and was thrilled to discover an opportunity to learn more about a woman whose story I have admire I loved The Sound of Music from the first time I saw the movie--and countless viewings later I still love it. When my mother told me that it was a true story, that Maria and the Captain, their children and their escape from Austria and the Nazis were actual people it enhanced the connection I felt to their story. I came upon this biography by chance at the library when I was researching another topic and was thrilled to discover an opportunity to learn more about a woman whose story I have admired for so many years. Would her life reflect the details of the musical? Or were the Broadway and film versions largely fiction? This biography does not disappoint. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that most of the story I knew was accurate to the actual details of the Von Trapp family and their early lives together. The history of Maria's childhood unhappiness until she came to the abbey provided a revealing source for the strong, sometimes volatile woman with a devoted faith in God and her family that she became. I had always thought of Maria's story as having happened WAY in the past, before my life. Ms. Ransom's work dispelled this misconception: much of Maria's adult life was actually spent here on the East Coast of the United States AFTER the familiar events of the movie/musical. I was also surprised to learn that she died in 1987--not in the distant past; we shared 20 years of life together on this planet. This knowledge also changed my understanding and perspective of Maria's place in history, connecting in some ways with my own. I found it interesting to know that Maria originally did not want to marry Captain Von Trapp; she did so because the Reverend Mother at the abbey told her it was her destiny, her calling from God, as opposed to becoming a nun. In the context of Maria's youthful experience of abandonment, being turned away from the one place she felt was truly her home and family was excruciatingly painful. Her marriage to the Captain in November of 1927 was not a happy event for her. However, at Christmas Midnight Mass of that year Maria realized that she had everything she had always ached for: "a houseful of children, a loving husband (for the Captain was truly in love with her) and her faith." From that day on she and Georg celebrated their wedding anniversary on Christmas day instead of November 26th. They also had three children together, adding to the seven original Von Trapp children whom Maria loved as her own. The Von Trapp family traveled and performed extensively in the United States. They created and ran a Music Camp for families in Vermont because Maria believed in the power and gift of Music and what it had done to knit her family together. She wanted to be able to give that to other families. They concurrently ran a ski lodge near the same location for those who were less involved in the Music Camp but still wanted to be with their families. Maria's biggest disagreement with the content of the familiar musical was the same as the critics original reviews: it was too sweet. Maria felt Mary Martin on stage and Julie Andrews on film both made her seem much "sweeter" than she actually was and led audiences to believe her husband, Georg Von Trapp was much colder and more distant than he actually was as well. It is a telling testament to the esteem in which this family is held that despite the overly "sweet" character portrayals in the musical it continues to draw huge crowds wherever it is performed. Maria's story--and that of her family--resonate with each of us who admire their courage in a historical time of fear which paralyzed so many others and recognize the precious gift the love of family members for each other bestow on all those who come in contact with it. The kind, compassionate, spirited character with the capacity to be joyful and love fiercely is an accurate portrayal of this incredible woman. For those who have loved Maria's story through the musical and wish to know more about her, this is an excellent place to start. It provides a strong basis from which to further research the details of her life and accomplishments. A note about biographies from my perspective: I like to read at least two biographies of an individual by different authors and at least one autobiographical work, if it exists (and in Maria's case she wrote 5 books of her own). I find this process gives me the fullest understanding of the individual about whom I am learning.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nathalie

    This was such a fun book! Maria von Trapp was a very energetic, exuberant woman who did love to sing, play the guitar, loved teaching children, entered a convent and married Baron von Trapp. She came from a dysfunctional family--upon the death of her mother, her father sent her to live with relatives while he traveled the world. She rarely saw him and he was rather strange anyway. Upon his death, her mean uncle became her guardian--she wasn't allowed to hang out with her friends, she was punishe This was such a fun book! Maria von Trapp was a very energetic, exuberant woman who did love to sing, play the guitar, loved teaching children, entered a convent and married Baron von Trapp. She came from a dysfunctional family--upon the death of her mother, her father sent her to live with relatives while he traveled the world. She rarely saw him and he was rather strange anyway. Upon his death, her mean uncle became her guardian--she wasn't allowed to hang out with her friends, she was punished physically for every little infraction real and mostly imagined.The then-very quiet child became the indomitable Maria who figured that she may as well have fun and do as she liked since she would be punished anyways (her uncle was later committed to an insane asylum). From then on, Maria sought out life on her own terms, running away from home, getting a teaching degree and, after a spiritual experience of sorts, joining a convent. The movie (and the songs about Maria) reflects quite well Maria's irrepressible spirit and joie de vivre. She did marry Georg but only because the Mother Superior told her it was God's will and Maria, reluctantly obedient, was pretty steamed about it, even on her wedding day! The "Trapp Family" became internationally famous eventually and most of the credit goes to Maria who was their driving force.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shorel

