A magical harmonica is passed down throughout decades until those trapped within can be released. This summary doesn't really say anything, but it's hard to describe this book. The beginning and ending are parts of a fairy tale, and between that are three stories told in 500 pages that link together because of the aforementioned harmonica.
This is, without a doubt, a beautifully written book. I could easily get lost in the language and the stories. I enjoyed each story by itself, even without the connective summary at the ending. This book will definitely reside on my library's shelves, and it will be easy to book talk to my stronger readers who have conquered all of the Harry Potter novels and others of similar length. However, I think the sheer length itself is going to be problematic when it comes to convincing any but the strongest readers to pick this book up. It's thick, and it's heavy, and it doesn't have the benefit of illustrations a la Hugo Cabret. That being said, it is indeed a beautifully written book.
Recommended for: strong middle grade readers
Red Flags: some intense situations for each character, but no violence/language/etc that could pose a problem.
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars