Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Chickadee

Louise Erdrich - Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I've just sent in the manuscript for the next book in The Birchbark House series.  Title: Chickadee.  I am still working on the art and drawing horses at last because my family (Omakayas, the twins Makoons and Chickadee, Animikiins, and all of the others) have moved onto the Great Plains.  I realized that for the sake of this book series we had to move there around 1866.  This is a fascinating year for all sorts of reasons, but for the main character, Chickadee, it is a year of unusual adventure.   Some odd things happen to Chickadee.  He challenges a man named Skunk.  He is kidnapped by two brutish louts who want a servant.  He learns to cook a wretched concoction called bouyah.  Chickadee runs away from well meaning but heartless missionaries.  He learns to survive completely alone in the woods helped by his namesake, the chickadee, who teaches him a song that can heal.  There is lots more, including a visit to Saint Paul, the first city he has ever seen, and composed at the time of shacks, pubs, treeless mansions, and lots of trading companies.  This book has been on my mind for a long time, and during this endless winter I've finally had time to compose it -- so at last.  As I mentioned, I am still working on the drawings.  I take photographs of my family and use them in the compositions.  I draw objects from my collections.  I make people up.  All in all, this is a pretty good job to have.  I recommend it for those who like to live in their pajamas.
Comments
Amy commented on 29-May-2011 05:47 PM
Excellent! I have been waiting patiently for the next book in the series. I would not wish this past long winter on anyone, but if that's what it takes to get the next book then it was worth it. I'm off to re-read the first three books!
Amy commented on 29-May-2011 10:24 PM
This is so exciting. My daughters will be floating when I tell them in the morning! We've read the series many times... We have a literacy library book love non-profit run by two little girls with a little help from Mom and Dad. This summer we are helping
local libraries with their summer reading programs. We are presenting story and reading journals (so they can work on their own stories) and weekly challenges to help them along. Along with reading the books and collecting stories we are suggesting that the
children get to know authors as real people: research them, send them letters! Where can children send you letters? And importantly do you have a estimated release date? The girls will want to know this. And please consider Northern Michigan for your book
tour, we'd be happy to help host you and connect you with our amazing community of book lovers! Let us know how we can help! Amy (info@booksforwallsproject.org)
Andie commented on 31-May-2011 12:18 AM
Wonderful! I have two boys who love this series - along with me. We are very excited! Thank you for your amazing books....
Brenda commented on 10-Jun-2011 08:39 AM
Louise, this is good to know. I am a children's librarian in Jamestown, North Dakota and we are discussing your book "The Birchbark House" next week at our children's book club. I will let the kids know there will soon be another book in the series. Happy
drawing!
Louise erdrich commented on 02-Jul-2011 07:29 PM
Dear Amy, Sorry it took me so long to respond. The date for Chickadee is a ways off -- right after the election November 2012. Thank you for writing in-- I wish that I could visit but am pretty limited in where I can go because I'm sort of booked up right
here at home with my own daughters -- happily booked.
Staffan Jansson commented on 05-Nov-2011 02:39 AM
I'm really glad to hear that the story continues. And it's interesting with the Ojibwe leaving the woods for the plains. Now I'm personally living in Sweden and for us the Minnesota Sioux uprising is not a bit controversial. However I have heard it is
in Minnesota. Next year there will be a 100 year anniversary. And you are bringing the ojibwe fairly near to where the Dakota struggle was taking place in this new book. One wonders if there be any mentioning of it, and so, if this in any way will be a controversial
story? Just by coincident. Maybe a book like this can be something, just a little bit something, that will create understanding for nature and living near it. Thinking about the tar issue, of course.
Staffan Jansson commented on 05-Nov-2011 02:56 AM
Correction. Of course it should be a 150 years anniversary of the sioux uprising. Maybe some people don't want to hear abot that anyhow. ;-)
Allison K commented on 27-Feb-2012 09:46 PM
After hearing a rumor about a continuation of The Birchbark House series (which I had wrongly assumed was a trilogy) I hit the internet to find out more. I was delighted to find that Chickadee is coming along, but I'm curious. How many more books are you
planning in this series? Also, I have adored your books since a professor of mine put Tracks on her syllabus and I am slowly but surely working my way through your works. I'm really impressed and grateful that you're able to write such amazing books on such
a fast schedule...I'm so glad I'll get to read them all!
ryan commented on 25-Apr-2012 12:19 AM
hey louise, i was wondering if you had any information on the chickadee and and what impact they had on the Ojibwa culture?
Bella and Madeline commented on 18-Jun-2012 09:32 PM
We really like your books. I love Indians and I think they are very interesting. Your books are the best books. They actually are the only Indian books in a series I have read. FROM Bella age 8; Madeline age 6
Anonymous commented on 06-Dec-2012 12:18 PM
Louise, we love this series. Thank you so much for writing it. Just so, so wonderful. I am reading it with my daughters. I wish there were more series like yours and I feel blessed that we discovered the Birchbark series at this time. Meegwich! Keep writing. Peace.
Anonymous commented on 11-Jan-2013 10:11 AM
Hi Louise! I really love this series and cannot wait for more. I hope you will publish more soon. Could you please write a book for the time period before the Chickadee book? There is so much I'd like to know about the time period you skipped over. What other books are planned for this series? I am so anxious to hear all about them. I really liked the growth in Two Strike in this book. I'd also like to know if it was common for so small a family group to move west? I love the information on survival skills, medicinal plants, wildlife and traditions. Please write quickly! Erin, age 8
Anonymous commented on 14-Jan-2013 06:41 AM
Having found a copy of first book BIRCHBARK HOUSE, loved pictures and want to read others in series. Many years ago, LITTLE HOUSE books were first series I read and still recommend them to all who have discovered the joy of reading words and 'chapter' books. Reading is my greatest joy and want to share it with the every new generation of readers. Pictures are important in processing words and especially in first time reading experience
when i try to remember when I discovered wonderful world of books.
Caryn Long commented on 05-Dec-2014 01:50 PM
Louise, I am curious about the flowers on the internal front and back covers of your bound Birchbark series. (My husband and I are birders. We started also really looking at wildflowers closely and began identifying them this past year when the weather was too warm or when hunting was going on in our favorite birding places.) Your four petaled fower with the vining leaves really caught my eye.
I have been reading your books throughout your entire career. I just read the entire Birchbark series in the past few months. Having just lost my adoptive father in late September, I think that most especially the fostering of lost children theme that runs through this series warmed the cockles of my heart. Your work always speaks to me and continues to do so. Thank you so much. - Caryn Long 12/05/14
Post a Comment!

