Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

The only person left alive on the island was a baby girl. The tired men who had come there to pick up furs from the Anishinabe people stood uneasily on the rocky shore. The voyageurs watched from a distance as the baby crawled in a circle, whimpering and pitiful. Her tiny dress of good blue wool was embroidered with white beads and ribbons, and her new makazins were carefully sewn. It was clear she had been loved. It was also clear that the family who had loved her was gone. (1)

Eight year old Omakayas lives with her parents, older sister, younger brother, and baby Nemo in Minnesota. As part of the Ojibwa tribe, she helps keep house and harvest rice. Tragedy strikes the tribe however, and her family must rely on Omakayas and her grandmother to get them through it safely. Through her efforts to keep her family alive, Omakayas learns a secret about her past that will change her life forever. Read about it in Louise Erdrich's The Birchbark House.


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