The Birchbark House (Birchbark House Series #1)

The Birchbark House (Birchbark House Series #1)

by Louise Erdrich, Louise Erdich


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Birchbark House 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great book by an an adult author made for older kids. Experience Native American life!
PatsyAdams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Grade: 3-5Genre: Historical fictionThemes: Native American, family, griefThe story tells of Omakayas, an eight-year old Anishinabe girl. it takes place through the four seasons of life for her tribe. Her family becomes infected with small pox and get very sick and her youngest brother dies. Omakayas' heart is broken and she doesn't know how to mend it. Omakayas has a special connection with the animals around and befriends a crow who becomes her constant companion. This book was unable to keep my attention. I listened to it on cd and wonder if this might have been part of my inability to focus on the story. I think it might be a good read aloud to do with third grade in their Native American unit. They would have the background information to get hooked. The teacher would have to be able to say the dialect, which might prove difficult.
bluemopitz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great book about a young American Indian girl in Minnesota in the 1800's. I enjoyed this book a lot and decided to read the two sequels as a result. It was an engaging story and it was fun to learn about the kind of lives lived by the Ojibwa through the eyes of a little girl. Could be used in curriculum about Native American life.
irisdovie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It reminded me of how natives used to live with the seasons and with nature. It also reminded me of a book called Ghost Fox by James Houston, in which a white teen is taken by Abnaki warriors. She is eventually adopted as if she were Abnaki also, and enjoys her life better than if she were in the white world. I would use this book to teach children how people used to live and depend on the seasons and nature.
marciaskidslit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Birchbark House conveys the spirit and strength of the Native American people during the mid-1840s. During this time they fought many opposing forces just to survive as a people: the white man, disease, animals, and the elements of nature. They were great hunters and resourceful people whose tribal customs, family relationships, and beliefs helped them to persevere. Birchbark House is an accurate and authentic story. Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibawa. Erdrich¿s mother and sister conducted genealogy research and found ancestors on both sides of the family who lived on the island during the story¿s timeframe. The Madeline Island Historical Society was also consulted in the research. Erdrich includes an author¿s note on the Ojibwa language as well as a glossary.
JanaRose1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Birchbark House follows Omakayas (Little Frog), a member of the Ojibwa Native American tribe, through four seasons during 1847. From a smallpox epidemic that threatens her entire family to a winter of starvation, the family find time for love and adventure. Beautifully written the characters come to life through the dialogue and their interactions. Children of all ages will relate to Omakayas struggles. Overall, I highly recommend this book.
shelf-employed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Louise Erdrich¿s The Birchbark House is a tale of love, loss, and growing up, for Omakayas, a 19th century Objibwa, or Anishinabe girl living near Lake Superior. It is also a recounting of the ways of the Anishinabeg at the dawn of Western expansion. The adventures of Omakyas, her family and her people will delight middle school age readers who will identify with Omakayas and her family. Erdrich¿s The Birchbark House is a beautiful weaving of the literary and the historical, following the life of 7-year-old, Omakayas in the year 1847. The details of Omakayas¿ Anishinabeg lifestyle never interfere with the story; instead, they provide a rich backdrop providing interest as well as information. Native American cultural markers are numerous, authentic, and integral to this affecting story. Omakayas lives a life familiar to many children. She has an older sister whom she envies for her beauty and grace, a younger brother whom she despises for his selfishness and greed, and a baby brother whom she adores for his sweetness and innocence. Her mother is firm, yet loving. Her grandmother, or nokomis, is kind and wise. Her father is often away on business, trapping to provide skins for the White traders. She loathes certain of her chores, particularly the scraping of hides to make leather, she looks after her brothers. These connections render Omakayas accessible to 21st century children. It is through this connection that cultural details are channeled.Respect for elders is shown throughout the book, from a simple line regarding Grandma, ¿the dappled light of tiny new leaves moved on Grandma¿s beautiful, softly lined face,¿ to Omakayas' behavior around the strong-willed elder, Old Tallow, ¿She wished the old woman good health, and called her ¿Auntie¿ because it was a sign of affection, though Omakayas was not really sure exactly what she felt. After she¿d spoken, she stood politely, waiting.