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.
Lad eleverne lave et plotdiagram, der skitserer hver historie i Echo af Pam Munoz Ryan
M M M M
Echoby Pam Muñoz Ryan
The 13th Harmonica of Otto Messenger
Trossingen Harmonica Factory
Friedrich was born with a large birthmark on his face. His father, Martin, was kind and reassured him but peers treated him horribly. To spare Friedrich, Martin homeschooled him and was an apprentice at the Harmonica factory. However, in 1933, things were changing for the worse in Germany with Hitler's rise to power.
Friedrich dreamed of becoming a conductor. One day found a special harmonica. His Uncle had taught him to play harmonica and Friedrich could tell this one was special. The family was very musical and often played together. However, Elisabeth became brainwashed by Hitler's ideology, much to her father's dismay.
Friedrich's father was outspoken about his opposition to Hitler. Because of this, Martin was arrested by Nazi Brownshirts and sent to Dachau concentration camp! People in Dauchau were tortured and worked to the point of death. Friedrich and his uncle made a plan to get him out and risked asking the "Hitlerite" Elisabeth for her help.
Elisabeth surprisingly sent money to bribe the guards at Dachau. Friedrich could not take anything on his mission so he placed his harmonica shipping box at the factory. When Friedrich boarded the train to Dachau he was spotted by Nazi soldiers! When they tried to arrest him, Friedrich heard beautiful music in his mind. He began to conduct his imaginary orchestra wildly!
In the commotion, the train began to leave the station. To avoid being stuck on the train, the Nazi soldiers jumped off, leaving Friedrich behind. He traveled to Dachau and rescued his father with the bribe money. Martin was badly beaten and malnourished, and it took months to recover. Martin and Friedrich made their way to Switzerland where they met Uncle Gunther and survived the war.
Friedrich achieved his dream of becoming a great conductor and at the end of the novel in 1951, he is conducting a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City. His father and Uncle Gunter are proudly in attendance in the audience. They still hold out hope to reunite with Elisabeth someday and they reminisce over how far they have come.
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.
Ivy lived in California with her mother, father, and brother Fernando in 1942. Her parents were migrant farmers and moved often. When WWII broke out, Fernando went to fight and the family missed him. Then Ivy learned they'd be moving to a farm where they may own land after the lease is up. Her parents were thrilled, but Ivy was sad to leave her favorite teacher, best friend, and the opportunity to play in her school band with her new special harmonica.
The 13th Harmonica of Otto Messenger
Ivy’s family moved to the new farm which they leased from the Yamamoto family. They had been forced to a concentration camp because of their Japanese heritage. The Lopez family cared for the farm in their absence so the Yamamotos wouldn't lose their property. Ivy looked forward to starting school with her new friend Susan Ward. However, she realized that she was forced to go to a separate school because of her Mexican heritage!
Susan's two brothers fought in the war and one had been killed in action. Susan's father was convinced that the Yamamotos were Japanese spies and insisted on searching the house for clues. Rather than find signs of espionage, they found a room full of instruments that were being stored for safe keeping for dozens of Japanese American families forced to go to the concentration camps.
“Your fate is not yet sealed. Even in the darkest night, a star will shine, a bell will chime, a path will be revealed.”
Ivy joined the school band and her teacher encouraged her to take up the flute. Kenny Yamamoto, who had joined the army, came to visit the farm to sign papers for the Lopez's lease. He was grateful they would care for the farm in his family's absence. Ivy felt compelled to give Kenny her special harmonica when he left for war. One day, she spotted a telegram messenger at her door, which meant bad news!
"A messenger brought you about. One-and-the-same must bring you out. You may not leave in earthly form. Your spirits to a woodwind born. You save a soul from Death's dark door, or here you'll languish ever more."
Luckily, Fernando was only wounded in action. He came home and eventually married a teacher from the combined school that Ivy's parents had worked to desegregate. The Yamamotos came home after the war and were able to regain their farm. Kenny Yamamoto had miraculously survived the war thanks to the lucky harmonica! Ivy pursued her music and became an accomplished flute player.
Trossingen Harmonica Factory
At the end of the story, in 1951, Ivy is a new young flute player for the Empire Philharmonic in New York. She is giving a performance in Carnegie Hall and in the audience cheering her on is her dear friend, Kenny Yamamoto.
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Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan opens with a young boy named Otto playing hide and seek in the Black Forest in Germany in the late 1800s. He had bought a book and harmonica from a traveling woman that day. Bored while waiting to be found, he sat down and began to read. his book. The book was called "The 13th Harmonica of Otto Messenger".
The book described a King and Queen who longed for children. However, when the queen gave birth to a girl the terrible king was mad. Only a boy would be heir to the throne. He made the midwife take the child away and told the queen that the baby had died in childbirth. The midwife, rather than leave the helpless child to the wolves, took the baby to her cousin, a witch who lived in the forest.
The midwife knew that the witch was not kind but figured she was better than leaving the child to die in the forest. She gave the baby a special blessing before departing. The queen gave birth two more times, two years apart each. Every time, the midwife did the same: entrusted the babies to the witch and gave them a blessing. The witch heartlessly called them: Eins, Zwei, and Drei (One, Two, Three).
Otto was so absorbed that he got lost in the forest. Trying to find his way, he came upon three girls: Eins, Zwei, and Drei! They asked him to keep reading. The Queen finally gave birth to a boy and the King announced the baby as his first child, the heir to the throne. After the King passed, the Midwife told about the three sisters in the woods. She went to bring them back, but the cruel witch cast a curse to keep them from leaving! At this point the book ended and was left with only blank pages.
The 13th Harmonica of Otto Messenger
Eins, Zwei, and Drei played Otto's harmonica, infusing it with their energy. Otto made it out of the forest but nobody believed his story. When he grew up, he became a harmonica maker in a shop in Trossingen and finally did his duty as "Messenger" by bringing the fateful harmonica to the shop. He marked it with a red M. From there, the harmonica would travel throughout the world.
As fate would have it, Eins, Zwei, and Drei's freedom came when they saved Kenny Yamamoto from the brink of death. The witch's spell was broken and the sisters were finally reunited with their mother and brother. They were renamed Arabella, Roswitha, and Wilhelminia and lived happily, surrounded by their loving family.
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