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Book Review: Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

Cyd’s here with our first fall book review of the much-anticipated new middle grade novel by Newbery honor-winning author Lauren Wolk!

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

Depression-era Maine – 1934

After Ellie’s family loses almost everything they own, including their home in town, they are forced to start over in the untamed forests of nearby Echo Mountain. Unlike her sister, Ellie finds comfort in her new home. She welcomes the freedom and discovers a natural connection and love for the mountain and the creatures that share it. But the joy she has discovered is short lived when an accident leaves her father in a coma. An accident that she has accepted the unearned blame for. 

Ellie is determined to bring her father back. Listening to her heart and following her instincts, Ellie will make her way to the top of the mountain, in search of the healing secrets that a woman known only as “the hag” is known to possess. Her journey to find a cure for her father leads her to discover that help can come from surprising places.

Newbery honoree Lauren Wolk is a master at painting vivid pictures of people and places. Her young heroine, Ellie, is a remarkable character. Ellie’s kindness and innate understanding and empathy for the people and creatures of Echo Mountain, her trust in herself, her willingness to do whatever needs to be done – make her a great role model. I think young readers will find themselves engrossed in (and uplifted by) her character. This book is filled with positive messages that transfer to our current times.  Messages about community, openness to learning, how people respond differently in hard times. One of Ellie’s strongest character traits is her acceptance of people as they are – without judgement.    

I highly recommend this book. Echo Mountain is a page turner that I had a hard time putting down and couldn’t wait to come back to!  There are a few scares along the way, but the overall tone of the book is positive and thought-provoking for a young reader.

Browsing Appointments, Curbside Pickup, Computer Appointments and Printing/Copying Now Available

We are happy to say we’ve taken another step toward reopening, and are now able to offer the following services:

Browsing appointments

  • 25 minute appointments available as follows:
    • Monday and Wednesday 10am-noon and 1:30-5pm
    • Friday between 10am-noon and 1:30-3
    • Saturday between 10am-noon and 1-3pm (library closed from 12-1)
  • You can make appointments by phone (385-3645) or online.
  • Please note that out of concern for the health and safety of our patrons, we have removed the newspapers and magazines from the reading room. Magazines can still be checked out
  • Wear your face mask inside the library (we’ll have extras on hand while supplies last)
  • Keep a 6-foot distance between you and others

Curbside pickup

  • Place holds by phone, email or using the catalog
  • We will call you when the items are ready to be picked up
  • Appointments are available Monday 7-8:30am, Tuesday & Thursday 9am-6pm and Friday 3-5pm
  • For complete details see our FAQs

Computer/copier appointments

  • 55 minute appointments available as follows:
    • Monday and Wednesday 10:30, 1:30 and 3:30
    • Friday 10:30 and 1:30
    • Saturday 10:30 and 1:30 (library closed from 12-1)
  • You can make appointments by phone (385-3645) or online
  • Wear your face mask inside the library (we’ll have extras on hand while supplies last)
  • Keep a 6-foot distance between you and others

Note on returning items

Things are a bit confusing in the SELCO region as some libraries are closed and some are starting to open. Here’s what you need to know about due dates and returning items

  • SELCO has turned due dates back on and you may start seeing notices about items being due or overdue.
  • Until we formally and fully re-open anything you checked out from us and that you physically return to our library will be checked in as if you returned it on the day we closed – March 27 (that’s why we are saying no overdue fees will accrue while we are closed)
  • Our book drop is open 24/7 but we are not currently accepting returns at the curbside pickup table. Please note that items you return in the bookdrop will be placed in quarantine for a minimum of several days after you place them in the bookdrop. Thus items you have returned may still show as checked out to you. This will NOT result in any late fees – we will make sure to backdate quarantined items when they are checked in.

Please note these processes are subject to change.