¿ A reverence for one¿s elders is consistently apparent.The Ojibwa people are portrayed realistically in Birchbark House- not always serious, not always good (especially in the case of Omakays¿ brother known as Pinch!), and not always mystical and ¿all-seeing.¿ Omakayas¿ father, Deydey has a wry sense of humor. Although dreams are taken seriously in the Anishinabe culture, he is not above poking fun at his friend¿s sillier dreams. ¿¿Last night I dreamed my head got stuck in a kettle,¿ (LaPautre) revealed his voice low and troubled. `It must have been a very big kettle¿ Deydey said, solemnly, for LaPautre had a big round head and a full moon face.¿ In another scene, Deydey again teases LaPautre for his dream about lice, while Omakayas and her sister, hiding in the brush ¿clapped hands over their mouths to stifle their glee.¿ Light hearted moments are interspersed throughout the book, as they are in life.Another trait common to Native American people is a willingness to welcome strangers. This is exemplified, though disastrously so, when Omakayas¿ people welcome a traveler with smallpox to their lodge.Birchbark House also evokes the theme of the circle or cycle, common to many Native Americans. The chapters are grouped into books, each named for one of the Anishinabe seasons. The family travels from their winter quarters where they ice fish and survive the harsh winter, to the sap harvest when the maple trees thaw, to the rice harvesting grounds, and to birchbark house where they hunt, gather berries, prepare hides, and prepare foods for winter storage. The story spans a year in Omakaya¿s life, beginning and ending at the birchbark house that her family builds anew each spring; and though the clan has suffered loss, there is also joy, the return of one lost, and the renewal of the spring season.Ojibwa, or Anishinabe words are placed throughout the story, both with English translations and with contextual clues. An author¿s note explains the Ojibwa language, and a glossary and pronunciation guide follows the story. Some words, such as the g
Jenpark on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a pretty good story. It has a feel a little like The Little House on the Prarie series, which is kind of ironic. The story was kind of slow moving in parts because it was more about character development and illustrating a way of life than about building to a climax. However, it did make me cry at least once, showing that the character development was pretty successful.
anneofia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued on finding this children's book because I remembered reading "The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse" by the same author last year. That book dealt with the Ojibwa Indian tribe, and so does this one. While not having so many social issues and subplots as the adult "Last Report," this book is well written and informative for its younger audience. It leads the readers through a year in the life of an Indian family living on an island in Lake Superior in 1847. In the summer they construct a wigwam out of birch bark, which is how the story gets it name. The bookt has some very sad parts, but on the whole is life affirming and upbeat.
jackiediorio on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Omakayas has a beautiful little brother, and she loves him very much. She describes her life with him and her family, as they live in a birchbark house they make every year during the summers, and a cabin during the winter. Omakayas has many responsibilities, including many chores she dislikes, such as scraping animal hides, and she forms a bond with a pair of bear cubs.The family falls ill though, except for Omakayas, and everyone recovers except her little brother. When she is dealing with loss, her father tells her that she was adopted from an island struck by the same disease, and she was the only one to survive. Through the help of her family, and reuniting with her bear cub friends, Omakayas manages to move past her brothers' death, although she will never forget him.Unfortunately, there isn't an overwhelming amount of accurate books out there about the lives of Native Americans, so this book is a boon in that sense. The story is accurate and factual, and Omakayas is a relatable narrator, who complains about chores and annoying older siblings, just like children of today might. Unfortunately, the book does have some sad notes which may sadden readers, so it would probably be best if there was a parent or teacher around to discuss the books and the topic of loss with readers.
