I loved this lyrical novel about the wonders of nature and the strength required to follow your own path. Ellie's voice is wise and wonderful. Even as she faces gruesome situations, she describes them in ways that are somehow both matter-of-fact and beautifully embellished. Ellie is a tender-hearted animal lover, but she is also capable to doing hard things if she has to. I particularly enjoyed reading about her relationships to her family and how her understanding of them changes over time. The old hag is one of my favorite characters and a great lesson in first impressions. This story is great for animal lovers too with dogs playing a big role.
Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk
4th - 8th grades
Tags: animals, character driven, family life, historical fiction, SEL