Every Second Series

The plan: to introduce a serial or series every second Tuesday

Second Tuesday Serials
Title: The Birchbark House
Author: Louise Erdrich
Date: Hyperion Books for Children; 1999
main character: Omakaya

The endpapers of The Birchbark House display a map of an island in Lake Superior dated 1874. A bird, Andeg, guides the map with his beak. The table of content displays chapters that are titled in Ojibwan names for the four seasons. The map indicates where most of the events in the story occur and it shows where the birchbark house is located.

“All winter long Omakaya’s family lived in a cabin of sweet-scented cedar at the edge of the village of LaPoint, on an island in Lake Superior that her people called Moningwanaykaning, Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker.”

This is where we meet Omakaya and her family, characters who inhabit the Birchbark House series. Omakaya’s family lives off the land; their livelihood revolves around its seasons and the plenty that each time of year provides. There’s a richness to the story of this young Ojibwa girl growing up surrounded by her family and their traditions, one that’s not often found in children’s literature.

Omakaya is the central character in this ‘day in the life’ story filled adventures among family and friends. In the course of this year, we see Omakaya’s concern for her family deepen and grow through the way she learns to share her time and talents with them. Andeg is her pet bird that she loves enough to let go.

Birchbark House Series

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