Wednesday, January 24, 2024

News! Louise Erdrich's THE BIRCHBARK HOUSE will be available as an audiobook

As far as I know, there are no 'anniversary editions' of Louise Erdrich's The Birchbark House. Today, a teacher wrote to me about the book. She's using it with her students. So--it is on my mind. I realized it came out 25 years ago. I went over to Birchbark Books and saw that come May 7th of this year, you can listen to Erdrich reading the book! Yes--it is going to be made available as an audiobook. Birchbark Books works with Libro to make audio books available. When I clicked through, I saw this:

I ordered it, of course! I've listened to Erdrich read her work before and am really looking forward to this! Back in 1999, I was in graduate school. I had completed my coursework and was working on my dissertation, which was a study of children's books that were recommended or written about in Young Children. That is a practitioner's journal published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. As you might guess, I was looking specifically at images of Native peoples in those books. For the most part I found book by non-Native writers, stereotypes and bias. I ought to look at the journal now. I hope they feature books by Native writers.

In the midst of that study, a wonderful book came out: The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. It was first published in 1999 by HyperionBooks for Children and according to WorldCat, there are now 37 editions. This year -- 2024 -- marks the 25th year since its initial publication. Here's the original cover:

Erdrich did the illustration on the cover--and inside, too. Over the next years, the cover changed. It was a finalist for the National Book Award, and so that seal appeared on subsequent printings. And, Erdrich wrote more books about the character, Omakayas, and so the words "Book One of the Birchbark House Series" were also added to the cover:

The teacher who wrote to me about the book wanted help specifically with the pronunciation of the Ojibwe words in the book. Come May, we'll hear Erdrich speaking them aloud. Tiffany--your email inspired this post today. Thank you. 

1 comment:

Roger Sutton said...

I feel so old. ;-)