Downloadable Audiobook - 2015
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Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica--and decades later three children, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California find themselves caught up in the same thread of destiny in the darkest days of the twentieth century, struggling to keep their families intact, and tied together by the music of the same harmonica.
Publisher: New York, NY : Scholastic Press, 2015.
ISBN: 9780545788373
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital
audio file,CD audio
audio file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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Feb 26, 2018

I don’t usually write reviews, but this book was captivating. It was brilliant. In this case there no doubt that the audiobook is even better than a written copy. My children and I both loved listening to this one. Highly recommend a listen.

Dec 13, 2017

This was an amazing audio novel! I loved it and used the book's details to discuss history with my children. It was both magical and possibly real at the same time.
The musical interludes made this book so wonderful to listen to, imagine reading the book, the audio would be missed.
The story was so well written and woven together discussing themes of prejudice alive today.
I highly recommend this book. My kids are 10 & 11

JCLEmilyD Nov 02, 2017

I loved it! The audio presentation was excellent and the story wonderful!

Feb 08, 2017

This is a magical tale with the lives of four children connected to a magic harmonica. The bulk of the tale takes place in pre-WWII Germany, the east coast during the depression and then in California after Pearl Harbor.

The author takes her time having you get to know each child in turn. You see their family struggles, the effect of history on the choices they are making and how music adds beauty to each of their lives. Part IV is a beautiful climax filled with orchestra music and resolution to the stories you have heard about Otto, Friedrich, Mike (and Frankie) and Ivy.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to listen to this in audiobook format. There are lovely musical interludes in each section that help you to feel like you are inside the book.

AL_STEFFEN Dec 26, 2016

I always recommend this audiobook to families looking for something to listen to on a roadtrip.
The story is compelling historical fiction that follows a magical harmonica from Germany to the East Coast and then the West Coast of the United States. I'm sure it's a great read, but I can't imagine experiencing this story without the enchanting harmonica music included in the audiobook!

AL_MARIEI Oct 27, 2016

The audiobook version of this book is filled with musical arrangements that really bring the story to life. The book follows 3 children in different cultures and points in history. The story is beautifully told and perfect for all ages.

Ann Langone Apr 12, 2016

Best on audio I think- Music is a central component to the story--I cannot imagine reading it instead of hearing it. I love to hear a great story.

JCLChrisK Mar 24, 2016

A book of stories connected by a thread of magic. A thread that takes the form of a magical harmonica. A harmonica that embodies the magic of music. A magic that isn't really magical, because it's created by the characters in the form of their music, perseverance, compassion, and adherence to ideals.

The book is framed by two brief stories, one a fairy tale and one about a young German boy who wanders into the fairy tale. The first of the longer stories follows young Friedrich in 1933, part of a German family not willing to join the Nazi party when other options are becoming scarce. The second is set in rural Pennsylvania in 1935, and follows brothers Mike and Frankie as they try desperately to escape the orphanage where they've landed. The third follows Ivy and her Latino family as they try to farm their way out of poverty in Southern California in 1942, and the Japanese family that might offer a route.

Each story is suspenseful and engaging. Each character faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles imposed by larger forces. Each tale ends on a dark cliffhanger--though there is a short fourth part which I won't describe that provides connection and resolution. And each protagonist is a gifted musician hoping music might provide a way out of the darkness, with a theme song for each of their sections.

I'm particularly glad that I listened to the audio version of this book, because a large cast of musicians provided the music the characters played throughout the book. It is an excellent production.

I wasn't quite enchanted enough to say that this book is magical, but it comes awfully close. Bravo! 4.5 stars.

samdog123 Jan 22, 2016

"In a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica." Years later the harmonica is found by Friedrich in Germany, Mike and Ivy in the USA. The instrument shapes all of their futures and ties them together in a wonderful way. This is a terrific book and one that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.


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