It has been a long time since I have read a young adult novel that I found as impactful and moving as Echo Mountain. This is the story of 12-year-old Ellie whose family moves to the mountains of Maine to survive the wilderness on their own during the Great Depression. There is a loyal and clever dog, a mysterious and delightful hag, and of course, our capable and confident heroine. Historical fiction is not always my kids’ favorite, but all of them, from the 6 to 13-year-old enjoyed this book.
Echo Mountain Details
Honestly, if I had not been the Brave Writer coach leading the book club for Echo Mountain, I might have passed this one up. From the description, it did not seem like something ALL of my kids would enjoy. I thought the little one would be bored and the oldest would just be critical. However, the moment I read it so that I could lead my book club, I could not wait to turn around and share it with my kids. I knew they would enjoy it and they did.
The book revolves around the family’s difficulties caused by the Great Depression. The dad is in a coma due to an accident that we only learn more about as the book goes on. There is an injury in this book that is described in stomach-turning detail. I would not say that this is a “funny” book in any way. However, Ellie is such a strong, vibrant character, and several of her decisions throughout the story made my kids laugh out loud. It is nearly impossible not to fall in love with Ellie and her little brother.
If you’re looking for a fun, touching, heartwarming-but-not-in-a-sappy-way read-aloud for a family with kids of lots of different ages, this is it!
Included on Lists:
- Personal Family Favorites: Mid Elementary
- Personal Family Favorites: Late Elementary
- Personal Family Favorite: Middle School