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Summary and book reviews of The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich

The Game of Silence

by Louise Erdrich

The Game of Silence
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2006, 272 pages

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Book Summary

In this captivating sequel to National Book Award nominee The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich continues the story of Omakayas and her family.

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.

The satisfying routines of Omakayas's days are interrupted by a surprise visit from a group of desperate and mysterious people. From them, she learns that all their lives may drastically change. The chimookomanag, or white people, want Omakayas and her people to leave their island in Lake Superior and move farther west. Omakayas realizes that something so valuable, so important that she never knew she had it in the first place, is in danger: Her home. Her way of life.

In this captivating sequel to National Book Award nominee The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich continues the story of Omakayas and her family.

ONE

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...

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Reviews

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This is a wonderful book that our whole family enjoyed when we read it aloud together. Erdrich writes from the heart about the life of her 19th century Ojibwa ancestors.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews
School Library Journal - Kimberly Monaghan

The action is somewhat slow, but Erdrich's captivating tale of four seasons portrays a deep appreciation of our environment, our history, and our Native American sisters and brothers.

Booklist - Hazel Rochman

Starred Review. Grades 5-8. As Erdrich said about The Birchbark House, her research into her ancestors revealed the horrifying history and also a culture rich, funny, and warm. In this heartrending novel the sense of what was lost is overwhelming.

Reader Reviews
Lizbeth

My Review
I really liked this book.I thas many facts about native americans and how they lived

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Beyond the Book

When asked what inspired her to write these books, Erdrich says, "My mother and sister did research that led our family back to Madeline Island. Standing on the shores of Lake Superior, I have wondered whether my ancestors stood in the same place, saw the same scene, heard the same sounds --- the high-pitched cry of the flicker or the white throated sparrow's song. It was natural to want to write about the past, for me, and it came from the heart."

She lives in Minnesota with her ...

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