Title: Echo Mountain
Author: Lauren Wolk
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2020
ISBN #: 9780525555568
Ellie (age 12) and her family, like millions of other Americans during the Great Depression, have drastically reinvented themselves. Father has given up his business as a tailor, Mother is no longer a music teacher, and kids Esther, Ellie, and Sam are adapting to life on Echo Mountain in rural Maine. The new lifestyle demands tremendous work for survival and the family discovers some members are more suited for it than others. While Ellie navigates her growing up years, she is fiercely determined to help those around her- whether she knows them or not. She learns to trust her instincts, find ways to learn what she doesn’t know, and love home and family deeply along the way.
This book is fast-paced and while long (356 pages), great for those that like shorter chapters that frequently end in a cliffhanger! Ideal for readers in 4th-7th grade.
Dog lovers, rejoice! Not only is this novel perfect for middle grade fans of nature, survival, and the great outdoors, there are more than a few dogs ready to steal hearts at your fingertips.
With 6 (!) starred-reviews (copied below from Amazon), this book will not disappoint and would make for a great family read aloud (or family read along via audiobook on a road trip). With a 4.36/5 star review on Goodreads and 4 out of 5 stars from us, we predict this book will become a classic.
★ “Wolk’s poetic prose and enticing foreshadowing warrant savoring as they carry the reader through the narrative, which gracefully unfolds over brief, steadily paced chapters. Historical fiction at its finest.” –The Horn Book, starred review
★ “Complex and fiercely loving, Ellie is a girl any reader would be proud to have as a friend…. Woven with music, puppies, and healing, Wolk’s beautiful storytelling turns this historical tale of family and survival into a captivating saga.” –Booklist, starred review
★ “[A] magnificently related story of the wide arc of responsibility, acceptance, and, ultimately, connectedness…. A luscious, shivery delight.” –Kirkus, starred review
★ “[An] exquisitely layered historical…. A powerful, well-paced portrait of interconnectedness, work and learning, and strength in a time of crisis.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “In this complex, memorable novel, Wolk explores themes of social responsibility, modern versus traditional medicine, biological versus chosen family and more.” –BookPage, starred review
★ “Wolk again spins a fascinating historical fiction novel with strong female characters. Her short chapters are infused with adventure and mystery, frequently end on cliff-hangers, and include abundant dialogue that will propel readers through this novel they will find hard to put down.” –SLC, starred review
Wolk, Lauren. Beyond the Bright Sea. Puffin Books, 2018.
Wolk, Lauren. Echo Mountain. Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2020. Wolk, Lauren.
Wolf Hollow. Puffin Books, 2018.