Archive | 5:41 am


11 Jun

As a teacher I like to think that the influence I have had on my students echoes down through the years. Merriam-Webster defines “echo” this way:

: a sound that is a copy of another sound and that is produced when sound waves bounce off a surface (such as a wall)

: something (such as a feature or quality) that repeats or resembles something else

: something that is similar to something that happened or existed before

In Echo,  Pam Muñoz Ryan’s new book, I think we have a Newbery contender.


The eponymous echo is something that is similar to something that happened or existed before. This is the story of kids facing hardships and how they manage to overcome them. It is about the power of music.

Publisher’s summary: Lost and alone in the forbidden Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives, binding them by an invisible thread of destiny. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. How their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.

The book is set from the early 30’s Germany and stretches through WWII. The harmonica travels through the lives of our protagonists, offering solace and hope. There are moments of heartache and worry for the reader, but it all wraps up as nicely as you hope it would.


%d bloggers like this: