THE PORCUPINE YEAR by Louise Erdrich
Kirkus Star

THE PORCUPINE YEAR

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

This third entry in the Birchbark House series takes Omakayas and her family west from their home on the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker, away from land the U.S. government has claimed. Difficulties abound; the unknown landscape is fraught with danger, and they are nearing hostile Bwaanag territory. Omakayas’s family is not only close, but growing: The travelers adopt two young chimookoman (white) orphans along the way. When treachery leaves them starving and alone in a northern Minnesota winter, it will take all of their abilities and love to survive. The heartwarming account of Omakayas’s year of travel explores her changing family relationships and culminates in her first moon, the onset of puberty. It would be understandable if this darkest-yet entry in Erdrich’s response to the Little House books were touched by bitterness, yet this gladdening story details Omakayas’s coming-of-age with appealing optimism. The journey is even gently funny—Omakayas’s brother spends much of the year with a porcupine on his head. Charming and enlightening. (Historical fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-029787-9
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2008




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