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4.36  ·  Rating details ·  38,874 ratings  ·  7,183 reviews
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 interwove
Hardcover, 597 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by Scholastic Press
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Brittany If you listen to the audio book there are musicians playing each of the children's instruments in the background. It is incredible!…moreIf you listen to the audio book there are musicians playing each of the children's instruments in the background. It is incredible!(less)
Gerberta Yes, this book is a stand-alone. It is not from any kind of series.

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Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  38,874 ratings  ·  7,183 reviews

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Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A book worthy of great mention is the type of book:
a)That makes you ache when closing the back cover.
b)That makes you mourn when you say goodbye to its characters.
c)That has characters who live in your heart long after you have finished it.
d)That will bear recommendation for years to come, when you have a student who is ripe for a meaty read...one with extra depth and substance.

Echo IS that book! While some students may be afraid of its size, I would encourage them to look at it as 4 books w
Feb 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan, Mark Bramhall (Narrator), David de Vries (Narrator), MacLeod Andrews (Narrator), Rebecca Soler (Narrator), Corky Siegel (Music)

From the beginning, I approached this story as a fairy tale and that allowed me to easily accept the unlikeliness and otherworldliness of some of the events in this tale. I urge you to experience the story through the audiobook because it not only has four narrators but also singing and music. The music is a character all by itself and very import
Elyse Walters
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
10 hours of listening.....
The audiobook is *enchanting* within seconds from the start ...
Otto is playing a game of hide and seek with his friends. He drifts further into the woods.....sits down by a tree, and begins to read a book he bought from a gypsy earlier that day.

The historical stories are narrated by 4 different voices.....and take us to Germany, Pennsylvania, and California. The storylines are interconnected and all centered around music. Tales about the Holocaust, two orphans and an
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
#wow -- this one word could be my review for this enchanting novel, as I truly don't have any words to tell the world what an amazing experience this book has been. Just Incredible!

I can feel a quaver inside me, when I think of that moment when I almost decided not to read this book.

This book can best be described as "joyful" reading, right from the first word.

...and every night as they lay in their beds wondering what joy tomorrow might bring yet knowing how precarious life can be... They re
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

For a few hours, Echo healed my cynical heart with pure hope. Beautifully written and compelling, what I will call an historical fairytale - with all the hardships that come with it - enchanted me from the very first page, and my interest never wavered : Friedrich, Mike, Frankie, Ivy... They all earned a little place in my heart.

One might say that these stories are not free of some kind of simplistic resolution (and I agree), but in my opinion the novel's worth lies elsewhere : in the heartwarm
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bipoc-author, audio
Don’t read this book.

Listen to it.

It would be positively criminal to read a print copy of Echo when such a stunning audio version exists. Even if you’ve never tried an audio book, even if you swear it doesn’t count as real reading, get off your high horse and just try it. Your mind will be changed in the first half hour.

The performances by the four readers are amazing, but what puts the production over the top is the seamless incorporation of music from start to finish. Before anything else, Ech
Hannah Greendale
Echo opens like a fairy tale: Otto is lost in the woods and meets three strange women who tell him of a prophecy concerning a rare harmonica. Enter Friedrich, Mike, and Ivy - three children facing daunting life challenges in the shadow of World War II. In each of their solo stories, Friedrich, Mike, and Ivy are in possession of the same rare harmonica, leaning on music to get them through the hard times.

Myriad themes are explored in this book, but the thread that ties everything together is musi
Rachel Reads Ravenously
5 stars!

“Everybody has a heart. Sometimes you gotta work hard to find it."

So I read this book based on work recommendations from fellow librarians. These are the librarians who do not rate high very easily and all of them told me this book was a 5 out of 5. I had ZERO interest in reading this book. I mean it's historical fiction AND magic realism? Totally not my thing. But I pulled up my big girl pants and checked it out and gave it a chance, and I am so glad I did!!! This book is somethin
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
I heard about this book from my daughter, who heard about it from her friend who read it 3 times within 10 days. So we were both interested in seeing what it has to offer.

This is a beautiful story which centers around music and a special harmonica. The music unites the stories of 3 protagonists, children that lived during the WWII era. Through 3 different stories and 3 pieces of music (Brahm's Lullaby, Auld Lang Syne, America the Beautiful) we are shown how prejudice, focusing on far-right nati
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Actual Rating 4.5

This book. Oh my god this book. I'd be lying if I said I didn’t know what I was getting into before I started reading the book but knowing how many emotions you will be bombarded with doesn’t really prepare you for them. Nothing does until you’ll sitting there yelling at the book for giving you too many feels (this happened). This book is so gorgeously written and so beautifully imagined and I don’t know where to start.

Read twice. Still pondering it. The writing is lovely and the characters are memorable.
Brandy Painter
I read this back in February, but forgot to review it, rectifying that now.

Okay. This book is getting a lot of buzz and love, but again I feel out of step with everyone. I really liked aspects of it, but the entire conceit of the novel didn't work for me. There are three historical storylines bound together by a magical harmonica that is the key to releasing three princesses from a curse. The three historical plots are incredibly well done on their own until they all reach their cliffhanger end
Katie Hanna
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Friends and neighbors, I have an exciting announcement to make.

*clears throat*

Y'all need to read this book.

And when I say you need to read it, I mean you need to read it TODAY.

It's just . . . it's just so . . . I MEAN . . .

