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The Birchbark House Kindle Edition
This National Book Award finalist by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Louise Erdrich is the first installment in an essential nine-book series chronicling 100 years in the life of one Ojibwe family, and includes beautiful interior black-and-white artwork done by the author.
She was named Omakayas, or Little Frog, because her first step was a hop.
Omakayas and her family live on an island in Lake Superior. Though there are growing numbers of white people encroaching on their land, life continues much as it always has.
But the satisfying rhythms of their life are shattered when a visitor comes to their lodge one winter night, bringing with him an invisible enemy that will change things forever—but that will eventually lead Omakayas to discover her calling.
By turns moving and humorous, this novel is a breathtaking tour de force by a gifted writer.
The beloved and essential Birchbark House series by Louise Erdrich includes The Birchbark House, The Game of Silence, The Porcupine Year, Chickadee, and Makoons.
About the Author
--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B09C278971
- Publisher : HarperCollins (November 16, 2021)
- Publication date : November 16, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 27401 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 272 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0063064162
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #74,658 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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Louise Erdrich has given a new generation of readers much of these same reading experiences, but has managed to tell it in the voice of a non-"chimookoman," or white person. No, this eight year old narrator is vastly different from Laura.
Omakayas, or Little Frog, has a family similar to the Ingalls':
-Mama, her hardworking and resourceful mother
-Deydey, her strict, often traveling father
-Nokomis, her loving, healer of a grandmother
-Angeline, her beautiful and seemingly perfect older sister,
-Pinch, her annoying younger brother
-Neewo, or "fourth," her baby brother whom she adores
-loads of aunts, uncles, cousins
-Old Tallow, a neighboring old woman who has an inexplicable soft spot for Omakayas
-Andeg, the tamed crow
This is a story, much like Laura's, of hard work, of self-sacrificing for the greater good of community and family, of long days put in so that the community and family can survive during the lean winter months and of stories told by the elders that teach, inform, and mold the younger set.
I'm surprised to say that this story is so much richer than Laura's, though. While it is the TRUE story of the westward expansion our history books are only beginning to scratch the surface with, the complexity of the story and how it was woven in a cyclical manner makes The Birchbark House THE story I will turn to when my students are looking for a story about life in the mid-1800's in the U.S.
I only wish I'd had this series of historically accurate tales to turn to when I was ten; however, I can rest knowing that at least this generation will have them to love.
*Many thanks to Kate Olson, librarian extraordinaire and reviewer of all books ever printed, for pointing me in the right direction with this one.
*Now I'm off to read the rest in this series!
"West is where the spirits of the dead walk. If the whites keep chasing us west, we'll end up in the land of the spirits."
"I have dreamed that's where they want us to go, anyway," said Albert. "That will please them."
"They are like greedy children. Nothing will ever please them for long," said Deydey...
"Not until they have it all," said Fishtail. "All of our lands. Our wild-rice beds, hunting grounds, fishing streams, gardens. Not even when we are gone and they have the bones of our loved ones will they be pleased. I have thought about this."
I highly recommend this book. Seems so many books for upper elementary are garbage. This is a true gem. I look forward to reading the rest of the series but will wait till she is a little older.
The best part is that now she has adopted some of the language into everyday conversation. "Gaygo mommy! Stop nagging me!"
*Side note, I would pre-read this book if you have sensitive children (mine are). While I can read the whole book to them, there are parts that talk about a ghost as being told to the children in the book. That being said it would be easy to skip over that section if you need to and not miss the rest of the story.
This is funny, because of the trouble Pinch, Omakayas’ little brother, gets into. He leans too close to the his pants become on fire so he sits in the water bucket and then can’t get out of it. Another funny time is when Andeg, the crow, says, “Gaygo, Pinch!” which means stop, because Pinch is pulling Andeg’s tail feathers.
This book is wonderful and a must read because of the characters, the plot and the mystery
Top reviews from other countries
This book is beautiful. One of the most beautiful books I've ever read, and I've read tons. So tender, so moving, so rich in themes, human emotion, and life lessons, with so much culture captured seemingly effortlessly, such that I was fully transported into a world I knew very little about, and yet it felt so familiar it was like coming home.
I'm not sure if I will end up using the book for a group of 8 year olds. The grief in it is so deep, pure, and profound that I'm not sure it could be adequately contained and processed in a large group environment. I will think on it though, and am hopeful to find a strategy to use it, because the story is so important. To give voice to this heartbreaking history, and to have it hit the heart so that hopefully future generations are more compassionate and loving - what better lesson can we pass on to our children?
From a purely academic standpoint, it would be so effective at teaching about the culture without sounding like a textbook and boring kids because you just fall completely in love with this beautiful, strong main character and her lovely family. The love and loss and experience of both in the story arc is so universally accessible and undeniable, and would teach about LIFE, not just "history".
For older students (grade 6+), this book would be PERFECT on multiple levels, and I have no hesitation recommending it highly. It should be mandatory reading, in fact. It is that good.
I loved, loved, loved reading this book, devoured it in one sitting in 3.5 hours, and in such a short time, it opened, broke, and healed my heart, and has left a mark on my soul.
Purchase one for yourself, for your local school library, and for every 12+ year old's birthday you're invited to in the next year - it won't disappoint.