Buy Used
Used - Good See details
Price: 2.80

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Birchbark House [Paperback]

Louise Erdrich
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Library Binding 9.49  
Paperback --  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 30.05  
Audio Download, Unabridged 9.35 or Free with 30-day free trial

Book Description

6 July 2000
This is one of those children's books with a magical, tender quality that seizes the imagination. It is the first children's book, and the first in a cycle of novels, by the distinguished novelist Louise Erdrich, who draws on her own family history to evoke the lives of Native Americans forced from their ancestral lands. It is the story of a little girl, Omakayas, who lives with her family on an island in Lake Superior in the 1840s. It is the story of a loving family of adults and children, and the tribulations and joys they experience, in the course of a year that sees the decimation of the tribe by the white man's disease, smallpox.. Omakayas herself, with her affinity for animals - she has a pet crow, and makes friends with the bears - is a wonderful character who learns only at the end who she really is, and what her role in the tribe will be. The detail of daily life among the Ojibwa, so close to the land and to animals, is beautifully described and the characters are realized with a delightful warmth - not just Omakayas but the new baby she adores, her annoying little brother Pinch, the strange, tough, masculine Auntie, and the grandmother with her healing powers. It is an immensely charming and moving book on a subject that is always fascinating to young readers.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens (6 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1858817986
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858817989
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 465,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Louise Erdrich is one of the most gifted, prolific, and challenging of American novelists. Her fiction reflects aspects of her mixed heritage: German through her father, and French and Ojibwa through her mother. She is the author of many novels, the first of which, Love Medicine, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the last of which, The Round House, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2012. She lives in Minnesota.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Nineteenth-century American pioneer life was introduced to thousands of young readers by Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved Little House books. With The Birchbark House, award-winning author Louise Erdrich's first novel for young readers, this same slice of history is seen through the eyes of the spirited, 7-year-old Ojibwa girl Omakayas, or "Little Frog", so named because her first step was a hop. The sole survivor of a smallpox epidemic on Spirit Island, Omakayas, then only a baby girl, was rescued by a fearless woman named Tallow and welcomed into an Ojibwa family on Lake Superior's Madeline Island, the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker. We follow Okamayas and her adopted family through a cycle of four seasons in 1847, including that winter, when a historically documented outbreak of smallpox overtook the island.

Readers will be riveted by the daily life of this Native American family, in which tanning moose hides, picking berries, and scaring crows from the cornfield are as commonplace as encounters with bear cubs and fireside ghost stories. Erdrich--a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwa--spoke to Ojibwa elders about the spirit and significance of Madeline Island, read letters from travellers, and even spent time with her own children on the island, observing their reactions to woods, stones, crayfish, bear and deer. The author's softly hewn pencil drawings infuse life and authenticity to her poetic, exquisitely wrought narrative. Omakayas is an intense, strong, likeable character to whom young readers will fully relate--from her mixed emotions about her siblings, to her discovery of her unique talents, to her devotion to her pet crow Andeg, to her budding understanding of death, life, and her role in the natural world. We look forward to reading more about this brave, intuitive girl--and wholeheartedly welcome Erdrich's future series to the canon of children's classics. (Age 9 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A story with the appeal of Little House on the Prairie - but from a Native American viewpoint

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
SHE WAS NAMED OMAKAYAS, or Little Frog, because her first step was a hop. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have addition to any child's library. 28 July 1999
By A Customer
Any child who has read and loved such classics as the <Little House> series, or <Indian Captive> will welcome the gift of this book. My 8-year old daughter declared it to be the best book she's ever read, and urged me to read it. I did, and I concur. It's a wonderful read, and one that I plan to buy as a gift for years to come. The heroine of this book is such a delight. The hundred-plus years that separate her from the modern reader melt away. Erdrich has done a powerful job of maintaining the historical accuracy of this book while making her characters relevant to modern readers. Really well done.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 3 July 1999
By A Customer
My 9-year old niece couldn't put this book down! We can't wait for the next in the series. In contrast to the usual misconceptions about American Indians in children's literature and the media, this is a rare, historically accurate story about a 19th Century Ojibwa girl that goes beyond the usual caricatures and stereotypes. I hope Erdrich will someday write children's books about contemporary Indians, as well.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written book. 20 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Omakayas is a little Native American girl living on an island in Lake Superior in 1847. Over the course of a year, an epidemic changes her view of her family forever, and she learns the truth about her heritage.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category