Echo follows the story of three extraordinary children around the time of World War II. Friedrich is a young boy in Germany, who is growing up with a "disfigurement" while Hitler is gaining power. Mike is an orphan with his brother, Frankie, who has been through much hardship in an orphanage in America. Ivy is a Mexican-American in California who unexpectedly has to leave everything and must move for her father's job. While the vast majority of the book tells their stories separately (and cuts off just when the story climaxes!), at the end everything comes together perfectly through their love and passion for music. Because of their differences, all three children are told that they cannot be who they want to be or do what they want to do. But these three kids do not give up hope. This book is one of those books that makes me wish I had never rated another book 5 stars, because to give this book the same amount of stars as the others seems unjustified. I cannot express how amazing this book is. Echo evokes so much emotion, both happiness and sadness, throughout the entire book. It is perfect for anyone middle grade through adult to learn more about the injustices that were committed, not only by the Germans but also the Americans, during this time period.
Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica--and decades later three children, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California find themselves caughtup in the same thread of destiny in the darkest days of the twentieth century, struggling to keep their families intact, and tied together by the music of the same harmonica.