Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Game of Silence

Erdrich, Louise. 2005. The Game of Silence. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-06-029790-5

The Game of Silence is the story of Omakayas of the Ojibwe tribe.  The story,  set in 1850 tells of the tribes struggle to survive and keep their way of life in a world that is changing.  Omakayas life is full of routines and love until the arrival of a malnourished group of people with tales of broken treaties.  Can Omakayas and her people save their way of life or is everything about to change?
Louise Erdrich paints a picture of everyday Ojibwe life that is relatable for readers.  Although the plot is slow moving at times the feelings portrayed by the writing use this as a way of letting the reader feel the unknown future of the tribe.  The main characters are well developed and likable.  The family dynamic portrayed is loving and healthy.  Historical content is well researched and accurate.  Louise Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe and uses her knowledge of her tribes history to full advantage.  Small details about how daily life was for the Ojibwe people make the book interesting and entertaining.  While the government that is breaking the treaty with Omakayas people is portrayed as dishonest, the overall feeling of the novel is not one of hostility, but rather one of hope for the future.

  • Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
  • Kirkus Editor’s Choice
  • Horn Book Fanfare
  • ALA Notable Children’s Book
  • ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice
  • New York Times Notable
*Erdrich's captivating tale of four seasons portrays a deep appreciation of our environment, our history, and our Native American sisters and brothers - School Library Journal
*Starred Review*- Booklist

* Read the other two books in the series:
Erdrich, Louise. 2002. The Birchbark House. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0786814541
Erdrich, Louise. 2008. The Porcupine Year. New York: Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0060297879
Research the Ojibwe people: (a documentary about the people and their life)
Learn about the native people in the area in which you live.  And if you live in Texas you can download this activity book created by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Children can create dream catchers or create beading projects in the style of the tribe.  Easy dream catcher kits are available from

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