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book cover of The Birchbark House

The Birchbark House

(1999)
(The first book in the Birchbark House series)
A novel by

 
 
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 Omakayas and her adopted family through a cycle of four seasons in 1847, including the 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 travelers, 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, likable 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. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

    

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Used availability for Louise Erdrich's The Birchbark House

Hardback Editions

May 2008 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Birchbark House (P.S.)
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 1-4352-6778-8 / 978-1-4352-6778-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Paw Prints 2008-05-09
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 2002 : USA Turtleback

Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 0-606-24620-7 / 978-0-606-24620-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Demco Media
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2002 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Birchbark House (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 0-613-59384-7 / 978-0-613-59384-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 2002 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 0-7569-1186-9 / 978-0-7569-1186-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Perfection Learning
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 2000 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 0-7862-2178-X / 978-0-7862-2178-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


July 1999 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 0-7868-0300-2 / 978-0-7868-0300-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 1999 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 0-7868-2241-4 / 978-0-7868-2241-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

May 2012 : USA Paperback

Title: Birchbark House Series #5
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 0-06-057798-3 / 978-0-06-057798-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Availability: Amazon UK   


May 2002 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 0-7868-1454-3 / 978-0-7868-1454-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2000 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 1-85881-798-6 / 978-1-85881-798-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


January 2000 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 0-439-20340-6 / 978-0-439-20340-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Scholastic
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

April 2010 : USA Audio CD

Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 1-5047-5922-2 / 978-1-5047-5922-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


April 2010 : USA Audio CD

Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 1-5047-5923-0 / 978-1-5047-5923-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


January 2002 : USA Audio CD
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 1-883332-83-4 / 978-1-883332-83-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 2004 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   


January 2004 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon CA   


January 2004 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon UK   


January 2002 : USA Audio Cassette
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Title: The Birchbark House
Author(s): Louise Erdrich
ISBN: 1-883332-79-6 / 978-1-883332-79-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Audio Bookshelf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA