Chickadee

Chickadee

5.0 3
by Louise Erdrich
     
 

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Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, Chickadee is the first novel of a new arc in the critically acclaimed Birchbark House series by New York Times bestselling author Louise Erdrich.

Twin brothers Chickadee and Makoons have done everything together since they were born—until the unthinkable happens and the brothers are

Overview

Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, Chickadee is the first novel of a new arc in the critically acclaimed Birchbark House series by New York Times bestselling author Louise Erdrich.

Twin brothers Chickadee and Makoons have done everything together since they were born—until the unthinkable happens and the brothers are separated.

Desperate to reunite, both Chickadee and his family must travel across new territories, forge unlikely friendships, and experience both unexpected moments of unbearable heartache as well as pure happiness. And through it all, Chickadee has the strength of his namesake, the chickadee, to carry him on.

Chickadee continues the story of one Ojibwe family's journey through one hundred years in America. School Library Journal, in a starred review, proclaimed, "Readers will be more than happy to welcome little Chickadee into their hearts."

The paperback edition includes additional material, such as an interview with the author and activities.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist

GLOWING PRAISE FOR THE BIRCHBARK HOUSE SERIES:“Based on Erdrich’s own family history, the mischievous celebration will move readers, and so will the anger and sadness. What is left unspoken is as powerful as the story told.”

The Horn Book
“Readers will absorb the history lesson almost by osmosis; their full attention will be riveted on the story. Every detail anticipates readers’ interest.”
ALA Booklist
“In the fourth book in Erdrich’s award-winning Birchbark House series, the focus moves to a new generation. As always, the focus is on the way-of-life details as much as the adventure. Most affecting are the descriptions of Makoons’ loneliness without his brother.”
Booklist (starred review)
GLOWING PRAISE FOR THE BIRCHBARK HOUSE SERIES:“Based on Erdrich’s own family history, the mischievous celebration will move readers, and so will the anger and sadness. What is left unspoken is as powerful as the story told.”
New York Times Book Review
“The Birchbark House establishes its own ground, in the vicinity of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books.”
Horn Book (starred review)
“Erdrich’s gifts are many, and she has given readers another tale full of rich details of 1850’s Ojibwe life, complicated supporting characters, and all the joys and challenges of a girl becoming a woman.”
Newsday.com
“The pleasures of reading the series are not unlike those of reading Laura Ingalls Wilder: Discovering an earlier time in our country through stories of the daily lives of children.”
ALA Booklist (boxed review)
Why has no one written this story before?
Horn Book
"Erdrich’s gifts are many, and she has given readers another tale full of rich details of 1850’s Ojibwe life, complicated supporting characters, and all the joys and challenges of a girl becoming a woman."
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Chickadee and Makoons, the twin sons of Omakayas, are devoted to each other and have been inseparable since birth. The mischievous brothers play a trick on the brutish sons of the mean-spirited John Zhigaag who then kidnap Chickadee in revenge. Suddenly the young boy is thrown into a difficult predicament when the brothers abandon him to his own resources. Drawing on the strength of his namesake, the small but powerful bird, Chickadee must find his way home on his own. It is a trek filled with danger from missionaries who want to convert him to survival in the deep forest. It is not until he comes across an ox cart caravan and his uncle Quill that Chickadee is safe at last. Omakayas and her family have travelled to the Red River to await Chickadee's return and it is on the Great Plains that they will make their new home. Alternating chapters chronicle Chickadee's adventure juxtaposed with his father and Aunt Two Strike's search for him and his mother's vigil at home with a mourning Makoons. This sometimes causes the story to suffer a loss of momentum as it shifts from the dramatic pace of the journey to the more quiet reflection on the home front. Erdrich has used her incredible storytelling skills to weave a tale written with grace and eloquence. Ojibwe culture and lore are seamlessly woven into the engaging story that is accessible to young readers. Difficult scenes such as Chickadee's interaction with the missionaries are handled with dignity and aplomb. Readers who have come to love Omakayas may be disappointed with her lesser role in this novel. The glossary of Ojibwe words does help the reader wrap his tongue around the complicated syllables. This may be the fourth book in "The Birchbark House" series but it does stand on its own and will make an excellent read aloud and discussion choice for classrooms. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Effortlessly and beautifully, Erdrich continues her story about an Ojibwe family in northern Minnesota in the mid 1800s. The series began with Omakayas's girlhood and now shifts to the lives of her sons. In 1866, quiet Chickadee and mischievous Makoons are inseparable eight-year-old twins, cherished by their extended family. When they gather with other Ojibwe to make maple sugar, a cruel older man mocks Chickadee for his small size and namesake. Makoons defends his brother's honor by playing a revengeful prank on the man, which humiliates and incenses him. His thick-headed, muscle-bound sons vow revenge and kidnap Chickadee, carrying him away and forcing him to serve their bewildering oafish demands. His family is heartbroken and pursues the captors while Makoons becomes listless and ill. Chickadee eventually escapes, in time reuniting with a traveling uncle, who leads the way back to his family. Through many harrowing adventures, the child is aided and encouraged by his avian namesake, who teaches him that small things have great power. Erdrich's storytelling is masterful. All of the characters, even minor ones, are believable and well developed, and small pencil drawings add to the story's charm. The northern Minnesota setting is vividly described, and information about Ojibwe life and culture is seamlessly woven into every page. Readers will be more than happy to welcome little Chickadee into their hearts.—Lisa Crandall, Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI
Kirkus Reviews
Erdrich continues the saga of Omakayas and her family, who now embark in 1866 on a life-changing search that takes them from Minnesota's North Woods to the Great Plains in this fourth book of The Birchbark House Series. Omakayas is now a young mother with lively 8-year-old twins named Chickadee and Makoons. When the tribe's bully, Zhigaag, calls Chickadee a "weakling" who's "scrawny like his namesake," grandmother Nokomis reminds him that "[s]mall things have great power." After Makoons tricks Zhigaag, his oafish sons avenge their father by hijacking Chickadee to the Red River Valley. Chickadee's family searches desperately until they reach Pembina on the Great Plains. Meanwhile, resourceful Chickadee escapes and survives with help from his wee namesake until he runs into his Uncle Quill driving an ox cart of furs to sell in St. Paul. Quill and Chickadee travel with fellow traders on the Red River ox cart trail, arriving in Pembina to find Makoons seriously ill. Chickadee and Makoons extend Omakaya's story to the next generation as her Ojibwe family transitions from its native woods culture to life on the plains. Realistic black-and-white spot art provides snapshots of Chickadee's adventures. A beautifully evolving story of an indigenous American family. (map; glossary & pronunciation guide of Ojibwe terms) (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060577926
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
158,704
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
800L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.

Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Birth:
June 7, 1954
Place of Birth:
Little Falls, Minnesota
Education:
B.A., Dartmouth College, 1976; M.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1979

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Chickadee 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Louise Erdrich is a favorite author of myself, my daughter and my 10-year old granddaughter."Chickadee" was purchased as a gift for her, so I haven't read it. However, I highly recommend any book by the author, whether written for adults or children. They are always an exceptional reading experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Louise really knows how to weave a compelling tale for children. She gives them insight to the daily life of the Anishinabe people and their triumphs and trials. Everything from the language to world view teaches us more of this rich culture.