Posted in Not Mock Newbery

The Porcupine Year by Louise Erdrich

porcupine-yearSummary: 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. 193 p., HarperCollins Publishers.

Find it at WCPL



I'm a librarian at the Eva Perry Regional Library.

One thought on “The Porcupine Year by Louise Erdrich

  1. I liked this book and thought it was well written and very interesting, but there are some things about it that keep it out of my top six for our Mock Newbery this year. First, it is a sequel to The Birchbark House and The Game of Silence, which I haven’t read. It refers to things that happened in those books, so that I felt like I missed something and wanted to read the other books, possibly before I finished this one, to know the whole story. That made me think the book doesn’t stand completely on its own. There are also many, many Ojibwe words in the book (and a four page glossary), and although they make the book more authentic, there were so many it eventually seemed to get in the way of the story. In addition, the book is a ‘year in the life’ type of book, which you can sort of tell from the title, but because of that it doesn’t have the typical story arc, and the conclusion is not quite as satisfying. It just sort of stops. It was still a good book, and made me understand more about the ways of the Ojibwe, but not good enough to replace one of the other books in my top six.

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