Munoz Ryan author study discussion

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jan 15 prolouge > Prologue of Echo

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message 1: by Becky (new)

Becky (jameslib) | 22 comments Mod
Do you think the author or the publisher chose to make the time when we are in the fairy tale negative space? The white writing on the black pages does make it stand out.
Where do you think this is all going?
I think that as we go on the souls of each of the girls needs to find a new body to inhabit. (Remember we are dealing with a witch). Would make sense if you read further into the book.
What questions did this raise for you?


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Frey | 13 comments I think the author or publisher used the negative space to let us know that it is a distinctly different type of story moving forward into the book. Or they wanted to make a strong visual to show how or where the whole story starts...
When I first saw this was starting out as a fantasy book, I thought, "Oh no, this is going to be a long read..." I was glad to see it wasn't fantasy all the way through. I enjoy historical fiction books.


message 3: by Tami (new)

Tami Jo | 15 comments When I first opened the book I didn't think the black pages were part of the Echo story, so I skipped ahead and read the first chapter. After rereading the back I thought, "oh man it is part of the story" and went back.

I thought the three sisters were a great addition to bring happiness into the lives of three very complex stories. While the witch did trap them, we have hoped that they can live on.
Love historical fiction books and I have never seen a fairy tale added into one before.


message 4: by Anjie (new)

Anjie Horn | 11 comments Wow! was I not paying attention. I didn't even pay attention that the black pages were the fairy tale part and the white pages were the story. I was just trying to get it read. I will definitely need to pay more attention to what is going on. I wonder how this is all going to play into the rest of the story. It was definitely a good hook I thought. I definitely want to keep reading to see where this is all going.


message 5: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Seehafer | 13 comments It was interesting how it did switch back and forth from black writing on white pages to white writing on black pages, but this helped to keep the story straight with what was going on in the book.
I am not sure where this book is going and how Otto has a connection to the three girls or what the harmonica means or how him getting lost relates to the book as a whole. I am looking forward to reading further in the book.
I am doing some other book studies that are on the professional level, so I am looking forward to reading something that is more fun and a children's book.


message 6: by Kara (new)

Kara Wahl | 11 comments I have never read a Pam Munoz Ryan book before, but after reading the prologue I am very excited to continue with this book. It has definitely grabbed my attention with how the author has teetered back and forth with her writing. Although for some reason, my thought was that it was the publisher’s idea to create the white and black pages. (Very creative either way)
One minute we are reading “The Thirteenth Harmonica of Otto Messenger” firsthand and then we get to have an insight into the present thoughts of Otto himself. I think the author did a brilliant job of tying the whole prologue together. I look forward to see how this prologue will connect with the rest of the book and see how she brings it all together.


message 7: by Candace (new)

Candace Sedler | 13 comments I haven't read many books that use negative space pages, so these definitely stood out. They not only differentiated the present from the fairy tale, but it darkened the mood as well.

I was surprised that the boy felt comfortable in the clearing. I was hoping his instincts would tell him to run. For the sisters to offer him a way out of the forest, you know he'll have to help them in return. I'm looking forward to seeing how this story returns. Will the sisters being freed entail Otto or someone else taking their place in the woods?

Munoz Ryan seamlessly tied the two tales into one, so I'm excited to see how she will continue to do so through the rest of the book.


message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13 comments This is the first book by Pam Munoz Ryan that I have read, and I am excited to get going. I must say that when I read Anita's comment, "When I first saw this was starting out as a fantasy book, I thought, "Oh no, this is going to be a long read..." I was glad to see it wasn't fantasy all the way through", I laughed because almost the same thought went through my head. My favorite genre is historical fiction, so I am excited to see where this book leads.

I did like the black pages with white writing--especially in the prologue. It helps to keep the story separate (present vs. fairy tale) when the reader is just beginning the book and getting to know the storyline and characters. I am interested in reading how the story of Otto, the harmonica, the prophecy, and Eins, Zwei, and Drei will play out.


message 9: by Janel (new)

Janel | 13 comments I downloaded this story on my kindle and unfortunately it doesn't have the negative space feature. I think this would have been helpful in reading the prologue because I found myself a little confused when reading between the fairy tale and the actual story.

I am very curious to see where the story goes. I'm not much of a fantasy fan so I hope it keeps my attention. So far I am interested in knowing how the boy Otto ties in with the story and if there is any significance to the gypsy who he bought the book from. I am also curious as to why the author mentions that everybody became tired of hearing Otto's stories except Mathilda. I wonder if this means she will play a significant part in the story. The fairy tale part with the 3 sisters intrigued me. I am curious to see if they are able to get out of the circle of trees and how they do that.

Something else that I found interesting is the setting of the story. I like how she stated that it was 50 years before the war to end all wars. Is there any significance to the war? Are they in Germany? I can't wait to read more.


message 10: by Joan (new)

Joan Kramlich | 12 comments Very interesting beginning. If I hadn't read these comments I probably would have skipped to chapter one. Such a unique way to begin. The black vs the white pages was a great way to separate the present time vs the fairy tale. I am really looking forward to reading this book.


message 11: by Katie (new)

Katie Morehouse | 9 comments I believe that the author/publisher wanted to make the fairy tale stand out because it is significant to the other stories moving forward. In a sense, to make the reader not forget the importance of the three sisters and the witch. Without the separate emphasis I could see myself losing that focus on them. I've been continuously curious about when/how we see the sisters again since reading it. Also looking for clues to where they are and how the prophecy will come into play.