*falls on the floor in a heap and hyperventilates because HOW DO I EVEN WORDS RIGHT NOW*

Honestly, this has got to be one of the most brilliant literary masterpieces I've ever read; and I'm seriously not kidding when I say that. It's beautiful and magical and gorgeous and
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
2016 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B.
So I do (unless I am in fact reading actual and traditional folklore) tend to rather massively despise novels (and for both child and adult readers) that are too predictable and too much deus-ex-machina. And yes indeed, while the external frame narrative of Pam Muńoz Ryan’s Echo might well contain quite a number of traditional folkloric elements, sorry, but in my not so humble opinion, neither the former nor the three presented novellas of Echo are in any way successfully enough penned by Muñoz ...more
585 pages of historical fiction magic! I started this one on the eve of a second snow day in a row (of snow days I am NOT a fan) and actually woke up the next morning wishing for snow day #3 so I could continue reading! Now that, folks, is a HIGH recommendation! I loved the way Ryan wove three stories together across a tapestry of music, sprinkling a dust of magic from beginning to end.

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order ECHO on IndieBound: http
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow...you know the magic you felt the first time you read Harry Potter? Yeah, that.
I felt that as I read this book - it's hefty and complex and there are multiple storylines -
but, it is SO worth the investment of your time and energy!

The genre here is blurry - fantasy, fairy tale, historical fiction, multicultural - what exactly is happening? There is this magical element that is all about the POWER OF MUSIC and that sustained my interest. This book is beautifully written; I laughed, I cried,
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book is so adorable and I loved all of the characters. This book covers a series of important topics and events in history, and I loved the fact the children will be reading this and learning about those times. The writing style was decent, although it skewed a little young. My biggest complaint was where each story cut off. This book follows three different storylines and I found that where the stories would jump to the next was very annoying. You'd be right at the height of the action and ...more
Colby Sharp
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ryan is a master storyteller.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So engrossing and lovely, a book that starts as a fairytale and evolves into an exploration of some of our darkest points in history, it is marvelous. The best book I've read in a while. ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a magical tale with the lives of four children connected to a magic harmonica. The bulk of the tale takes place in pre-WWII Germany, the east coast during the depression and then in California after Pearl Harbor.

The author takes her time having you get to know each child in turn. You see their family struggles, the effect of history on the choices they are making and how music adds beauty to each of their lives. Part IV is a beautiful climax filled with orchestra music and resolution to
Echo will forever remain one of the best books I have ever read. When I was seven years old, I picked it up in the library and fell in love with it after reading one page, and that love has only intensified as the years have gone by.

It is a story that is utterly indescribable, and doesn’t fit into any categories. It is unlike anything I have ever read, in a genre all on its own. It is magical realism and a historical fairytale; a story of loss and hope, of courage and resilience. It is truly unf
When I received this book as an arc, I was so very excited. The whole premise of the book was enticing to me, and I couldn't wait to dig in! The stories within the book are decent. However, I was hoping for a way better ending than that. There wasn't enough "wow!" to the way it was concluded. So much could have been done with tying these stories together, and then incorporating the fairy tale aspect a little more creatively.

The book is just shy of 600 pages long. My arc says that this book's au
Sherwood Smith
May 19, 2016 added it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a beautifully written, clear yet complex, magical novel with a structure I really disliked.

I think the best way to describe that structure is that the story is a frame tale, going from completely magical to our world, in which we meet, one after the other, three sets of characters over about twenty years: Friedrich in Germany at the rise of Hitler (the impact on ordinary citizens evoked powerfully, and true to all my reading, yet done in a way a ten year old reader could grasp); Michael
monica kim
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’m so thankful that this is my last book of the year. It’s a story set in darkness but full of hope. If I had to make any comparisons, I’d say it’s like The Book Thief meets Coco meets Pans Labyrinth. Also, I implore you, read via the audiobook. The music played really adds to the story, and the narrators are brilliant.
Echo was a fairytale revolving around a harmonica. It would be a shame not to listen to this audiobook. I just signed up for Audible and after some thought I chose this as my first audiobook. Unfortunately, I might have set an unreasonable standard for them. Echo has a musical accompaniment that brings the story to life.

Concerning narrative, Echo follows three separate children during 1930s / 1940s, leading up to their future concert at Carniege Hall. The first story follows Friedrich, a young b
Ridiculously long. I felt each story was far longer than it needed to be. Depressing, too. I didn't get a lot from each story, either. Each one had a Mary-Sue struggling against some great historical injustice. I couldn't really connect with them. They had no personality at all. Also I hate stories where everything was just a big misunderstanding so the middle story was particularly annoying. I did appreciate that it all tied together but by that point I just wanted it to be over so much I wasn' ...more
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, finished-in-2014
It will be interesting to see how young readers take to this ambitious book. My paperback copy stretches to just under 600 pages, always a consideration with books for children. That said, the font is quite large and the spacing between words quite generous. The book starts and ends with a fairy tale, but the bulk of it is divided into three main stories, all linked by a harmonica.

The first story is like a young readers' version of The Book Thief. That is, Ryan digs into the endlessly ample Nazi
Echo is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read, or listened to as it were. The listening experience I think is superior to reading the physical book. Because Echo revolves around the magic of music, hearing the pieces that Ryan describes adds an extra emotional element to the narrative that reading alone cannot fulfill. There were many times I had to stop what I was doing, close my eyes, and let the music take me away. Those moments when I could actually hear the music and not just att ...more
Superb. This middle grade novel tells four stories that are all interwoven and connected through one harmonica. It's squeaky clean, age appropriate, and brilliantly written. The writing is crisp and has strong, historical details pertaining to the years during the rise of Hitler, the Great Depression, and one year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I would recommend this for fourth graders on up to 100 year olds, especially to those who enjoy a story that holds a musical theme to the plot.

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Pam 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 meda ...more

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A great audiobook can transport you to a different country (or planet), capture your imagination through a cast of voices, or keep you driving...
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“Music does not have a race or a disposition! 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" -Father” 47 likes
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