Her name is Omakayas, or Little Frog, because her first step was a hop, and she lives on an island in Lake Superior.It is 1850, and the lives of the Ojibwe have returned to a familiar rhythm: they build their birchbark houses in the summer, go to the ricing camps in the fall to harvest and feast, and move to their cozy cedar log cabins near the town of LaPointe before the first snows.
In the sequel to Erdrich's novel The Birchbark House, about the Ojibwe Indians, Fields reads at an often leisurely pace in a deep, calm voice-a good match for the tone of the text, but not a great choice for an engaging listen. The author picks up the story of Omakayas, now nine years old, as her tribe faces government expulsion from their island settlement on Lake Superior in 1849. When she's not fighting with her pesky brother Pinch, helping her mother, or gleaning advice from mentor Old Tallow, Omakayas starts to discover more about her talent for reading dreams. But no one can really know what the future-and the move west-will hold. Fields admirably masters Ojibwe names and vocabulary, but this recording's appeal lies with true fans of the material. Ages 8-12. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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August 23, 2005
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Excerpt from The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich
The Raggedy Ones
When they were close enough to touch bottom with their paddles, the people poured out of the nearly swamped canoes. The grown-ups held little ones and the little ones held even smaller ones. There were so many people jammed into each boat that it was a wonder they had made it across. The grown-ups, the ones who wore clothes, bunched around the young. A murmur of pity started among the people who had gathered on shore when they heard Omakayas's shout, for the children had no clothing at all, they were naked. In a bony, hungry, anxious group, the people from the boats waded ashore. They looked at the ground, fearfully and in shame. They were like skinny herons with long poles for legs and clothes like drooping feathers. Only their leader, a tall old man wearing a turban of worn cloth, walked with a proud step and held his head up as a leader should. He stood calmly, waiting for his people to assemble. When everyone was ashore and a crowd was gathered expectantly, he raised his thin hand and commanded silence with his eyes.
Everyone's attention was directed to him as he spoke.
"Brothers and sisters, we are glad to see you! Daga, please open your hearts to us! We have come from far away."