by PAM MUÑOZ RYAN
Newbery Honor Book
A Texas Bluebonnet Nominee
is a symphony of four stories. The introduction is a fantasy. The others
are historical fiction, all connected by one musical instrument whose
power saddens, comforts, revives, cheers, rejoices, and provides hope
in the hands that hold it.
first story begins in Germany, fifty years before the war to end all wars.
Otto Messenger had just bought a book from a Gypsy who insisted he take
a harmonica as well. He then hurries to play hide-and-seek with his friends
in a forest. It isn't long before he becomes entangled in a fairy tale
in which three infant princesses are rejected by their king-father, taken
in by a witch, and eventually put under a spell that condemned them to
stay in the forest until a prophesy is fulfilled. It is then that Otto
Messenger meets the three princesses. Will he be able to break their spell?
What part of fulfilling the prophesy will he have? Can he himself return
to the real world?
fifteen years later in the same country, the second story begins. Young
Friedrich Schmitt and his family find themselves threatened by the rise
of Nazism, led by Adolph Hitler, the evil Chancellor of Germany. Born
a gifted musician Friedrich enjoys playing chamber music with his family
and working in a harmonica factory. One day, he finds what he imagines
to be an enchanted harmonica in an old warehouse. Admired by its mature
tone and unique, magical sound, it provides him hours of comfort and hope.
However, with an obvious physical deformity, Friedrich is rejected and
abused by those who chose to bow to Hitler's new laws dictating that Germany
become a pure society with no physical defects. Hitler also declares Jewish
people to be enemies of the state, a fact that Friedrich's father opposes
vehemently because many of their friends, coworkers, and musical colleagues
are Jews. Even their dentist and their grocer are Jews. Will Friedrich
be in danger because of his physical deformity? What will Friedrich do
when his own sister comes home from college and announces that she has
joined Hitler's League of Girls? What will his father say? Will their
family, too, bow down to Hitler's evil power or stand against him and
risk arrest and incarceration in Dachua?
third story begins in an orphanage in the United States of America in
1935 during The Great Depression. Two brothers are being raised by their
grandmother who allows them to sit beside her while she teaches piano
lessons. The boys become accomplished pianists. When Granny gets sick,
she looks for the best orphanage for the boys and settles for Bishop's
Home for Friendless and Destitute Children, convinced by the old piano
in the Visiting Room. One night, the whistling notes of "America
the Beautiful" wind their way into a dismal dorm room where young
Mike Flannigan awakes suddenly upon hearing his little brother's "mergency"
signal. Frankie anxiously shares the news he has heard. People are coming
to adopt boys in the morning! It will turn out to be another disaster
for the boys who are desperate to stay together and to escape the disease
and filthy living conditions of the orphanage. Even the home's beloved
piano is in jeopardy of being sold so the evil director can pocket the
money. A few days later, two well-dressed lawyers representing a rich
widow come to listen to Mike play the piano. After a brief meeting with
the boys, they sign adoption papers and take the boys to their new mansion
home. However, the two boys turn out to be an unwelcome surprise for Mrs.
Sturbridge, their adoptive mother. Taken under wing by her employees,
the Potters, the boys learn to master harmonicas even as Mike fears that
the orphanage might once again be in their future. Will a newspaper ad
from Hoxie's Harmonica Wizards be another empty promise?
fourth story in the Echo
symphony, set in a barrio of California in 1942. World War II is raging.
Ivy, the daughter of a Mexican farm worker lives in the music she plays
on her harmonica. Her teacher has chosen Ivy to play a harmonica solo
on a radio program. She and her parents wait daily for a letter from her
brother who is fighting in the war. When her father announces that he
has a job opportunity in Fresno to become the caretaker of a farm that
belongs to a Japanese family who has been moved into a Japanese Relocation
Camp. Ivy, like the Japanese-Americans, finds herself met with prejudice
and bigotry. Hoping to join the school's orchestra, Ivy is disappointed.
New Mexican students, assumed to have low skills and poor English, are
relegated to a separate area to build basic skills. Ivy is bored and used
as a tutor. Her dreams of playing in the orchestra dissolve into disappointment.
