by Pam Muñoz Ryan

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2016 Newbery Honor Book
New York Times Bestseller

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545576505
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Sold by: Scholastic, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 18,605
File size: 67 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Pam Muñoz Ryan is the recipient of the Newbery Honor Medal and the Kirkus Prize for her New York Times bestselling novel, Echo, as well as the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature for her body of work. Her celebrated novels, Echo, Esperanza Rising, The Dreamer, Riding Freedom, Becoming Naomi Léon, and Paint the Wind, have received countless accolades, among them two Pura Belpré Awards, a NAPPA Gold Award, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award, and two Américas Awards. Her acclaimed picture books include Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride and When Marian Sang, both illustrated by Brian Selznick, and Tony Baloney, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, as well as a beginning reader series featuring Tony Baloney. Ryan lives near San Diego, California, with her family.

Read an Excerpt


Ash tightened his hold on the drainpipe and hoisted himself up. The pipe shook and leaned away from the wall. John had told him he regularly scrabbled up such drainpipes -- how hard could it be? But then John was half his body weight, even after all the exercise Ash had been doing.
Arms and legs wrapped around the clay pipe, Ash slowly shimmied upward. The rough surface scraped against his skin, rubbing his belly raw. Cables brushed against his back, and Ash hoped he wasn't about to be electrocuted. But the wires seemed dead, and he found gaps in the walls to push himself the last few feet. With a grunt he heaved himself over the low parapet, dropping on to the flat roof. Holding his breath and willing his heart to quieten, he heard a deep, threatening growl.
The drainpipe rattled, then tore off the wall and smashed.

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Echo 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A friend suggested this book to me after she had read it to her eight-year-old son. They both fell in love with the three intertwining, wonderfully written stories. And so have I. Throughout the book, I kept wishing it were longer, that the tales could have continued on forever. Or even just 3,000 more pages. chuckle! Friedrich, Mike and Ivy will forever have special places in my heart. And one day, so will my daughter. She's only two-years-old for now.. but I'll start reading this book to her when she turns five. And perhaps read it to her every year afterwards so that I may revisit this wondrous message of unflailing hope, strength and love.
MariahEllis More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely beautiful and moving. The author wove such an incredible and intricate story with several POVs that came together amazingly in the end. I found myself deeply invested in the characters and genuinely caring about what happened to them. I loved the way I could see them grow and develop. This is one of those books that I can see becoming a classic. Though it is a little lengthier than most books read in the classroom, I do think that it would fit in very well in that environment. I can already envision so many wonderful projects that could go along with the reading. If you have the opportunity, please listen to the audio. The music that is included really adds something special to the story.
vanhookcIA More than 1 year ago
Three cheers for author, Pam Munoz Ryan, on an exceptional piece of literature for children and young adults, ECHO. Not only is this a piece of historical fiction but it also has a magical flavor woven into its 585 pages. At the start of the story, little Otto buys a book and harmonica from a traveling Gypsy. As he begins to read the book about three sister’s under a witch’s spell, this magical story comes to life! He learns that he has a role in the story’s unwritten "blank pages" as three more stories begin to unfold -- all woven together by a silken thread of destiny -- about Friedrich (1933) living in Germany during the rise of Nazi power; Michael (1935) living in an Pennsylvania orphanage during the Great Depression, and Ivy (1941) living in a California barrio. Music gives all these main characters the strength to take refuge from their troubles, gain strength, and protect their loved ones. Ryan uses the harmonica to travel throughout these stories, bringing peace and happiness, solace and comfort to all of her characters. Otto, Friedrich, Michael, and Ivy lives are all impacted by the same harmonica. The reader sees this, yet the characters may never know! Though there are some powerfully difficult times in history covered in this book, Ryan keeps her story on a gentle, positive note, worthy of readers in 4th grade up! Through the harmonious use of music and lyrical language, she weaves together a story rich in family bond, bravery, human and racial tolerance, and kindness to all. For the reader wanting more, once this beautiful story has concluded, here’s a list of historical topics from the book to research: Nazi youth groups and WWII; orphanages during the Great Depression; California migrant farm laborers, Japanese Internment Camps, institutional racism and Mexican American education; the Hohner harmonica and the Harmonica Band Movement of the 1920s and 30s. Congratulations, Pam Munoz Ryan!
Sadie_S_04 10 months ago
"Music doesn't have a race or a disposition!" said Father. "Every instrument has a voice that contributes. Music is a universal language. A universal religion of sorts. Certainly, it's my religion. Music surpasses all distinctions between people." Echo follows the story of three different points of view during World War 2. It begins with a boy growing up in early Nazi Germany. A birthmark across his face makes him feel ashamed because of rising Nazi beliefs. He is an aspiring musician and discovers a harmonica that makes him feel safe. The book then transfers to another young boy growing up in an orphanage with his brother looking for a home. They both get adopted by a widowed woman. This boy is another musician who discovers the same harmonica. Lastly, the book introduces a young Mexican girl who feels out of place in her new town. Her brother is off fighting the war and she believes she needs to be strong for her family. She is another aspiring musician and the last owner of the harmonica. The book ties all of their stories together by a harmonica and a love of music. At the end of the book, all the stories connect together in an unexpected surprise. I love the elements of both historical fiction and a sprinkle of fantasy. The book keeps you interested throughout all of the 600 pages. The only complaint I would have while reading was that each story cuts off at a major cliffhanger and you do not know what happened till the very end. The book has themes that can be still applied today. It teaches the importance of kindness and equality. No matter what you first see when you look at a person, we all are the same inside. In conclusion, I would recommend this book for ages 8 and up because of the mentions of the Holocaust and Japanese internment camps during World War 2. It had an inspiring story and showed music is timeless and it can cross boundaries like faith, beliefs, and ethnicity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can not believe I was able to finish this book. Long books like this don’t usually keep me hooked but this did and it changed my perspective on life. I have no words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great book. Once I got into it i could not put it down! Great read for a young adult or adult.
Musicisawesome101 More than 1 year ago
Echo is a wonderful book that glues to your hands so that you can't put it down. It is full of adventure and leaves you at a cliffhanger every time that you finish a section or even just a chapter. It involves plenty of history including the following: Japanese Internment camps, Hitler's gain in power, and the Great Depression. There is one section at the end that raps up all of the story. I love how it weaves music throughout the whole story. There is one special instrument that is passed on throughout the book. The harmonica! There is so much more to it but you would have to read the book to find out! I highly recommend this book to all ages if you are interested in adventure and suspense. It is a thick book but it is worth the time. You just have to be patient. It shouldn't be too hard because of how interesting it is. #ReadEcho!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago