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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Lyrical and Lovely, Echo Mountain An Enjoyable MG Historical

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

The Great Depression has wreaked havoc all over the country, forcing people into strange, new circumstances.  For 12-year-old Ellie, that means moving out of her comfortable home in town and into a cramped cabin on remote Echo Mountain.  Although her family's reduced circumstances are far from ideal, Ellie loves the freedom she now has to roam about exploring the wonders of the natural world.  The mountain is full of surprises and mysteries and she's determined to discover them all!

When a terrible accident leaves her father in a coma, Ellie's whole family is devastated.  Unfairly blamed for causing his injury, Ellie feels responsible for saving him.  She sets out to find a mystical mountain hag who is said to have otherworldly powers capable of curing any ailment.  Can the witch bring Ellie's dad back to life?  As Ellie separates Echo Mountain's fabled myths from its true magic, she'll discover the power of her own pluck, resiliency, and strength of character.  Using her own unique talents she just might be able to save them all.  

I love finely-wrought historical fiction that brings a unique time and place to life.  Echo Mountain, the newest middle-grade offering from Lauren Wolk, certainly does that.  Her descriptions of mountain life are vivid and compelling.  Ellie is an easy-to-admire heroine who cares more about other people than herself.  She and her fellow cast members are likable, although flawed.  Plot-wise, there's enough going on in Echo Mountain to keep the story moving along at a steady pace.  Because of its old-fashioned feel, I'm not sure how much kid appeal this novel has.  Hopefully some since it teaches valuable lessons about listening to your instincts, respecting nature, not making assumptions about people, and using your unique skills and resources to help other people.  Lovely and lyrical, Echo Mountain is also moving, hopeful, and engaging.  I enjoyed it.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a little of Where the Watermelons Grow by Cindy Baldwin, also of The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence and scary situations

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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