13 Comments

  1. This is one I’ve never read but thought about doing with my son during our recent Native American study. We ended up reading Sign of the Beaver and Julie of the Wolves instead. Thanks for the review, I think my son would also have a hard time with that particular death. He had a hard time with the death of the wolf in Julie. Sounds like a book we want to read, but maybe in a few years.

  2. Amanda

    I tried reading The Birchbark House to my daughter at age 6, we both found it too slow for our liking, so we abandoned it. I may give it another try, just for myself. Now we are reading Little House On the Prairie and loving it.

  3. Amy.

    Thank you for the review of this book. I have never heard of it before. As my children get older, I tend to want to let them “run free” when it comes to reading chapter books because I don’t want to “kill” their enthusiasm to read. It is nice to have a review (spoilers and all) that clue me into what they may come across in books that we (or them alone) would more than likely read during our school year. A few of the books they have already read have introduced families where everything isn’t so perfect. We are currently reading Because of Winn Dixie as a read-a-loud. I am cautious as we move more into books that discuss death (people or animals), but will also not allow the topic to prevent us from experiencing a really good read.

  4. I think I would have almost an exact similar reading experience with this book. I love the passage that you shared. Made me smile. But the aspect of the death would be difficult. I think I’d want to wait and read it until all of the children in our house are older than the baby! But after that I think it would be very interesting to read and talk about!

  5. We tried this as a read aloud a few months ago but did not get very far into it. I do want to finish reading it for myself though and read the other books in the series. Thinking maybe we will try it again with the kids later this year (or sometime…).

  6. From the way it sounds, this is one I’ll let my daughter experience on her own when she is of middle grade age. Thanks for the detailed review!
    Birch was on my mind as well this week – we made birch artwork to go along with our review of “Over and Under the Snow”

  7. I did read this series aloud with my daughter a few years ago when she was middle grade, but at the older end of it. There are some sensitive things in the book, but that was one of the things that made it such a pleasure to experience together.

  8. I read this with my then 6 year old last year for very similar reasons to yours and I think her response is similar to your daughter’s – the sorrow made the book a little hard to bear. But it is such a gorgeous book, so very well written, and yes, I think I very good companion read if your kids love the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as it shows other ways of thinking and experiencing things.

  9. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book. It was one that was recommended to me by my librarian and you have saved me from wasted time pre reading. 🙂

  10. Educator

    Unfortunately, although I am glad your children enjoyed it. I don’t think it was developmentally appropriate for them, like you hinted at throughout your review. This book is best for 3rd and 4th graders, and depending on reading levels can even be used in a 5th grade class. This book should be used instead of quite silly Sign of the Beaver, this is an authentic multicultural literature book. As parents you should question the choices your teachers and schools are making, there are many resources out there to check for authenticity. Most importantly, a MEDAL does not equate a book with being historically or culturally authentic. Often times many are given for sheer writing. (Excluding Coretta Scott King and other specific cultural awards) I really encourage you all to really make sure your children are really receiving authentic experiences within their reading.

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