Echo fortæller fire forskellige, fortryllende historier fra forskellige tider og steder. Det er en fortælling om ofring, familie, venskab og musikkens forenende kraft. Den er opdelt i fire forskellige dele: Ottos historie i slutningen af 1800-tallet i Tyskland; Friedrichs historie i 1933 i Tyskland; Mikes historie i 1935 i Pennsylvania; og Ivys historie i 1942 i det sydlige Californien.
Eleverne kan lave et plotdiagram for Mikes historie i Echo af Pam Munoz Ryan
Echoby Pam Muñoz Ryan
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Mike and his brother Frankie lived in Bishop's orphanage in Philly in 1935. They had a loving mother who died while they were young and were raised by their grandmother until she too fell ill. She sent them to Bishop's because it had a piano. However, the headmistress was the corrupt Mrs. Pennyweather.
Mrs. Pennyweather planned to send younger orphans away, preferring older boys who could work so she could pocket the money. Mike was afraid he and Frankie would be split up. Their luck changed when a lawyer, Mr. Howard, arrived looking for a boy who could play piano. Mike was a prodigy and he and Frankie wowed the lawyer. Mr. Howard adopted them on the spot for the wealthy Mrs. Sturbridge. But Mrs. Sturbridge seemed very upset by the idea.
Mrs. Sturbridge ignored the boys but Mr. and Mrs. Potter, cared for them. Mr. Potter taught them to play harmonica after Mr. Howard bought them one. Finally, the truth was revealed that Mrs. Sturbridge was being forced to adopt the boys because of a wish in her late father's will. She had lost her son and was still grieving. Mike begged her to adopt Frankie. He would audition for a famous harmonica band so she wouldn't have to worry about him.
Mrs. Sturbridge appeared to agree to the deal. They began bonding, calling her Aunt Eunie. She even played the piano again, something she stopped after the death of her son. Mike auditioned for the band and impressed them. However, he found a letter to Eunice revoking the adoption! Mike was devastated and decided to run away with Frankie. In their attempt to flee, Mike fell from a high tree!
It turned out Mrs. Sturbridge did want to adopt both of the boys. She burned the letter to prove it. They all moved in together with Mr. Howard and Mr. and Mrs. Potter and lived happily. Mike made it into the Harmonica Band and played with them for a year. Then, he decided to concentrate on piano and gave his harmonica away. Mike felt it was his duty to pass the special harmonica along.
Mike pursued his dream of being a concert pianist and was accepted at the prestigious Julliard after high school. During WWII, he joined the army but after his tour, he returned to music. At the end of the story, in 1951, Mike plays a piano solo at Carnegie Hall in New York city with his supportive family, Aunt Eunie, Frankie, and Mr. Howard in the audience cheering him on.
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