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The Birchbark House | [Louise Erdrich]

The Birchbark House

With exquisite care, National Book Critics Circle Award winner Louise Erdrich has fashioned a story rich in the way of life and heritage of the Ojibwa people, a story that begs to be told out loud. As each season in a year of Omakayas' life is lovingly portrayed, the satisfying rhythm of her days is shattered when a stranger visits the lodge one night, bringing with him an invisible enemy that will change things forever.
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Publisher's Summary

Set in the Lake Superior region in the mid-1800s, The Birchbark House is a vital novel providing fascinating details of a year in the life of young Omakayas, a girl of the Ojibwa.

With exquisite care, National Book Critics Circle Award winner Louise Erdrich has fashioned a story rich in the way of life and heritage of the Ojibwa people, a story that begs to be told out loud. As each season in a year of Omakayas' life is lovingly portrayed, the satisfying rhythm of her days is shattered when a stranger visits the lodge one night, bringing with him an invisible enemy that will change things forever.

©1999 Louise Erdrich; (P)2002 Audio Bookshelf

What the Critics Say

"Littrell's soothing, finely tuned reading of The Birchbark House evokes the atmosphere of this thoughtful, rich story about the daily activities of an Ojibwa girl." (Booklist)
"Nicolle Littrell narrates with a gentle and quiet voice. Her presentation is light and immediate, giving the listener to bear witness to each event." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (66 )
5 star
 (27)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (28 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (27 )
5 star
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4 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Mary Overland Park, KS, USA 02-15-04
    Mary Overland Park, KS, USA 02-15-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    0
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    "My children loved listening to this story with me"

    Simple gentle. If you like Willa Cather, you'll probably like this. My children loved listening to this story. Good for a long midwest drive.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudia Walnut Creek, CA, United States 08-18-04
    Claudia Walnut Creek, CA, United States 08-18-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    24
    3
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    0
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    "A remarkable book"

    I got this book for my granddaughter, but listened to it myself first. I became engrossed with the characters and story. Louise Erdrich brings to this story the same sense of place and depth of character that she brings to her books for adult readers. Enjoyable and worthwhile.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rita Fort Worth, TX, United States 10-23-13
    Rita Fort Worth, TX, United States 10-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    209
    4
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    0
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    "For Children"
    What disappointed you about The Birchbark House?

    I love Erdrich's writing. This is clearly not for adults, but for chidlren. I didn't finish it. Got too explanatory and simple.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Hoffman Estates, IL, United States 02-24-13
    Christine Hoffman Estates, IL, United States 02-24-13 Member Since 2012

    Chris, mom to Alex (born 2002). Audible account is for him, reviewing on his behalf. He's a fan of star wars, legos, cub scouts and now reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    7
    7
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    "4th grader - assigned reading for school. Not bad"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Maybe a girl, not a boy


    Any additional comments?

    This made the assignment a lot more bearable - the definitely improved the experience for am ADD, dyslexic 10 year old boy. But definitely not his cup of tea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 01-19-13
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 01-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    227
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    743
    53
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    16
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    "Rather disappointing based on her other novels"

    I have become quite impressed with the writing of Louise Erdrich, so when I saw this small older offering with no reviews I gave it a try. It is a young adult book, with a poor reader. The story is simple, not particularly well constructed and a bit jumpy as it does not follow emotional threads or action threads through for a "reader"s complete understanding. If you, like me, are an admirer of Ms Erdrich's novels, don't bother with this little, inexpensive offering. It bears no resemblance to her writing of the last decade, except it concentrates on Native American life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betsy Packaed Lexington, KY, United States 01-10-13
    Betsy Packaed Lexington, KY, United States 01-10-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You NEED to read this."
    What did you love best about The Birchbark House?

    It's authenticity.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Birchbark House?

    Who survives the epidemic of 1848.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Sugaring.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I wanted it to last and last!


    Any additional comments?

    Another Erdrich success!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Sturges Orinda CA USA 12-05-11
    Karen Sturges Orinda CA USA 12-05-11 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of my favorite authors"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Birchbark House to be better than the print version?

    I do almost all of my reading audibly so I can read while gardening, driving, etc., so I really enjoy almost every book I listen to because most of the time the reader or readers are fantastic with their different voices and accents. This one was no exception.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love all of Louise Erdrich's books, love her writing and storytelling - so quirky. And its always a glimpse into another culture. This one was great because I didn't realized until 3/4 of the way through how the beginning of the story would relate to the main character. A wonderful story about a special young girl discovering her identity.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgia San Clemente, CA, USA 10-17-09
    Georgia San Clemente, CA, USA 10-17-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    20
    3
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    1
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    A marvelous story in the style of the Little House books. Highly recommend for true book lovers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally greenville, PA, USA 10-28-07
    Sally greenville, PA, USA 10-28-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    "truely wonderful"

    This book is totally awesome. It draws in you in and wans more. I recommed it to anyone wanting a true look at life as a young native girl. this is only part one of a series. The Game of Silience is next. The rest is not on audible yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsey SuttonUnited Kingdom 06-05-05
    Lindsey SuttonUnited Kingdom 06-05-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
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    13
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    "Did not finish"

    Although I listen to children's books all the time I got so bored with this one I didn't finish it. The world of the Native American tribe seemed much less real than that of many fantasy writers for children. Although the construction was described I didn't get a good mental picture of the birchbark house, nor a feeling of identifying with the culture. The reader seemed to put all Ojibwa words into speechmarks, with little pauses, and the voice was a little too gentle, without engagement with story.No comparison to Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    Disappointing.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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