For more 2017 Caudill reviews, click here.

This is my copy of the review I did for Booklist. Reinwald, Rachel. “Echo.” Booklist 15 Oct. 2015: 64. General OneFile. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.


By Pam Munoz Ryan. Read by Mark Bramhall and others.

2015. 10.5hr. Scholastic, CD, $39.99 (9780545788366). Gr. 5-8.

The story of three children from different historical periods is framed by the folktale of Otto, a boy who gets lost in the woods and is returned by three sisters staying at a witch’s house under a curse. Otto shows his appreciation for rescue by carrying their spirits inside a magical harmonica. If the harmonica can save three people’s lives, the sisters will be set free. Otto’s harmonica mysteriously makes it into the hands of Friedrich during Nazi Germany, Mike during the Great Depression, and Ivy during WWII. The narrators’ accents and pacing accurately display their characters’ places of origin and style of speech and dramatize their resourcefulness. Bramhall’s folksy storytelling adds magic. David De Vries captures Friedrich immersed in his music and snapping into the reality of Nazi occupation. MacLeod Andrews differentiates Mike’s and Frankie’s ages with his pacing and pitch. Ivy’s feelings are expressed by Rebecca Soler’s pacing and emotive dialogue. Haunting piano and harmonica music, written and performed by Corky Siegel, permeates the story. —Rachel Reinwald