The Birchbark House Series

by julie swanson

I love this middle grade series by Louise Erdich–The Birchbark House, The Game of Silence, and The Year of the Porcupine. It’s the Native American equivalent of The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In fact, I may like this series better than the Little House stories, and that’s high praise. Even if the stories weren’t set not far from where I grew up in Michigan (and even nearer to where I just was this past weekend for a family funeral, by coincidence), I would still love them. They are so sweet, have so much heart, great characters, wonderful setting. Louise Erdich did her own charming black-and-white sketch illustrations, too.

I read each new book as soon as it came out, and it was hard to wait because a couple years went by in between books. They are the kind of stories you never want to end, and yet you care so much about the characters that you just have to keep going to see what happens to them, …but then you kick yourself because you don’t want to leave them, or their place, their island home.

Just tonight I discovered that there’s a fourth book in the series (Chickadee) that came out in August of this year! A book I knew nothing about (which is just as well because then I wasn’t impatient for it). But now that I know about it, I can’t wait to read it, too.

I also saw tonight that Louise Erdrich has a new adult novel that came out October 2, called The Round House,  another National Book Award finalist (as The Birchbark House was) and it’s getting rave reviews. Amazon.com Review says, “Likely to be dubbed the Native American To Kill a Mockingbird…” Can’t wait to read this one either!

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