The Birchbark House
This book is about a girl who is from a different place than it seems. There are two stars, Omakayas and her brother Neewo. They are Ojibwa kids. The story is placed on an island in Wisconsin. Their dad came back from his trip to trade beaver skins. Her grandma, her mother and Omakayas’ sister went to see him and she was left with her brother Neewo--who was not supposed to be named until two winters. That is the rule they do every time they had a child. But she didn’t care about the rule.
I thought the book was going to be sad at the end because Omakayas was from a different place, but one thing that wasn’t sad is the environment.
There are bears, trees, bushes, sunlight, berries and roses. I really like the story. Here is a poem I wrote about the beadwork...
Beads and needles
Flowers like no other
Leaves with just bright colors.
The most and now I am done with the book.
There was more on the way,
but there is none I can say.
The book makes me feel like I am there. So quiet. The birds are chirping. The trees are beautiful. The flowers are all around. Omakayas’ life makes me feel happy because of the way she has fun. She goes on adventures, climbs trees, meets bears, sees a crow, and makes a friend.
The end of the book was sad. Why? Well, Omakayas’ brother died and she found out she wasn’t from the island. She was from another called Spirit Island. The morning after she found out where she was really from, she went down to the lake and heard Neewo crying. She didn’t see him but knew it was him. She called to the spirits, and the spirits were her brother. I hope you can read this and feel the same way I did.
(Ms. Wilson is a 9-year-old fourth grader. This is her first published book review.)
Riverwest Currents online edition - July, 2004