    Since we just let the kids watch the Sound of Music for the first time last week, I've had nothing but "the Lonely Goatherd" stuck in my mind since. (Aside: a song stuck in your head is called an "earworm".) My wife brought out this book afterwards to read to the kids about the actual story of the Von Trapps. Truly the musical only covers a very small portion of an incredible life. this was a family who listened to God and trusted in him to provide through a number of hardships. If you get a chan Since we just let the kids watch the Sound of Music for the first time last week, I've had nothing but "the Lonely Goatherd" stuck in my mind since. (Aside: a song stuck in your head is called an "earworm".) My wife brought out this book afterwards to read to the kids about the actual story of the Von Trapps. Truly the musical only covers a very small portion of an incredible life. this was a family who listened to God and trusted in him to provide through a number of hardships. If you get a chance, check out this or another biography of the Von Trapp family to be inspired by more than just the music.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    I wanted to read this biography because I have always been interested in the life of Maria Von Trapp. I am a sucker for The Sound of Music. This biography was written in a very juvenille fashion. I have never understood the use of the ! in literature. I did enjoy reading about her life which is why I picked it up in the first place. I was impressed by her ability to move forward past any opposition that her family faced. She was very innovative in discovering ways to make money and succeed. I fi I wanted to read this biography because I have always been interested in the life of Maria Von Trapp. I am a sucker for The Sound of Music. This biography was written in a very juvenille fashion. I have never understood the use of the ! in literature. I did enjoy reading about her life which is why I picked it up in the first place. I was impressed by her ability to move forward past any opposition that her family faced. She was very innovative in discovering ways to make money and succeed. I find her spirit inspiring.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    I read this short YA biography to prepare for an upcoming trip to the New England states including Stowe, VT. I felt at times, the author was retelling the movie version with just a few embellishments. Maybe the movie was pretty accurate except for "Liesl" for Rupert and the way they actually left Austria. If the intended audience is 4-6th graders, I would rate it higher.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    (Genre: Non-fiction/Biography) This was an interesting, yet brief, look at the life of Maria Von Trapp. My Mother had checked it out from the library and wanted me to read it as well. She had some very interesting experiences in her life and it was nice to separate the fact from the fiction as portrayed in "The Sound of Music".

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Nice short biography of Maria von Trapp (it is a children's book.) She was quite a woman and I liked knowing the differences between her real life and the movie, although I will always love the movie!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alamoliz

    This would make an excellent biography for a upper elementary age student who must read a 100+ page book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    my obsession continues. thanks for the recommendation, wendy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lorri

    An easy read with lots of information.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kanoobie01

    Pretty good. It made me want to read a more in depth book about the family. Maybe one Maria wrote herself.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cayenne

    A nice summary of Maria's life and the amazing things she accomplished. She reminds me a little of Elizabeth Zimmerman.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Debra Vitale

    I love everything about the movie, The Sound of Music and this is a quick read (102 pages) which tells a lot that I did not know about Maria von Trapp. This book was checked out at the library.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I generally enjoy reading books for children and young adults, but this reads like a book report written by a sixth grader.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    This biography seems to sum up the spiciness of the woman and her clever way of dealing with whatever life throws you.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jane Rutherford

    Strange that I read this children's book, but some friends and I just saw "The Sound of Music" at Wolf Trap and I get carried away reading about things I see and like.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This is more of a summary of the other books. One item it has is a time line. did you know that maria was only a few years older than the oldest VonTrapp boy?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Munro

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chandra

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

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