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birchbark house
Format reviewed: Audio
Nicolle Littrell
5 hours and 30 minutes


The North Star State

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

Madeline Island (Lake Superior), Minnesota
Time Period:
Anishinabe (Ojibwa) culture in 1847, Native Americans, smallpox epidemic
Playful, adventurous, tragic, hopeful

The Birchbark House is the first in a 5 book series written by master storyteller Louise Erdrich and inspired by her own family’s history.

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich follows 7-year-old Omakayas and her family throughout a calendar year, season by season.  We meet Nokomis, her beloved grandmother; Deyday, her father who is a trader; Yellow Kettle, her mother; Little Pinch, her mischievous brother; Angeline, her beautiful, older sister; and baby Neewo. The Birchbark House is full of adventure, fun, and hijinks as well as tragedy, pain, and sadness. The author includes so much detail that it is as if you are actually there, watching the family harvesting wild rice, cooking, tanning hides, telling stories and living their everyday lives. It is a year in which Omakayas will face tragedy and survive; a year that will teach her her place within her family and community and will point her to her future. 

Be sure not to miss the rest of the series:
The Game of Silence, The Porcupine Year, Chickadee and Makoons.

Common Loon
Pink & White Lady Slipper
minnesota state tree
Red Pine