A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

158. The Birchbark House

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Little Frog Book 1

Pages: 240
Finished: Oct. 1, 2008
First Published: 1999
Genre: children, historical fiction
Award: WILLA Award
Rating: 3/5

Reason for Reading: Started out as a read-aloud to my 8yo but I ended up finishing myself. Qualifies for the Book Award Challenge.

First sentence:

The only person left alive on the island was a baby girl.

Comments: My first thought about this book is that is is a Little House on the Prairie from the Indian perspective. The illustrations are even reminiscent of Garth Williams. However, it doesn't hold up to Wilder's books at all.

The book chronicles a year in the life a little Ojibwa girl. The book is divided into seasons and we follow her as her family and tribe lead their normal lives. Mostly there are no connections with the white man though her father trades with the white traders and voyageurs. Each chapter is episodic but no major plot runs through book or even within the chapters. This is not to say it was boring. There is a lot of description and a look into Native life that is interesting and enjoyable to read. Omakayas, whose name means Little Frog in English, is a fully developed character and the reader feels for her. The rest of the family members are only seen through her eyes and therefore do not feel fully developed.

Personally, I enjoyed the story. It is a quiet book, there is deep tragedy in the middle, but mostly it simply follows the life of a First Nations girl. It is most definitely a girl's book. I tried to read it aloud to my son as it was part of our school curriculum but he had no interest in it whatever. There are no boy characters, at least not fully developed ones, for him to connect with and nothing happened to hold his attention. So I stopped reading to him and finished the book on my own. The writing, full of description and light on dialogue is not conducive to reading aloud anyway. I think this book would be enjoyed by those interested in pre-white man Indian life and will especially appeal to girls ten and over.


  1. This is a topic that interests me a lot. I'll definitely have to look for this book. Thanks for the review.

  2. That's so weird! I've never read any of the Little House on the Prairie books but I did pick one up at the library book swap today. Sorry your son didn't enjoy it :(

  3. Wonderful review! Too bad your son didn't enjoy it. I think that I will. It's on my TBR.