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The Game of Silence (The Birchbark House #2)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  669 Ratings  ·  90 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
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 13th 2006 by HarperCollins (first published April 26th 2005)
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieThe Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman AlexieBeyond Oria Falls by Sheryl SealLove Medicine by Louise ErdrichCeremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
Native American Fiction
196th out of 588 books — 537 voters
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave BarryMatilda by Roald DahlThe Glitter Trap by Barbara BraunerThe Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamilloThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
5th Grade Summer Reading List
11th out of 59 books — 12 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,620)
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Jennifer Mencarini
Nov 25, 2007 Jennifer Mencarini rated it really liked it
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
The enthralling, beguiling tale of the coming of age of an Ojibwe girl, Omakayas (Little Frog) in northern Minnesota in the 1850s 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 recognize ...more
Jun 16, 2010 Melody rated it really liked it
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
Feb 19, 2014 Brenna rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 08, 2009 Carolynne rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teresa Scherping
After surviving the harsh winter and terrible illness, Omakayas is one year older and stronger, living with her family on their Lake Superior island. One day a group of weak and weary strangers arrives at their village and brings troubling news. As the adults confer, the children are told to play the "game of silence" - if they keep quiet for the entire time the adults are talking, they get their choice of fine prizes. What the adults learn is that the chimookoman, the white people, are forcing ...more
Mary Berning
An excellent story about Omakaya's 10th year of life (in 1850), the story ends with her family moving west away from the home they have always known and loved.

Before that happens, she experiences joys and tragedies. She gets a dog. A friend loses a finger. She grows closer to her younger brother; her older sister gets married. She takes the charcoal which means she fasts and waits for her dreams to tell her of her future.

Louise Erdrich has written an excellent sequel to The Birchbark House.
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
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
Jun 07, 2015 Sara rated it liked it
This is the second book in Erdrich's Birchbark House series and it does not disappoint. In The Game of Silence, readers continue to follow Omakayas' story. One day in 1850, Omakayas' island is visited by a group of mysterious people. Readers learn that the white people want the American Indians to leave the island and move farther west. As the story continues, it is clear to see that Omakayas learns that her home and life are at danger and it is time for risks to be taken.
Jan 06, 2011 Travis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
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
Alethea Bothwell
May 04, 2014 Alethea Bothwell rated it really liked it
This is such a wonderful book - it is soooo interesting to learn how the Indians in my part of the woods lived. It's been a while since I read "The Birchbark House," but I think it was there that Erdrich pointed out that the Big Woods (as in "The Little House in the Big Woods") were not actually empty.

The only bad thing is, you know more and more bad things are going to happen to them.
May 31, 2016 Kevin rated it liked it
This is the second story in the Birchbark House series. What's interesting about these books is that they're just a chronicle of life as it happens, with the larger forces of life happening more in the background. As such, it's harder to be completely engaged. It's a fascinating picture of native life, but the overarching narrative is lacking.
I want to give this book to kids when they're reading Laura Ingalls Wilder. I want them to hear the audio of it, because my knowledge of Lakota and the guide in the back lead me to suspect the Ojibwa words aren't actually pronounced the way they sound in my mind.
Jun 11, 2013 Becky rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 05, 2012 Mrs. rated it liked it
Shelves: read-teen-ya
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
Jeff Lloyd
Feb 05, 2015 Jeff Lloyd rated it liked it
Not a lot going on here, though I found the point of view interesting in some places. Perhaps if I had read the Birchbark House prior to this I would have felt more connected to the characters.
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
Cindy R
This is a great story about a native american chilld that is written for children and gives some history and culture along with the story.
Feb 09, 2014 Joeydag rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 15, 2011 Ferris rated it really liked it
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
Jun 16, 2016 Sawy-o rated it really liked it
Good book for middle readers about a Native American family that has universal truths about family life and growing up.
All things change, all things change, the waves said to her. All things change, even us, even you.
Apr 13, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
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
David Ropars
This was an excellent follow up to the first book of the series, The Birchbark House.
CV Rick
Jul 14, 2010 CV Rick rated it really liked it
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
May 01, 2011 kari rated it it was amazing
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
May 07, 2012 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
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
A beautiful, personal book. Both of my kids (8 & 5) loved it.
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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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Other Books in the Series

The Birchbark House (5 books)
  • The Birchbark House
  • The Porcupine Year
  • Chickadee
  • Makoons

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