Unconquered

Louise Erdrich - Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Walter R. Echo-Hawk, a hero of persistence and one of the most thoughtful and engaging of writers, takes on the 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided in the book I am reading now.  In the Courts of the Conqueror is written with such passion, wit, and candor that I literally can't put this book down.  Even though it is heavy.  True, it is painful to come to terms with the truth about what happens in the court system, particularly the Supreme Court.  It is even more difficult to resist the flow of history and precedent and re-imaging a society based on justice.  Patricia N. Limerick says in her introduction that this book is "an effective challenge to the fatalistic school of history."  As such, while reading it you may be outraged and startled -- but the fact that it, and the writer, exist and fight on gives one hope.  Plus, a fascinating read.  

Nobody but Gerald Vizenor could write the words "cosmoprimitive casino series", or "mongrel driving schools", or describe the Band Box Diner and capture with such skewed energy what it means to be an Indian, an Anishinaabe, a human being on and off the White Earth Reservation here in Minnesota.  Shrouds of White Earth is another wildly laudable work by our master ironist.  A meditation on Native Art, Marc Chagall, George Morrison, The Gallery of Irony Dogs, and too much else to mention, this book is a small feast just in time for our favorite holiday -- whatever else happened on that fateful pilgrim afternoon I am thankful for Visioner, I mean Vizenor.  

