Book Review: Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Scholastic Press (February 24, 2015)

Age Level: 10-14/Grade Level: 5-9

Teen/Young Adult

An impassioned, uplifting, and virtuosic tour de force from a treasured storyteller!

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.

2016 Newbery Honor Book
New York Times Bestseller





This is a book I normally wouldn’t have picked up. It was chosen as my book club read and what a wonderful choice it was. A moving tale set in tough times with children put in rough situations. Three stories that take place during the pre-holocaust Germany, an orphanage, and post-Pearl Harbor California. While it deals with dire situations it projects a hopeful and “we can get through this” attitude. The three children are connected by a magical harmonica and their stories are skillfully woven together at the end of the book.

Reviewed by Comfy Chair Books/Lisa Reigel (February 13, 2020)



PAM RYANPam Muñoz Ryan is the author of the New York Times Best Seller, ECHO, a 2016 Newbery Honor Book, and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She has written over forty books for young people—picture books, early readers, and middle grade and young adult novels. She the author recipient of the NEA’s Human and Civil Rights Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, the Willa Cather Award, the Pura Belpré medal, the PEN USA award, and many others. Her novels include Esperanza Rising, Riding Freedom, Becoming Naomi León, Paint the Wind, The Dreamer, and Echo. She was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from San Diego State University and lives in north San Diego county with her family.



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