Echo by Pam Mu�oz Ryan
Posted on 03/18/2019
Echo by Pam Mu�oz Ryan“The kids at my school love historical fiction, especially the World War II period. This book shows the story of 3 different kids and 1 special harmonica that they all share and their experiences during the war.” - Whitney Fessler, librarian at Lookout Mountain Elementary

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan is the Hamilton book of the week nominated by Whitney Fessler, the librarian at Lookout Mountain Elementary. Echo is a longer book, but well worth the read. 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. Echo is an uplifting, historical, and interesting book for readers of all ages.

Editorial Reviews

from Amazon Readers

Echo is a historical novel with a fantasy element. It includes information about the beginning of the Holocaust, the Great Depression, and what life was like in America after Pearl Harbor, including how Japanese people were sent to internment camps. Readers also will learn that in some California school districts in the 1940s, kids with Mexican ancestry were sent to separate and inferior schools. The three main protagonists -- Friedrich, Mike, and Ivy -- all face injustice. Nazi soldiers call Friedrich "the ugly son of a Jew-lover" after taking his father to a labor camp. Mike and Frank are at the mercy of a cruel and calculating orphanage director and later thrown out of a store, suspected of being thieves. Ivy must go to a school for Mexican students. They learn about other injustices, too (for example, the family that owns the farm Ivy lives on is sent to a Japanese internment camp). There's some violence, from fistfights to war injuries, and one soldier dies. But the protagonists speak up in their own way for what's right and continue to think of ways to help others who also are suffering. They eventually learn "to hope for the best and that no matter how much sadness there is in life, there are equal amounts of maybe-things will-get-better-someday-soon."

Hamilton Book of the Week seeks to move Hamilton County Schools closer to district goals found in the Future Ready 2023 action plan. We hope to encourage kids to read more books for fun by sharing books popular at area schools.

Goals addressed by more students reading include:
• Reading improvement will increase the number of students on-track or mastering English language arts
• Improve the district ACT score to a district average of 21
• Reach the target goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2023