Can you take The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book?  It isn't funny, and the pictures are brutal, but that's the real history and Gord Hill tells it in quick takes.  This book is packed with information and particularly valuable for the information on resistence in British Columbia at Ts'peten and at Aazhoodena.

Lyrical, moving, quiet and profound, the photographs taken by John Willis on Pine Ridge are that rare artifact -- art that increases the dignity and beauty of the subject while remaining honest.  Mr. Willis spent many years visiting and revisiting the people and places he photographed.  There is a clear, deep love in many of these images.  Views from the Reservation is a large photography book, a collection, but you wouldn't put it on your coffee table.  I carry my copy from place to place in the house because even the endpapers provoke meditation.  

Comments
Lisa commented on 06-Jan-2011 03:18 PM
How strange is west. When I was ten I traveled west with my parents. West is so far, that you don't know whether you have arrived yet, once you are standing on the continenetal granite plate that seems to tilt to the north looking up. I suppose, that I was surprised to see herds of bison grazing from a distance when we went through the Dakotas. Summer 1970, the same year that "Riders on the Storm" was a hit and on the jukebox

We visited a reservation near the Black Hills--where we could tour dwellings, a village, look at art, and go to hear stories at night. If you were a kid--you just accepted it automatically. Everything was real and there you were in another world. I suppose that is the best time to find friends and think about differences. I found friends my age at the reservation general store. It is near the souvenir store--the store is divided.

I've only driven by Minneapolis/St. Paul once--in fact, I've only been through Minnesota once, during the summer in 1983. I was again a passenger, looking out the car window trying to see the Twin Cities. They looked miniature among the bluffs.

When I read the Lousie Erdrich books, I think about the different worlds that you find, once the characters' personalities make the reader think within a place. I can't imagine what this place is like. But I can't believe, turning the pages, that the stories keep going and the jokes keep you laughing--and the descriptions are so idiosynchratic to the events. Descriptions, that is, of what will be when. I get these books new; and the ones I don't have, I buy at store clearances--so, I have most of them! "The Master Butchers Singing Club" really becomes alive--it is a charged story--and "The Plague of Doves" is so well worked that you don't stop turning the pages until the story is near the final chapters! I read the e-mails I get from Birchbark Books--I look forward to seeing the news and events and to thinking about distance. Birchbark Books seems to have the most different ideas all kept together in its pictures.
Post a Comment!

First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language

Birchbark Books - Monday, November 01, 2010
Narrated by Louise Erdrich.  Featuring Anton Treuer.
From Twin Cities Public Television.

The entire show can now be viewed online! http://www.tpt.org/?a=productions&id=3

A language is lost every fourteen days. One of those endangered tongues is Minnesota’s own Ojibwe language. Now a new generation of Ojibwe scholars and educators are racing against time to save the language. Working with the remaining fluent-speaking Ojibwe elders, they hope to pass the language on to the next generation. But can this language be saved?  Told by Ojibwe elders, scholars, writers, historians and teachers, this tpt original production is filled with hope for the future.
Find all airdates here.

Video preview:


About First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language

As recent as World War II, the Ojibwe language (referred to as ojibwemowin in Ojibwe) was the language of everyday life for the Anishinaabe and historically the language of the Great Lakes fur trade.  Now this indigenous language from where place names like Biwabik, Sheboygan and Nemadji State Forest received their names is endangered.

The loss of land and political autonomy, combined with the damaging effects of U.S government policies aimed at assimilating Native Americans through government run boarding schools, have led to the steep decline in the use of the language.  Anton Treuer, historian, author and professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and featured in First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language, estimates there are fewer than one thousand fluent Ojibwe speakers left in the United States, mostly older and concentrated in small pockets in northern Minnesota with fewer than one hundred speakers in Wisconsin, Michigan and North Dakota combined.

