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Makoons

by Louise Erdrich

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1933141,571 (3.68)4
Living with their Ojibwe family on the Great Plains of Dakota Territory in 1866, twin brothers Makoons and Chickadee must learn to become buffalo hunters, but Makoons has a vision that foretells great challenges that his family may not be able to overcome.
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“Makoons is the word for “little bear,” or bear cub.”

It is now early in the summer of 1866 of this family’s history. The twins are growing up and learning how to hunt. Which is good, as a large chunk of this book is dedicated to the hunting of the buffalo! It is very detailed, especially how the family uses ALL of the buffalo, and in all the different ways that they do so! And also, how they celebrate the hunt and give thanks to the buffalo, and never kill more than they need!
There is love and loss in this story, some loss natural, and some unexcepted. I suffered my own loss, knowing that this is the last book in the series, and also knowing that I will miss this family and their stories. It was a really good bunch of books to read!

Interesting to watch how Two Strike sort of becomes Tallow, and Omakayas sort of become Nokomis. And how Fly, a horse that lost her calf, ends up giving milk to a lamb and a buffalo calf! Life being Life!

I really loved the following quote, from Nokomis:
“I do not need a marker of my passage, for my creator knows where I am. I do not want anyone to cry. I lived a good life, my hair turned to snow, I saw my great-grandchildren, I grew my garden. That is all.”
I hope that I can say the same when my time comes!

Miigwech Louise Erdrich for a wonderful five books! Much appreciated! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Mar 7, 2024 |
Great book, but needs the context of the rest of the series -- it's a continuation, not a stand alone and it reads like that. That said, I really love this series -- both for the sheer amount of country and time that it covers and for the beauty of the characters and the storytelling. I want to know, always, what happens next. I am fascinated, always, with how the indigenous family adapts as they are forced across the country, away from the beautiful lakes of their home, onto the plains, and continuing into the turtle mountains. It a sharp story, with much sorrow and with many joys. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
This terrific story is about a family growing up on the Great Plains during the late 1800s. It has lots of great historical and cultural information and it's a very interesting story. ( )
  imtanner2 | Sep 10, 2016 |
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To Eliza Jonis Burke Erdrich
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Makoons opened his weak eyes, blinked, and saw himself as he used to be--a boy glowing with strength and health.
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Living with their Ojibwe family on the Great Plains of Dakota Territory in 1866, twin brothers Makoons and Chickadee must learn to become buffalo hunters, but Makoons has a vision that foretells great challenges that his family may not be able to overcome.

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