The Porcupine Year (Birchbark House)

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9780064410304: The Porcupine Year (Birchbark House)

Omakayas was a dreamer who did not yet know her limits.

When Omakayas is twelve winters old, she and her family set off on a harrowing journey in search of a new home. Pushed to the brink of survival, Omakayas continues to learn from the land and the spirits around her, and she discovers that no matter where she is, or how she is living, she has the one thing she needs to carry her through.

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About the Author:

Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.



Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.

From School Library Journal:

Starred Review. Grade 5–8—This sequel to The Birchbark House (Hyperion, 1999) and The Game of Silence (HarperCollins, 2005) continues the story of Omakayas, an Ojibwe girl who in 1852 is now 12 winters old. She and her family have been displaced by the United States government and are looking for a new place to live. When Omakayas and her younger brother become separated from their family during a night hunting expedition, Pinch has a run-in with a porcupine that he decides to keep as his medicine animal. The little gaag does indeed seem to bring them good fortune for a time, and Pinch is thereafter known as Quill. As Omakayas's extended family travels north toward Lac du Bois, where Mama's sister has settled, Erdrich's resonant descriptions of their day-to-day experiences give the narrative a graceful flow. The peaceful rhythms are all too quickly broken, however, when a party of Bwaanag captures two of their men. Soon after, Auntie Muskrat's no-good husband, Albert LaPautre, leads a raid on the small group, making off with all of their provisions, leaving them destitute as the winter months approach. The family finally reaches the big lake, and as they learn to find their places in the larger group, Omakayas must come to terms with her transition to womanhood. The events in this installment will both delight and appall readers. While the novel can stand alone, it will call new readers to catch up on the first two installments. Erdrich's charming pencil drawings interspersed throughout and her glossary of Ojibwe terms round out a beautiful offering.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
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