Erdich, Louise. Makoons (The Birchbark House #5)
August 9th 2016 by HarperCollins
E ARC from Edelweiss
Makoons is recovering from a lengthy illness, and is disappointed that his twin brother Chickadee is so much faster and stronger than he is. His family has moved to the Great Plains of Dakota Territory from their home in the woods because they were forced out by the US government, and are trying to figure out how to live a new kind of life. They hunt buffalo and make pemmican and other food that can be stored and will travel easily, settle for long enough to put in a garden, and deal with the passing of the seasons, which can be hard on the older members of the group. There is some comic relief from a very vain young man obsessed with his clothes and hair, but even he learns lessons at the end.
Strengths: Even though I missed the two books (Game of Silence and Porcupine Year) between Birchbark House and Chickadee, this was easy to follow. The details about everyday life on the Plains in the 1880s is very detailed. This author has the approval of Debbie Reese.
Weaknesses: I can't get students to read The Birchbark House, so haven't bought other books in this series. It is very slow.
What I really think: I feel like I should buy this, but fear it will just sit on the shelf like The Penderwicks (another dead-in-the-water title in my library). I'll try to get students to read the first book and go from there.