Treuer is a part of a new generation of Ojibwe scholars and educators who are now racing against time to save the language and the well-being of their communities.  Narrated by acclaimed Ojibwe writer, Louise Erdrich, First Speakers tells their contemporary and inspirational story.  Working with the remaining fluent Ojibwe speaking elders, the hope is to pass the language on to the next generation.  As told through Ojibwe elders, scholars, writers, historians and teachers, this TPT original production reveals some of the current strategies and challenges that are involved in trying to carry forward the language.

First Speakers takes viewers inside two Ojibwe immersion schools: Niigaane Ojibwemowin Immersion School on the Leech Lake Reservation near Bena, Minnesota and the Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion Charter School on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation near Hayward, Wisconsin. In both programs, students are taught their academic content from music to math entirely in the Ojibwe language and within the values and traditional practices of the Ojibwe culture. Unique to the schools is the collaboration between fluent speaking elders and the teachers who have learned Ojibwe as their second language.

First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language provides a window into their innovative and intergenerational learning experience and the language they are determined to save.

Comments
Linda White commented on 03-Feb-2011 03:42 PM
This was a fascinating program! I was entranced. I had no idea that there was such a resurgence in the native languages. It is great to hear that there are those who are working to keep them alive.
Post a Comment!

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

Philip Roth Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge tree books mississippi Rare Books Dartmouth buffalo The Birchbark House Jim Harrison Chitra Divakaruni post holiday reads ependent School Gardens Easter Island Let's Take the Long Way Home Climate Change Wolf Hall japan favorite book State Troopers Native People Green Team twins favorite dog Chickadee Up Late Again World on the Edge euphoria E.L. Doctorow President Obama birchbark house series Victory Gardens Michael Jackson show your love fresh water This Green World Botany Patrick O'Brian Stephen Salisbury ptsd the most romantic city in the world Book Review The Royal Prussian Library Vic Glover Population Peak Water Alan Weisman Ice Czech Writer bill mckibben Guthrie Theater Minnesota Minneapolis Anton Treuer Wastepaper H2Oil knowledge Women and Trees Hillary Clinton Bill Moyers Journal photography friends north dakota Collective Denial Tree Houses sweden thanks Keystone XL William Trevor Tar Sands Video Nero NACDI:All My Relations gardens Crushing Books Small Bookstores as Commons health care reform Ojibwe Afghanistan cafe Aza customers monkey in a dryer coyote Mohamed's Ghosts france Louise solstice, Thomas King thank you friends Milkweed Press Kabul Anishinabemowin Zombies Ha Jin Magers and Quinn local economy The Wealth of Nature how good looking you are More Remarkable Trees The Ojibwe Too Much Happiness Makoons book and dinner club support neighborhood Bleak House china The Blue Sky Unnatural Disasters Gary Clement city of books anniversary The Game of Silence Dogs language revitalization Light in August Keepers of the Trees Gail Caldwell Gryphon Press Master Butchers Singing Club Mankato Powwow trees Education Too Loud A Solitude plants Canada Poetry Ojibwemowin National Book Award graphix Interview devoted customers Nemesis Native Arts Bohumil Hrabal peculiar touches of green and gold The Porcupine Year Islam 2666 The Resilient Gardener The Transition Handbook cafe closing boarding school leaves and snow spring Pembina Kate DiCamillo Remarkable Trees adventure Peak Oil Greenland Brown Dog ireland Emily Johnson incarnation 350.org Wendy Makoons Geniusz British Navy Aubrey/Maturin joy Kenwood Gardens Anishinabe Empire of the Summer Moon Birchbark Books S.C. Gwynne Hilary Mantel Fireworks aquifer Catalyst Roberto Bolano favorite tree green post holiday Love pilgrims Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive Alice Munro The Round House germany italy The Farmer's Daughter Beth Dooley gratitude

Archive