What can change Ivy's future? Why do different flags appear in windows
of her community? Will her brother return from the war? Will the Japanese
three of the stories, students are given the opportunity to write the
last chapter as a conclusion in the Kids Wings literature guide. Going
through the writing process, students will share their conclusions and
compare them to those in the last chapter of Echo
that provides the surprising ribbon to tie the four stories together.
literature guide for this Newbery Honor Book Echo
extends the enjoyment of surprising literary symphony that weaves three
crucial, dangerous periods of world history. The
Kids' Wings literature guide invites youngsters to participate in group
discussion, problem solving, research, skill building, authentic writing,
printable/projectable group activities, and a culminating interactive
Jeopardy-type game. Echo
will become a celebrated addition to every classroom and library.
of World War II in Europe
Harmonica Wizard March and the Orange Blossom Special
The Relocation of
of the Camps
for the Mock Trial of Mrs. Pennypacker
in the Kids Wings Literature Guide
Trial of Goldilocks (an example of a mock trial)
A Principal on
Trial (an example of a mock trial)
unit PLUS interactive Jeopardy-type game, perfect for lesson planning,
handouts, or projection on your SmartBoard for Echo
The Activity Guide Contains:
Introduction and Fairy Tale:
Fly Over! A Bird’s Eye View
Fairy Tale Vocabulary Game
The Prophecy, A 3-page Readers' Theater Script
Preparing Your Intellectual Tools, Dialectical Journal
Vocabulary by Chapters in Introduction
Making Connections, Predict and Confirm Questions—Fairy Tale Introduction
A Fairy Tale Introduction, Multiple Choice
Discussion Cards for Nazi Germany
Where in the World Is Germany? Map Activities
The Power of Music
Friedrich’s Story Begins, A 2-page Readers' Theater Script
Vocabulary in Part 1, Chapters 1-26
Making Connections--Chapters 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-15,
Chapter Titles and Pre- and Post-Reading Discussion Guides
Beginning of Change, Part 1, Chapters 1-3, Multiple Choice
5 Character Studies
Figures of Speech! Get the Picture?
The Research Song
Research and Report:
Who Was Mattias Hohner?
Who Was Adolph Hitler?
Dachau, A Research Report
The Factory, Answer and Illustrate, Chapters 4-6
Startling Revelations, Multiple Choice, Chapters 7-9
Defending What I Believe
Visualizing Chapters 10-15
Vocabulary Check-up, Chapters 16-21
Echoes of Hitler’s Germany, Visualizing Chapters 1-26
The Missing Ending, Chapter 27
Mike’s Story Begins, 3-page Readers' Theater Script
Vocabulary in Part 2, Chapters 1-23
Making Connections, Part 2, Chapters 1-5, 6-11, 12-15,
Titles and Pre- and Post-Reading Discussion Guides
2, Chapters 1-5, Multiple Choice
6 Character Studies
Part 2: Visualizing Chapters 6-11
Understanding the Story, Part 2, Chapters 12-15, Multiple Choice &
Hoxie’s Harmonica Wizards: A Research Report
Part 2: The Missing Ending, Chapter 25
Pre-reading Discussion Cards
Vocabulary List with Suggestions
Connections, Part 3, Chapters 1-5, 6-11, 12-15, 16-21
Titles and Pre- and Post-Reading Discussion Guides
3: The Missing Ending, Chapter 22
Visualizing Chapters 1-5, Part 3
Research and Report: "My Country Tis of Thee"
The Yamamoto Family, Part 3, Chapter 6: Finish the Sentences
A Growing Friendship, Part 3, Chapters 7-10, Multiple Choice
Discovery, Relief, and Dread, Part 3, Chapters 16-21
Precipice to Performance, Part 4, Finalization Chart
Comparing Four Characters
Fly Over! A Bird’s Eye View, Completed Teacher Answer
Plus, an interactive Jeopardy-type game!
5 Categories, 25 Questions and Answers PLUS a Bonus Question
Secrets by Maryann Macdonald, the story of the Nazi Invasion of
A Japanese-American Family's
Move to Interment Camps
Named Eva,, A
full-length Holocaust novel by Joan M. Wolf
The Yellow Star, The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark
by Carmen Agra Deedy
The Greatest Skating Race
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot,
a picture book by Margot Theis Raven
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
the Wings of Heroes by
the story of the American Home Front during World War II
by Eugene Yelchin, the story of life in Stalin's Russia
(another evil dictator)
complete list of Kids Wings terrific units.
Over 1000 more downloadable interdisciplinary Literature Guides for
Grades K-12 are available in the Kids Wings
Index of Literature Guides.
purchases through the Kids Wings and Amazon Links help to keep
our website doors open!
Integrated Curriculum Build
Kids' Wings Printed Materials On Clearance Sale
The links here have been scrutinized for their grade and age appropriateness;
however, contents of links on the World Wide Web change continuously.
It is advisable that teachers and parents review all links before allowing
student use. Please contact us immediately
if you find any inappropriate links.
Texas Bluebonnet AwardSM
is a service mark of the Texas Library Association, which is in no way
affiliated with Kids' Wings or Suzy Red. Use of the Texas Bluebonnet
Award mark in these materials does not imply any endorsement of any
kind on behalf of the Texas Library Association. The
Texas Bluebonnet Book Master ListSM
was selected by the Texas Bluebonnet Award Committee
of the Texas Library Association.
Contact Kids' Wings
2016, Suzy Red, Lockhart, Texas
All Rights Reserved