Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Echo

Harmonicas used to be given to patients that needed to rehabilitate their lungs. I wish one had been provided for me while reading this book -- because that is how heavy the novel felt on my soul. 

Echo combines several sad stories into one -- all connected to a magical harmonica and the power of sibling love. We meet Friedrich, whose disability alienates him from fulfilling Nazi requirements, Mike who must protect his little brother at all costs and poor Ivy who is subjected to racism. All of these kids lives are at stake, turning this novel into a race against time.

Regardless of scene after scene filled with teary moments, Munoz Ryan made her novel extra gripping, by placing careful attention to her main and secondary characters. All of them had the world working against them, and yet their spirit was always positive. At almost 600 pages, I found the novel too long and frankly a little too sad for middle-graders, but can undoubtedly see a YA crowd devouring this. I only wish the first few pages about witches would have been omitted altogether. 

Worth the read!!


  1. This sounds like a book that really paid good, close attention to character development. I feel like that's sometimes the most important aspect of a book, because if you don't have a strong and passionate understanding and attachment to the characters, nothing they do or encounter really matters. I didn't know that fact about giving harmonicas to patients for lung recovery, but I did know that they would give accordions to polio patients (when possible, accordions are big and expensive...) to help them gain strength back in their arms when they were still bed-ridden!

    I don't think I've ever encountered any Holocaust/WWII YA fantasy before (aside from The Devil's Arithmetic) so I'm glad this book is on my radar now. Thanks for the review!

    1. Thank you.That's really interesting about the accordions. I can see how it would be a great help.