Thursday, August 4, 2016

Book Review - ECHO - by Pam Munoz Ryan

Echo
by Pam Muñoz Ryan

I was so moved by this book, I knew I had to review it. I highly recommend this book for middle-graders, high school students, and adults. Everyone will enjoy it.



They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, Newberry Honor Book, Echo, by Pam Munoz Ryan, is the exception. The graphic of three children— the main characters from three diverse stories silhouetted against a dark forest, speaks volumes.

Starting with Otto and the three sisters kidnapped by a witch, the reader can follow the echo of a special harmonica marked with a red M as it journeys through time and place to share its magic with Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California and brilliantly portrays the historical aspects of the 1940’s.

All of the children suffer hardships, orphaned brothers with economic strife, a Hispanic girl shunned for her culture, and a gifted musician in fear of being locked away in an asylum because of a physical deformity. Intertwined within their stories is the original fairytale-like story of three sisters, the backdrop of Nazi Germany, a Japanese internment camp, and the stark differentiation between the privileged and poor.

Echo is the quintessential book of diversity for kids and is well deserving of the Newberry Honor Medal. Its thought-provoking stories make it hard to close the book. Woven together with the illusive thread of harmonica music, which brings them together in a finale, worthy of a last act in a Broadway play.



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