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The Porcupine Year (2008)

by Louise Erdrich

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3802167,563 (4.01)38
In 1852, forced by the United States government to leave their beloved Island of the Golden Breasted Woodpecker, fourteen-year-old Omokayas and her Ojibwe family travel in search of a new home.

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» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
1852 - “… a year of flight and adventure, pain and joy…” for Omakayas and her family. Beautiful map on the inside cover details their journey! And another beautiful story to read in this series, even with all of the sadness and hardships. And amongst those, Omakayas starts dating, wherein the quote below made me laugh, as I am a father:

“As long as we hear that flute, she’s safe! But the minute he stops, go and find my daughter.” Said every father ever!

“…remembering all that happened in that year of danger and love, sacrifice and surprise - that porcupine year.” The year Omakayas became a healer and a woman. The year Pinch gets a new name and a pet! The year famine gets a member of their family. A beautiful and a terrible year. Can't wait for the next book! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Feb 26, 2024 |
A continuation of two other books to start this series, also a children’s book, set in the mid-1800s, focusing on a young Anishinaabe/Ojibwe girl, Omakayas (Little Frog). This follows another year in her life. Initially she and her younger brother get caught up in some rapids in their canoe and are not sure where they’ve ended up. They do find their way back to their family (who has found some beads belonging to Omakayas and fear the two have died!), along with a pet baby porcupine! Other happenings include coming across a wildfire (as they travel toward more family living elsewhere) and “adopting” two white children. Later on the group is ambushed and robbed, leaving them to struggle to survive.

I didn’t like this one as much as the first two, though that little porcupine was cute! I hate that had to leave the little guy behind at one point while he slept. *sniff *sniff.. I’m not sure why this one didn’t hold my interest as well as the first two in the series, but I did lose focus a few times. (Note: I was not listening to an audio, so can’t blame it on that.) I will continue the series, however. ( )
  LibraryCin | Nov 4, 2023 |
Digital audiobook narrated by Christina Moore

Book three in the Birchbark House series sees Omakayas growing into young womanhood. Her leadership qualities are blossoming and becoming evident to the members of her tribe. She has a bit more autonomy as she explores the area with her younger brother, which leads to some serious difficulties.

The entire tribe is affected by the encroachment of white settlers who force them from their ancestral lands and send them in search of a new home. They endure a very harsh season, nearly starving, and losing a couple of valued members of the group. But always, Omakayas and her people rely on their traditions, beliefs and cooperation to survive and prosper.

Christina Moore does a marvelous job of narrating the audiobook. This is a children’s series and the story is well-suited to an oral tradition. However, the text does have some marvelous illustrations. The text also includes a helpful glossary explaining / translating many of the Ojibwe terms used throughout the book. ( )
  BookConcierge | Nov 30, 2022 |
Very well done chronicle of Ojibwe life as the tribes were being displaced during the colonization of America. Good story, in the way that Little House and Bo at Ballard Creek and Dancing at the Odinochka are good stories -- daily life historical fiction is always appealing to me. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Louise Erdrich writes a moving, funny, and sad entry in her children's series, and invests us more deeply in Omakayas's world. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
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For Nenaa'ikiizhikok
Kiizh, my little blue
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Here follows the story of a most extraordinary year in the life of an Ojibwe family and of a girl named Omakakiins, or "Omakayas," Little Frog, who lived a year of flight and adventure, pain and joy, in 1852, when the uncut forests of Minnesota still stretched, full and deep, west from the shores of Lake Superior.
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In 1852, forced by the United States government to leave their beloved Island of the Golden Breasted Woodpecker, fourteen-year-old Omokayas and her Ojibwe family travel in search of a new home.

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