The Birchbark House

by Marilyn Roca Enriquez in

We here at OutlooK-12 celebrate diversity and believe that exposure to other cultures is an enriching experience.  Because of this, we are featuring a special “School Library” section this month with selected titles from a list of must-have multicultural books for children and preteens.  Originally compiled by the Cooperative Children's Book Center, the School of Education and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the full list is available on the National Education Association’s website and can be viewed at

House outlook-12

“The Birchbark House” by Louise Erdrich
Illustrated by Louise Erdich Publisher: Hyperion
ISBN-13: 978-0786814541

Omakayas and her family live on the land her people call the island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker.  Although the “chimookoman,” White people, encroach more and more on their land, life continues much as it always has: every summer they build a new birchbark house, every fall they go to ricing camp to harvest and feast, they move to the cedar log house before the first snows arrive and celebrate the end of the winter at the maple-sugaring camp. But the satisfying rhythms of their life are shattered when a visitor comes to their lodge, bringing with him an invisible enemy that will change things forever but that will lead Omakayas to discover her calling.