Book Recommendation – The Birchbark House Series

Author: Louise Erdrich

Through each of her Little House books, Laura paints a comprehensive and incredibly detailed picture of pioneer life, making readers all over the world feel like they are living it along with her. However, Laura’s experiences only make up half of the frontier story. For readers interested in the experiences of the Native Americans living on the prairie, there is a series similar to Laura’s in its scope and descriptive powers. The Birchbark House series tells the story of Omakayas, an Ojibwa girl living in the southern Ontario Lakes region. Omakayas, which means “Little Frog”, grows up with an adoptive family on Madeline Island. She lives the life of a typical 7-year-old, and readers who delight in Laura’s descriptions of everyday pioneer chores will find much to love as they watch Omakayas learn to cook, tan moose hides, and pick berries. Omakayas experiences her own frontier journey, moving further and further west escaping smallpox epidemics, encroachment by white settlers, and many other dangers and difficulties before finally settling on the plains of Dakota Territory. There are five books in this series, following Omakayas and her family as they grow and travel. If you’re looking for a new series about the American West to devour, The Birchbark House should be first on your list.

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3 comments on “Book Recommendation – The Birchbark House Series

  1. Andrea says:

    These have been on my “to read” list for a while now – thanks for the reminder! Also, FYI the author’s last name is spelled “Erdrich” 😉

  2. Connie Ryle Neumann says:

    Great series to compare with Little House books for years with students. The author’s last name is Erdrich.

    I also recommend CONQUISTA by Clyde Robert Bulla and HORSECATCHER by Mari Sandoz for a comparison to FARMER BOY. Both focus on plains Indian culture and boys who learn to respect horses.

  3. Melanie says:

    Agree wirh previous commenters; I believe the author you intend to reference is Louise Erdrich. She is the highly esteemed author of numerous books for adults and children and she owns a bookstore in the Twin Cities that focuses on Indigenous American authors and issues and hosts a variety of educational events there, too. For more information:
    https://birchbarkbooks.com/louise-erdrich/the-birchbark-house

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