A Novel

Audiobook CD - 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 : Scholastic Audiobooks, 2015
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780545788373
Characteristics: 9 sound discs : digital ; 4 3/4 in


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JCLCharlesH Aug 25, 2020

For a book that is a solid 5 stars to me, revisiting the audiobook version was a little disappointing. The narration was excellent, but the music seemed to lack the full nuance that I imagined in my mind. Only knocking off half a star for this though, as it is merely a different presentation style for the same great story.

JCLVasuC Apr 09, 2020

This audiobook is very touching: the characters and the story will linger long. Harmonica is one of the most important factors of this book and the musical aspect was presented very nicely. The book brilliantly ties in three different story lines together through the harmonica. Each story is very engaging! Glad that I listened to the audio version of this book.

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!

ArapahoeSteffen 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!

ArapahoeStaff30 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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