Side note: I prefer to read white writing on a black background, especially with my kindle, so I thought that was really cool to experience within a "real" book.


message 12: by Kyrie (new)

Kyrie Beckman | 14 comments The prologue is beautifully written and grabs my attention for the book. The beautiful tree limbs, or ivy, that surround the pages show that the prologue is written very different than the rest of the pages.

I wonder if the three parts of the book will be the souls that the sisters are saving. I can't wait to read more.


message 13: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 13 comments The prologue intrigued me! I thought the use of black pages for the story Otto was reading versus the white pages being what Otto experienced was a great idea! It will be interesting to see how the sisters are tied to the story. As I was reading, one thing that stuck with me through the prologue was the prophecy the midwife left each of the sisters. It makes me wonder how each of their prophecies will be fulfilled. I am excited to see how the story plays out!


message 14: by Tescha (new)

Tescha Walz | 13 comments Hi! This is the first book by Pam Munoz Ryan that I have read. Also, I was intrigued by the negative space that includes the black and white pages. I was instantly hooked in the prologue by the fairy tale. My heart was heavy when the the girls were taken deep into the forest by the midwife to be raised by the witch. I am eager to read on and to see how Otto's fate plays out as the messenger. My wonder is how Otto will save a soul at death by sending the harmonica out into the world.


message 15: by Katie (new)

Katie | 13 comments I loved this prologue. At first, I was a little annoyed with the black pages with the white writing because I found it kind of hard to read/focus on. Once I realized what the author was doing, I was hooked. I want to know how the blank pages of the girl's book get filled out. I love the character of Otto, and I look forward to seeing how he changes/grows throughout this book as the girl's messenger.


message 16: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Bauer | 14 comments I am, as others have said, intrigued by this Prologue. I have ideas, questions, thoughts and wonderings blazing through my head. I, also, just want to continue to see how this all is entwined. I think that the author had the idea of wanting The Thirteenth Harmonica by Otto Messenger portrayed differently than the rest of the book. This look gives it the enchanted feel and helps readers differentiate the two storylines that are taking place in the prologue, only to notice that the storylines are actually embedded within each other. Otto's story and his harmonica; they are to be a messenger. Write your story, spread the music, save a soul at death's door...hadn't he already done that by playing the harmonica and he, himself, being rescued. I'm looking forward to continue reading. I am listening to the book through Audible and following along with the text. If you have the chance I would recommend the Audible. The narrator is wonderful and they play the music, also. It really makes the story come alive!!


message 17: by Becky (new)

Becky (jameslib) | 22 comments Mod
Joan is also listening and she says the score with it really brings the story to a different level.


message 18: by Rose (new)

Rose | 13 comments This is the first Pam Munoz Ryan book I have read as well. I thought it was clever to use the white pages for Otto's story and the black pages for the fairy tale. I am interested to see how each of the three sisters stories will unfold and how the blank pages will be written. I have a feeling that this book is going to have a lot of twist and turns within it. I am excited to see what happens!


message 19: by Patricia (last edited Feb 04, 2018 03:00PM) (new)

Patricia | 13 comments I began reading the prologue and thought it was interesting how the author began to weave things together. This foreshadowing of the chant sets the story as Friedrich to be near death (in my opinion...haven't read that far), as Otto, the messenger is somehow his hope by means of the harmonica. Needless to say, I like how the author symbolizes the harmonica as hope . The use of fairy-tale fantasy was interesting and reader catching. I am curious to see if more of Otto's book (that mysteriously disappeared) adds more written pages as the tale unfolds.


message 20: by Molly (new)

Molly | 12 comments The negative space really does set that part of the story apart from the story line of the book. This sparked a lot of interest and questions for me.

From a students perspective I could see them choosing this book because of the different look that the first pages has and the beautiful look with the vines and leaves.

I'm excited to see if my questions are answered and what happens with the sisters!


message 21: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Kimball | 13 comments I love how the story begins. . . Hide and seek and hiding in a forest. It reminds me of playing when I was little. I think it is creative to switch to the negative space while Otto is reading the book. By setting it off in that way, I think it also helps students realize that they are reading a story within a story. I like how the prophecy from the midwife is foreshadowing to something.


message 22: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 13 comments The prologue was really interesting and intriguing because of how two stories were intertwined. I liked how Otto's story was white, like a positive story while the sister's story was in black like a negative story. I think each part in the book will be about a sister. I like the repetition from the midwife and I think that is going to be a big part of the story moving forward.


message 23: by Tracey Derheim (new)

Tracey Derheim | 2 comments The prologue was interesting with the dark and light pages. The dark pages seemed like the hiding of the witch and the dark part of the story of throwing the girls away. The light pages felt like the sunny side of the story, what could maybe set them free of the dark.


message 24: by Carla (new)

Carla Richardson | 13 comments I was unfamiliar with the author until I began reading this book. Interesting how the author reversed the page and text color to go with reality and fantasy in this novel. For me, it has the beginning of a Disney fairytale, I hope it has a happy ending.


message 25: by Julia (new)

Julia | 13 comments The prologue to this book peaked my interest. I was actually disappointed when it ended because I wanted to find out what happens to the three sisters and Otto. I look forward to figuring out how the author incorporates the prologue into the rest of the book. The details on the pages made the story feel whimsical.


message 26: by Erin (new)

Erin Brurud | 12 comments I liked the prologue. When authors utilize different patterns, fonts, or in this case the white on black it create so much more mood for the writing. I was sad when it ended, I want to find out more about the sisters. I hope the book delves back in to it.


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