The Game of Silence
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The Game of Silence (The Birchbark House)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  433 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Her name is Omakayas, or Little Frog, because her first step was a hop, and she lives on an island in Lake Superior. One day in 1850, Omakayas′s island is visited by a group of mysterious people. From them, she learns that the chimookomanag, or white people, want Omakayas and her people to leave their island and move farther west.

That day, Omakayas realizes that something...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published April 26th 2005)
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Jennifer Barnes
I very much enjoyed reading The Game of Silence, but I think it is important to consider that much of what is revealed (or not revealed) depends on the viewpoint of the person telling the story. It is certainly important to acknowledge Erdrich's Native American heritage and the importance of minority storytellers contributing to the "canon," for lack of a better word. But should we not also consider what does not get said? Except for Two Strike and Pinch, who are children and are therefore expec...more
Carolynne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brenna
I bought the first book in this series for my 10 year old daughter. One day she left it in the bathroom and I happened to pick it up. Once in hand, I could scarcely put it back down. I loved how true-to-life these stories are. Unlike many children's books about Native American life, the author doesn't portray it as one long camping trip. She doesn't tiptoe around the hardships they encountered. As much as I don't want to ache and cry over the ordeals they suffered, the realism of this story is p...more
Amanda H
If you liked the "Birchbark House" you will enjoy the sequel, "The Game of Silence". It starts out extremely interseting again and this time it keeps your attention much better. Instead of explaining what they have to do in each season this book focuses on the adventures that "Little Frog" has. It helps if you remember the "Birchbark House" because she revisits some of the ceremonies that the first book explained in great detail.
There is also a kind of awkward romance going on between "Adelaid...more
Michael
The enthralling, beguiling tale of the coming of age of an Ojibwe girl, Omakayas (Little Frog) in northern Minnesota in the 1850�s was a fine �read� by audiobook. It is a sequel to The Birchbark House. Though targeted to young adults, I found the portrayal of the rhythms of life in a tribal clan on an island in Lake Superior plenty satisfying enough to recommend to any adult reader. The girl telling the story is on a path of excellence in both crafts and snare-trapping and fishing, but is recogn...more
Ch_jank-caporale
Louise Erdrich and Zora Neale Hurston are two of my favorite authors. Both integrate cultural folk tale with their fiction. They tell stories that are rooted in the richness of their cultural heritage- not “race” stories. They are also very humorous and can make me laugh even in the midst of a story of pain and suffering. “The Silence Game” is the second book in a series begun with “The Birchbark House.” The books (so far there are three) are Erdrich’s answer to “The Little House on the Prairie”...more
Ms. Wayne
From the Publisher

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.

Satisfying routines of Omakayas's days are interrupted by a surprise visit from a group of desp...more
Melody
Jun 16, 2010 Melody rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melody by: A Bevy of Burtons
I found it interesting that Erdrich came back to these people so many years later (in real time, I mean- The Birchbark House was written in 1999). I'm glad she did. I enjoyed this one perhaps more than the first- I think Erdrich does a fabulous job of showing how the changes come to the family without telling us a thing. It's all seen quite authentically through the eyes of Omaykayas, and the baggage I bring to what she sees is emphatically my own.

I love Omaykayas' family. Her interactions with...more
Travis
This sequel to The Birchbark House spans another year in the life of Omakayas, two years after the events of the first book. While the first book mainly focused on everyday life and events throughout the year, with little hints of coming changes due to the encroaching white population, The Game of Silence places that struggle front and center, as the Anishinabeg try to figure out why the white men have gone back on their word to let the Anishinabeg stay where they are. There is still plenty of d...more
Becky
Set on an island in Lake Superior in 1849, Omakayas, a nine-year old Ojibwe girl, describes her daily life and those of her tribe members. Even with the threat of being forced to move west by the chimokomanag or white people, Omakayas begins to understand her special gifts and destiny. Maps on endpapers detail the home of Omakayas and her adventures during the year. Black and white illustrations included within each chapter give insight into the Ojibwe's way of life. A glossary and pronunciation...more
Mrs. Trimble
This book is the sequel to The Birchbark House. Omakayas is an older, more experienced girl in this story with an ability to tell dreams. Her Native American people, the Ojibwa, are living on an island in Lake Superior. Her people are facing losing their land and their homes to the government. Even though this story takes place during the mid 1800’s, the readers are able to identify, and empathize, with the characters’ everyday way of life. The author is very descriptive of common, everyday even...more
Rebecca Radnor
1 year in an NA girl's life: sub-plot about her tribe warned they're going to be relocated (doesn't happen during the book), not even a coming of age story. For me reading this book was a bit like watching Waiting for Godot, I kept wondering when something was going to happen, and finding it hard to stay focused. It was like unedited reality TV. While the author's notes includes a dictionary of native words, there is nothing back there about her research, her sources, etc. For all I know the lan...more
Joeydag
2nd in the series and another year in the life of a young Native American girl on the Minnesota frontier in the 1840's. Very moving.
Ferris
Audiobook............I listened to this story while in bed with a virus. Usually reading would be too much, but this book was just right! The story is a familiar one about the cultural upheaval of the Ojibway nation resulting from betrayal by the people who "come from where the sun rises". Louise Erdrich tells it so well that it is definitely worth a listen. The characters are endearing and varied, and the tales within the tale are universally applicable to any human beings life in terms of love...more
Mary
This is the second book in a series about Omakayas and her Ojibwe family written by one of my favorite authors, Louise Erdrich. Long a fan of her adult books about Native American life, I am thoroughly enjoying this middle grade series of historical fiction books. There may be 9 books by the time Ms. Erdrich is finished writing the story of Omakayas and I will anxiously await each one.
The story gives the reader the opportunity to learn some Ojibwe language, realize the importance of family, and...more
CV Rick
All of Louise Erdrich books are lyrically beautiful. This was no exception. The life of Ojibwa children at the point in their history where everything is changing for the people is both interesting and heart wrenching and no one writes it better. I loved all the details about the life, the games, the councils, and the structure of the people - how they came to decisions, how they taught their children to be adults, how they coped with joy and tragedy.

