Echo is three stories of three musicians woven into a fairy tale of three sisters who must save a soul from death’s door. The stories and the fairy tale are connected by a harmonica. Friedrich finds the harmonica in Germany. The year is 1933 and everything safe in Friedrich’s world is falling apart. In the second story, the harmonica provides much needed hope for Mike and his brother Frankie, orphans in Depression-Era Pennsylvania. Finally, Iva Maria Lopez discovers her own musical talents in Southern California just after the US has entered World War II. Ryan does not shy away from the horrors infusing each of these settings: anti-Semitism, poverty, segregation, internment camps, fear, hatred. Nevertheless, each story is punctuated with music and with music comes the message of hope.— From Holiday Picks 2015
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.
About the Author
A New York Times Notable Book
A Publishers Weekly Best Book
An ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
An ALA Notable Children's Book
Winner of the 2015 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers
* "The story of Otto and the cursed sisters honor timeless and traditional folktales [and] Ryan has created three contemporary characters who, through faith and perseverance, write their own happy endings, inspiring readers to believe they can do the same." -- School Library Journal, starred review
* "A grand narrative that examines the power of music to inspire beauty in a world overrun with fear and intolerance." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Each individual story is engaging, but together they harmonize to create a thrilling whole." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A masterpiece." -- Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Newbery Medal-winning Bud, Not Buddy
"Daring and beautiful." --Linda Sue Park, author of Newbery Medal-winning A Single Shard