Monday, June 01, 2015


From Theresa, Children’s Librarian, Central Library: 

In her multilayered novel Echo, Pam Munoz Ryan, author of Esperanza Rising, takes us on a journey across time and geographical boundaries following a very unique harmonica, one that not only changes owners but lives as well. The first owner Otto is given the instrument when he was lost in the forest.  He is rescued by three sisters who were trapped there by a witches spell until they saved a life, coincidentally the girls were also characters in a book Otto bought from a gypsy. He promises to help them escape and carries their spirits out of the woods in the enchanted mouth harp. From there the harmonica travels to three different children, an aspiring Jewish conductor in pre-World War II Germany, two very poor orphaned brothers in Pennsylvania and the daughter of migrant workers in California. This special mouth harp works its magic on those it comes into contact with and they discover not only a love but an exceptional talent for music.  Each child’s story gives the reader a good picture of their time, circumstances and location and while the stories seem to end badly, please keep reading. 

For grades 5-8

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