By Pam Munoz Ryan

Published: 2015

AR Level: 4.9

AR Points: 13.0

I suggest: 4th through 8th grade interest

EchoHave you ever had your heart broken and put back together again? This book made me cry more than a few times, only to stitch it up with the most magnificent ending you ever did read. It’s no surprise to me this middle grade historical with a touch of whimsy scored a Newbery. For any child (or adult) with a love of music (which is most of us), your heart will sing with this beautiful novel. It is a time commitment for kids. At 87,000 words (about the same as Percy Jackson novels), it’s not a quick read. But it’s one that will leave you full long after its over.

Here’s the summary from B&N:

Lost and alone in a forbidden 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, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo. 

Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, Echo pushes the boundaries of genre, form, and storytelling innovation to create a wholly original novel that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.

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