If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading (or perhaps just finished) Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan. If you are not part of the HPB Book Club, you can join and read this book, for even though Echo was written for middle-graders, readers of all ages can't put this book down.
What makes this story so intriguing? Its main character is a harmonica. Weaving a fairy-tale-like introduction to the book, Ryan follows a special harmonica that touches the lives of three very different children leading up to and during the World War II. Friedrich is a German boy whose birthmark puts him in danger as Hitler enforces the perfection of the German race. Mike is an orphan who is trying to protect his little brother by any means necessary. Finally, Ivy is a Hispanic-American girl who has to battle prejudice on two fronts, after America has been drawn into the war. Each child finds the healing power of music when they find a very special harmonica. I can’t even tell you which story was my favorite.
However, if your favorite story was Friedrich’s, you may want to read:
If your favorite story was Mike’s, you may want to read:
If your favorite story was Ivy’s, you may want to read:
Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer; Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai; Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson; Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
If you would like to chat with fellow HPB Book Clubbers, visit hpb.com/bookclub/fb and join the conversation about Echo between now and the end of May.
So, what book are you going to read next?