Sistahluck on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Louise Erdrich has done the world of children's literature a great service. I read somewhere she wanted to write this series as a answer to the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Those books (favorites when I was a girl) are classics of American children's literature, but they always mentioned Native Americans in a bad light. Omakayas is an Ojibwe girl with a wonderful family, complete with spoiled little brother, and a pet raven named Andeg. She has troubles, worries, and adventures just like any young girl. Fantastic series for children of any age!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i do not like it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lindsay33 More than 1 year ago
This children's chapter book follows the life a young Ojibwa girl and main character, Omakayas, her family, and their struggles to survive through a rough and trying year. Along the way, Omakayas begins to realize that there is something about herself that she doesn't quite understand, something she strives to learn more about. On the wake of a terrible winter, Omakayas is forced to help her family and nurse them back to health when they are stricken with small pox. Readers will surely grow to love little Omakayas with her resilient ways, curious mind, and loving heart. Not only is it refreshing to follow Omakayas, but her unique and loving family as well, each one with different characteristics and personalities. Readers will find themselves happy, sad, amused, worried, and anxious while reading this tale of a family trying to make it through life, and a little girl that's determined to help and love her family to the fullest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about the life of a young Native American girl named Omakaya. She is part of the Anishinabe tribe on Lake Superior. The story is told by Omakaya herself. She tells of the life of her family and how they faced many hardships over the course of the year along with the joyous moments they share. She tells of moving into the birchbark house at the beginning of the story and how she helped her mother tan the hide and sew the bark to build the house. She tells of the hunger they face and the disease that was brought in by a stranger one night. The joys and sorrow that the family faces when losing a loved one keeps the reader going. This is a good book to use in a classroom.
Sara_Forbing More than 1 year ago
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich, told the story of young Omakaya. Omakaya and her family are members of the Anishinabe tribe, the original name of the Ojibwa tribe. Together, her family faces many hardships over the course of a year. The book is broken down into sections by the seasons, and each section details what the family went through during that season. It begins with spring as the family prepares to move into their new birchbark home, then leads into summer as they work and prepare for the cold weather. Fall arrives and brings the harvesting of the wild rice and the move back into the log house before snow. Then winter falls upon them bringing many cold days and hardships before spring arrives with the maple-sugaring celebration. As the book progresses, readers are introduced to Omakaya's family and friends, along with the troubles and good times her family comes upon. The laughter and the sad times pull readers into the book, as they hope to read more about the lives of the Anishinabe tribe family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this emotion changing book, this book talks about the life of the Ojibwa Indians. Also, how they struggled through winter and fall.The Birch bark House is explaining the ways of how the Ojibwa tribe lived and how they struggled with small pox, in which they got it from the white men. The characters in this book are Omakayas, Andeg the crow, Neewo, Dey Dey, Nokomis, and many others along the way. Omakayas and her tribe are struggling with a sickness called small pox. This is their big problem. Omakayas and her family struggled with losses of her family members and hunger problems.Although it was sad, it was an awesome book. It¿s filled with adventures, humor, and drama. This book was like a roller coaster it¿s boring at one point then your rating goes up!If you read this book you¿ll be sad when people die, but when you read the book you¿ll have an emotion changing experience. THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich is a tear jerking story of love and survival that will give you another chance to appreciate wildlife. In this story the main character Omakayas has to fight for survival when a visitor comes and brings Small Pox to the village. Omakayas has to cope with the heartbreaking journey of a lost loved one, and learns an important lesson. This book is a heart warming book because it is full of adventures and excitement that will make you realize the important things about family and responsibility. So if you are looking for a good book that will touch your heart, read The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Birch bark House is the story of an Ojibwa girl named Onakayas. She learns many thnings, and survives the hardships of winter and the killing disease of small pox. This is an awesome book, and ideal for book reports. This is definatley something you should read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so cool. I love how it describes the life of the ojibiwa tribe and its people. I wish more authers would focus on the life of indians and how hard it might be sometimes to live like them. I also think it shows how hard illness'were back then.l
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Birchbark house is almost the best book but you should still read the book I would give it 4 stars out of 4 stars because this is my opinion but the book is mainly about a little girl that always wanted to babaysit her little brother Neewo that was his name because this is a native amarican book anyways its about a book where a little girl wants to babaysit her little brother and now hes getting big and the girl doesn't want to babaysit him anymore and wishes he was dead! Have fun!