Born in the thaw of late winter when steam ravels from the dens of bears to signal their birth, Makoons is named for the Ojibwe word for little bear, or bear child. He and his twin, Chickadee, have moved with their family to the Great Plains of Dakota Territory, leaving behind the reservations—leftover land that the US government tried to give them. The Plains belong to the buffalo, and Makoons and Chickadee are eager to learn the ways of the bison hunters from their father and help their people make a home in this new land.
But Makoons has had a vision, one that tells him that he and his family will travel toward the western stars, but also that their family will face great hardships—hardships that they may not be able to overcome.
Set in 1866, this story of Makoons and his family is based on Louise Erdrich’s own family history.
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LOUISE ERDRICH lives with her family in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore. Ms. Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and this series—which will, in the end, span one hundred years in the life of an Ojibwe woman—was inspired by Ms. Erdrich’s own genealogy. Makoons continues the story that started with The Birchbark House, a National Book Award finalist; The Game of Silence, winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction in 2006; the acclaimed The Porcupine Year; and Chickadee, winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction in 2013. Ms. Erdrich is the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels for adults as well, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves, the National Book Award medalist The Round House and National Book Award finalist The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. She is also the author of the picture book Grandmother’s Pigeon, illustrated by Jim LaMarche. You can visit her online at www.readlouiseerdrich.com and www.birchbarkbooks.com.
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