Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
“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 something else, and I feel all ages could read it.
Echo tells 3 main stories: Friedrich, Mike and Ivy. All are children of preteen age, they all live in different times, places and circumstances. We get to read each one of their stories separately, and the power of music is what connects their stories in ways you wouldn’t have guessed.
“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.”
I cannot say much else than that because SPOILERS. What I can say is that from the first page I couldn’t put this book down. The way it’s written and the stories involved in it, it’smagical. I loved the themes, how many of them are still relevant today. The characters felt so real to me, there were moments where I was in great big tears because apparently I am a wuss. This is a book I can see myself rereading in the future and giving it to a lot of kids to read.
Honestly, I ask you as an adult to read this book. Or read/give it to the child in your life whether it be your child, niece or nephew, family friend, anyone. I know it’s aimed at middle grade age range but I feel it’s a book any age can love. It’s amazing.
I have also had people tell me and read reviews on here where people have said to listen to the audiobook. My friend played me a small bit of the audiobook and I can agree because it plays music that enhances the story.
“She said people on hard times deserved to have beauty in their lives as much as anyone else, whether or not they could pay their rent or were walking to a breadline. Granny said that just because someone was poor didn’t mean they were poor of heart.”