Another great book from a brilliant, beautif...more
kari
Another year in the life of Omakayas, this one somewhat bittersweet as the community awaits word of whether they'll be forced to leave their homes. It's heartwrenching as she thinks that this may be the last time they'll do this or that and you feel how connected they are to this place where they live, how difficult it will be for them to go.
There is a gentleness in the telling of these books that I really enjoy and the drawings add a lot.
As with the first, this would be a great read-aloud for y...more
Vicki
IN this sequel to the wonderful Birchbark House, Omakayas(Little Frog) is still at odds w/her younger brother Pinch-what a trouble maker! And she sorely misses her baby brother Neewo who died from the white man's sickness during the last winter. However bedraggled & a starving group of natives join their tribe after they have been chased out of their land by the white man. And this brings in the air a change, almost knowing by the Ojibwe tribe that they must move on too. Omakayas goes thru o...more
Abby
This is historical fiction at its most spot-on. My anthropological heart delights in the details of life in historic Native America: the way they hunt, gather AND garden, the balance of work and play, the interactions between people in the town. The historical part is fantastic. As for the fiction part, I have two words for you: Louise Erdrich. Somehow it's both a perfect introduction to the realities of the 19th century and a companion to a kid's modern moving day blues. I'm taking a leaf from...more
Zen Cho
See review of The Porcupine Year. It has the same appeal as Little House on the Prairie in its description of processes and kids doing work in straightforward language -- I would've really loved those parts as a kid -- while being, obvs, less faily than Little House.
Sierra
Although this book had some suspenseful moments and it was great to see how much all of the characters in the series are growing, there wasn't a strong, clear climax. There were several intense parts in the book, but they were brief and all of the same level of intensity. For the most part, this book seems to be a build up to the series finale, "The Porcupine Year." I am expecting that book to be infinitely better since this whole book has served as the rising action leading up to its climax.
Keri
This is the second in a series by an author whose adult fiction I have truly loved. I was disappointed by this foray into juvenile lit. While the story held lots of interesting bits of history and language of the Ojibwe people, I felt the plot lacked the direction and forward motion that her novels for older readers possess. I kept waiting for something bigger to happen. I think it is far to mature for Naya, but maybe for a 6th or 7th grader it would be interesting.
Shannon
It had been a number of years since I read The Birchbark House which is the first in the series. The characters came back to me relatively quickly. She has a great voice, I would call it gentle. Omakayas' family is discovering that the white men are not going to abide by the treaty they had negotiated with the Ojibwe. This book provides a look into the lives and customs of the Ojibwe. Many have called it the Native American version of Little House on the Prairie.
Laurie
Jan 24, 2009 Laurie added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laurie by: Wendy Burton
Shelves: wmslibrary
While Wendy thought The Porcupine Year was excellent upon reading it first, I think this series shines when read in sequence. The Game of Silence nicely bridges the two books. I personally still think The Birchbark House is the best. (I read this a few weeks ago and didn't write my review, so this is a bit vague.) I really want to recommend this series to lots of people; I don't think the teachers at my school are really aware of it.)
Jeanne Morigeau
The continuing story of Omakayas as she becomes a dreamer, receiving special visions of a skilled healer. Her family is anticipating a forced move west into the land of a more vicious people. Again, the reader experiences the changing seasons while waiting on scouts to share news of new governmental policies. Another wonderful read that transports the reader into the daily goings-on of Omakayas and her family.
Dot
Erdrich writes for both adult and young person readers and this book is one aimed for teenagers. It is based on her own family history as a member of the Ojibwa nation and set in the 19th century. The book tells the stories of the young people living on an island and how they are trained in the age old ways of the tribe. This is a fascinating account and told in a way that informs and entertains
Kristina Wojtaszek
There is a great sadness in this book, just as in the first. In the first, she looses a loved one, in the second, she looses her home. I felt my own sense of loss surfacing as I too have left my Michigan home of woods and water for a dry and barren home in the West.
These books are so engaging that you want to read through the entire lives of these characters! I hope she writes more!
Brooke Shirts
Oh, here's the book that requires a full box of Kleenex at your side. The story of Omikayas (a 19th century Ojibwe girl) and her family's forced exodus from their home is heartbreaking. Erdrich manages to season her tale with more of the humor and day-to-day details that made The Birchbark House so fascinating. Can't wait to read the third book in this excellent series.
Josie
The continuing story of Omakayas and her family as they experience a season with removal by the US army hanging over their heads. A great second to The Birchbark House.

Audio book: well read with great voices and accent. It was difficult for me to follow the names and Ojibwe words, though, as I comprehend better when reading as opposed to hearing.
Margaret
I have read other books by Erdrich, and I was not particularly impressed with this effort. There is usage of traditional language, and it explores a culture that has been largely exploited and destroyed. However, while that view is valuable I don't feel that her characters or story are compelling enough to pull the reader through the entire novel.
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9388
Karen Louise Erdrich is a American author of novels, poetry, and children's books. Her father is German American and mother is half Ojibwe and half French American. She is an enrolled member of the Anishinaabe nation (also known as Chippewa). She is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant Native writers of the second wave of what critic Kenneth Lincoln has called the Native American Renais...more
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