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Echo Mountain
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Echo Mountain
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★ “Historical fiction at its finest.” –The Horn Book“There has never been a better time to read about healing, of both the body and the heart.” –The...
★ “Historical fiction at its finest.” –The Horn Book“There has never been a better time to read about healing, of both the body and the heart.” –The...
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  • ★ “Historical fiction at its finest.” –The Horn Book

    “T
    here has never been a better time to read about healing, of both the body and the heart. –The New York Times Book Review

    Echo Mountain is an acclaimed best book of 2020! 
    An NPR Best Book of the Year • A Horn Book Fanfare Selection • A Kirkus Best Book of the Year • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year • A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year • A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year

    After losing almost everything in the Great Depression, Ellie’s family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed wilderness of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy after a terrible accident leaves her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie.
    Ellie is a girl who takes matters into her own hands, and determined to help her father she will make her way to the top of the mountain in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as “the hag.” But the hag, and the mountain, still have many untold stories left to reveal.
     
    Historical fiction at its finest, Echo Mountain is celebration of finding your own path and becoming your truest self. Lauren Wolk, the Newbery Honor– and Scott O'Dell Award–winning author of Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea, weaves a stunning tale of resilience, persistence, and friendship across three generations of families.
    Soothing and exquisitely written.” –People

    “This is a book that will soothe readers like a healing balm.” –The Wall Street Journal
    “Brilliant.” –Lynda Mullaly Hunt, bestselling author of Fish in a Tree
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    Chapter One

    The first person I saved was a dog.

    My mother thought he was dead, but he was too young to die, just born, still wet and glossy, beautiful really, but not breathing.

    “Take him away,” she said, sliding him into my cupped hands.

    Her voice was cold. Perhaps that was why it shook a little.

    But I knew her better than that.

    Maisie, curved around her three living pups as they poked blindly toward her milk, watched me with aching eyes.

    I could feel how much she hurt, too.

    “What should I do with him?” I asked.

    “Bury him far beyond the well.” My mother turned to tidy the bedding straw. It was as red as Christmas. We’d all had a hard night. But it had been hardest for the last of the pups. The one in my hands.

    I cradled him close against my chest as if I had two hearts but only one of them beating, then carried him away from the woodshed, into the pale spill of morning light. Past the cabin, toward the well and a grave waiting beyond it.

    But then I stopped.

    Looked back.

    And there, on the cabin’s broad granite step: a wooden pail brimming with cold water, waiting to be useful.

    I didn’t know what was about to happen, but a little flicker in my chest flamed at the sight of that water full of green and blue from the tree, the sky overhead. Calm. Simple. It spoke to me with a voice louder than my mother’s as she stood at the door of the woodshed, bloody straw bundled in her arms, and said, “Go on then, Ellie.”

    But I didn’t go on then.

    The flicker, the flame, the voice all tugged me toward the bucket, where I plunged the baby dog deep into the cold, cold water and held him there until I felt him suddenly lurch and struggle.

    “Ellie! What are you doing?” my mother said, dropping the straw and rushing toward me.

    But she stopped and stared when I lifted the dripping, squirming pup and pulled him back against my chest.

    “He’s not dead,” I said, smiling. “Not dead at all.”

    Which made my mother smile, too, for just a moment.

    “Then he’s yours,” she said, turning back for the straw. “See that you keep him that way.”

    I didn’t know if she meant that I should keep him alive or keep him mine, but I intended to do both.

    I sat on the step and dried the pup on my shirttail, roughing up his slick pelt, which made him breathe harder—­which made me breathe harder, too, a series of sighs, as if we’d both been starved for air.

    Then I took him back to Maisie, who lifted her head and watched as I wedged him between the other pups and showed him the teat meant for him.

    When Maisie laid her head back down again, she sighed, too.

    The pups all looked mostly the same. Dark. Perfect. One of them had a white forepaw. Another was bigger than the rest. Another, some color in his coat. And my boy had some brindle, too, and a white tip to his tail, as if it were a brush he’d dipped in paint. So that set him apart.

    But I didn’t need a marker.

    I was sure that I would know him again in an instant. And I was sure that he would know me.

    “I’ll have to think of a name for you,” I told him as he began to gulp down his new life.

    And I did just that all through my morning chores.

    While I pulled winter grass from the potato patch, I decided against Shadow (though he was dark and it suited him).

    I thought of Possum (because he hadn’t really been dead, not really) as I bundled the grass and set it aside for...

About the Author-

  • Lauren Wolk is an award-winning poet, artist, and author of the adult novel Those Who Favor Fire, the Newbery Honor-winning novel Wolf Hollow, and the Scott O'Dell Award-winning Beyond the Bright Sea. She was born in Baltimore and has since lived in California, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Canada, and Ohio. She now lives with her family on Cape Cod.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 2, 2020
    A girl realizes her standout gifts as a healer in this exquisitely layered historical novel set in Depression-era Maine. After the financial crash forces a tight-knit family of five to move from town to build a cabin on Echo Mountain, a tree-felling accident puts 12-year-old narrator Ellieā€™s father into a coma. The familyā€™s struggle to survive intensifies, made worse by fears about whether their beloved fatherā€”a tailor turned woodsman who, like Ellie, loves the wildā€”will ever awaken. Complex family dynamics loom large amid day-to-day matters: Ellieā€™s mother and sister long for their former life and blame Ellie for her fatherā€™s state; Ellie, who discovers a gift for healing, further upsets them by trying to startle her father awake. When a dog leads Ellie to ā€œthe hag,ā€ a woman who knows about cures and is herself suffering, the girl lends a hand, resulting in further
    tensions, this time within the interconnected mountain
    community.
    Via strongly sketched cabin-life cadences and memorable, empathic characterizationsā€”including, perhaps most vividly, of the wilderness itselfā€”Newbery Honoree Wolk (Wolf Hollow) builds a powerful, well-paced portrait of interconnectedness, work and learning, and strength in a time of crisis. Ages 10ā€“up.

  • AudioFile Magazine Holly Linneman's narration carries listeners into the whirlwind of 12-year-old Ellie's life. First, Ellie's family is disrupted when the Great Depression forces a move to the Maine woods; then their lives are torn apart when an accident leaves her father in a coma. Linneman defines Ellie's heartbreaking willingness to take responsibility for her family's survival even when it casts her in a bad light. Ellie is just starting to feel at home on the mountain when she meets Cate, an elderly woman who is ill, and her grandson, Larkin. Linneman's balanced depiction of Cate's wisdom, saltiness, and courage counterbalances her portrayal of Ellie's initial confusions and, later, her developing trust in her instinctive knowledge of healing. Linneman adds power to the author's evocative prose. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award ļæ½ AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine

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