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birchbark house

Reviewer rating

Format reviewed: Audio
Ready by Nicolle Littrell
5 hours and 30 minutes


The North Star State

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich


Time Period:



Madeline Island (Lake Superior), Minnesota
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.

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