Last week Team OverDrive had the privilege of welcoming author and concert pianist Mona Golabek to our offices. Her book, The Children of Willesden Lane, tells the true story of how her mother, Lisa Yura, escaped Austria during World War II through the Kindertransport and how her music not only inspired the other children at Lisa’s orphanage but how it became the foundation of her life.

The Children of Willesden Lane teaches readers young and old the importance of family, patience, peace and how to hold onto something and fight for what you believe in. Since the release of the book, Mona has toured the country with her one woman show, The Pianist of Willesden Lane where she portrays her mother and plays the music that inspired her to make it through her difficult times. She also created the Hold On To Your Music Foundation to raise awareness and understanding of the ethical implications of events like the Holocaust. The Pianist shows the power of the arts and how they embolden the human spirit in the face of adversity. Children studying her book have the privilege of viewing this play, fully experiencing the goal of Mona’s work.

While Mona was at our Blue Sky campus I had the honor of sitting down with Mona to discuss her book, her one woman show and what she hopes children and adults alike will take away from her story.

Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive. He wishes he could play the piano.