Her name is Omakayas, or Little Frog, because her first step was a hop, and she lives on an island in Lake Superior.It is 1850, and the lives of the Ojibwe have returned to a familiar rhythm: they build their birchbark houses in the summer, go to the ricing camps in the fall to harvest and feast, and move to their cozy cedar log cabins near the town of LaPointe before the first snows. The satisfying routines of Omakayas's days are interrupted by a surprise visit from a group of desperate and mysterious people. From them, she learns that all their lives may drastically change. The chimookomanag, or white people, want Omakayas and her people to leave their island in Lake Superior and move farther west. Omakayas realizes that something so valuable, so important that she never knew she had it in the first place, is in danger: Her home. Her way of life. In this captivating sequel to National Book Award nominee The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich continues the story of Omakayas and her family.
This is a fantastic and subtle criticism of the injustices done to native Americans. The novel describes the day -to-day tasks and crafts of Omakayas's family, while giving a relatable story of sibling rivalry and the difficulties of growing up. This would be a good recommendation for a 4th grader who likes longer chapter books.
This is a children’s book, a continuation of “The Birchbark House”. It is 1850 and Omakayas is now 9-years old. This book goes through another year in her life, all four seasons. In the spring, Omakayas, her family, and the other Ojibwe discover that they are being told by the white people that they need to leave. They send out four men to find out what happened, why they must leave – did they break the treaty? While the four men are gone, Omakayas learns about medicines from her grandmother, while her cousin, Two Strikes, though a girl, wants to build her own little army made up of the boys. And, there is more day-to-day stuff happening, as well.
I enjoyed this. Not quite as much as “The Birchbark House”, but it was still enjoyable and I will continue the series. There are very nice illustrations, and some well-done descriptions of how things were done (similar to the first book). I also appreciated the prologue, which was a bit of a recap, as it's been a few years since I read "Birchbark House".
Book two in the Birchbark House series which is about an Ojibwa tribe’s life on their island in Lake Superior in the mid-19th century. Omakayas is the young girl who narrates this book, which chronicles a year on the island that is today known as Madeline Island.
I love how Erdrich depicts these people and their way of life. Not everything is pleasant or easy, but there is room for joy and happiness, for children to explore and learn. I loved the various adventures (and misadventures) Omakayas, her younger brother Pinch and cousin Two Strike, a girl who is every bit as strong and fierce as any boy her age, get into. It is two years after book one, and Omakayas is growing up. At age nine she has more responsibility to help with the necessary tasks of tribal living. Her intelligence, courage and spirit are recognized by the elders, and her friendship with a white girl, whom she calls “the Break Apart Girl” because of her tightly corseted waist, will be important to them all as they face the changes to their way of life.
Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwa, and she spoke to various Ojibwa elders about the significance of Madeline Island. Events depicted are historically accurate. The text version includes Erdrich’s pencil drawing illustrations. I will definitely continue reading this series.
Anna Fields does a marvelous job narrating the audiobook. She sets a good pace and her diction is clear enough that even younger children will not have trouble following the story.