Twin Cities Business Listing

Birchbark Books Logo
Little Free Library
Kenwood Store, 2115 West 21st Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Birchbark Lynx, 1629 Hennepin Ave #275, Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 374-4023
Admission: $0.00
Register for Events through Eventbrite. Scroll to the bottom for a link.
Hours of Operation:
Mon. 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Tue. 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Wed. 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Thu. 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Fri. 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Sat. 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Sun. 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM

Drive around the Lake of the Isles (because it’s a lake with an island in it–maybe two. I only saw one, but I was more worried about avoiding a car accident than counting the islands) and through a beautiful neighborhood in Minneapolis, you will come upon Birchbark Books & Native Arts, a small, but beautiful bookstore that places a special emphasis on Native American titles, arts and crafts.

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Birchbark Books – Expansion to Second Location

In 2023, the owners of Birchbark announced that they are expanding to a second store in Loring Corners building in downtown Minneapolis. You’ll find it about a block east of Hennepin on Harmon Place along the northwest edge of Loring Park. The new space will have room to host author events and more. One of the first events we saw offered in the new space was a children’s book event, so we are hopeful that we’ll be seeing more family-friendly events in the coming years.

Loring Corners Neighborhood

Bookshelves at Birchbark Books, including books by Louise Erdrich, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bookshelves include books by Louise Erdrich

Birchbark Books Kenwood Location – A Cozy Little Store

Susan, the manager, showed me around the West 21st Street store while pointing out where to find the Native American literature in that section, and she explained to me that everything they had was based on the truth. In her words, “You won’t find any New Age.”  That was so refreshing. That statement alone made me want to come back.

Exterior of Birch Bark Books & Native Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Birchbark Books & Native Arts

Kenwood Neighborhood:

The store is so cozy with wood flooring, the children’s corner red bookshelves, Native American art, and birch accents everywhere. Most of the decorative art is from Louise’s personal collection. Artistic prints are for sale in the store as well as a handful of handcrafted items from jewelry to jelly.

Birchbark Books’ pal is Dharma who is the most beautiful black mutt you will ever meet. Her whole demeanor is quietness and gentleness. JackJack who is screamingly petrified of dogs didn’t once freak out. He even touched her. I’m telling you she is an amazing animal.

Children's Areas in Birchbark Books, Minneapolis Minnesota
At least one fourth of the store is dedicated to children.

Highlights of Birchbark Books:

  • Birchbark Books is not a “children’s” bookstore (not like Wild Rumpus or The Red Balloon Bookshop), but they cater to children and young adults so well. At least one fourth of the store is dedicated to children. And by that I do not mean just books. Oh, yes, they have an eclectic selection of children’s books. Susan assured me that the books that she buys are quality built because “a book is made to last.”
  • A  part of the one fourth of the store are these two play areas. You are looking at the top of the small play loft and the hobbit hole.  My children so so excited to play.  There was plenty for them to do while I poured over all the books.
  • Susan was so personable and thoughtful and completely engaging. I learned so much from her and not once did I feel stupid for not knowing.  She was so willing to invite me to be curious and so passionate about the Native people of this country.
  • Birchbark is a neighborhood bookstore, and the Kenwood neighborhood is a fun to visit and there is so much to do!  Walk around and see Kenwood Restaurant next door, and our favorite art studio – ARTrageous Adventures a few doors down. Across the street you’ll find the Kenwood Recreation Center/Kenwood School and Kenwood Park on the other side of that. Cross Kenwood Park to view the Kenwood tower!

Disadvantages of Birchbark Books:

  • The store doesn’t muffle loud noises well, aka a very enthusiastic 3 year old playing make believe. Even when he wasn’t being that loud–because believe me, he can be a lot louder. But fortunately for us, we had the option to be quiet or play in the hobbit hole. It worked out well.
  • There was a very polite sign posted for guests to read about not taking the names of titles to purchase the books online. The sign is done in good taste. But it’s so sad that needs to be posted. Some of my favorite places in the world (as you know) are bookstores. So I would like to raise my voice for the small bookstore and say, “Buy local!” I believe it so much that I unknowingly spent $40 with only a small gasp!

With a canoe hanging from the ceiling for the adults and an impressive young adult selection, Birchbark Books is a precious treasure located in beautiful Minneapolis.

Originally written February 17, 2015
by Gianna Kordatzky

Visit the Little Free Native Seed Library

In the summer of 2022, Birchbark Books added a new Little Free Native Seed Library to the sidewalk outside of Birchbark Books. Visitors are welcome to stop by and:

1. Take seeds or seedlings home to plant.
2. Initial and date the clipboard inside.
3. Help pollinators

Need some gardening inspiration? They have books for that inside the store!

Little Free Native Seed Library in front of Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Image courtesy of Birchbark Books

Meet Louise Erdrich, Owner of Birchbark Books

This store is owned by award winning author Louise Erdrich. She, in the recent past, was included in the elite group of influential people who have been in contention for the Pulitzer Prize. She is the author of the middle grade book, The Birchbark House, published in 1999 and already considered to be a classic. Louise Erdrich is a Native American of the Ojibway tribe. Her novels and other written works are uplifting stories based on her heritage.

Her bookstore, Birchbark Books, is an extension of her personal work. Although small, this store is filled to overflowing with a beautiful selection of children’s books, young adult books, adult fiction, and nonfiction books. Each selection highlights the Native American literature but is not limited to it. You will find non-Native writers, like Charles Dickens, in the midst of Ojibway history or a book of Dakota poets beside a book regarding raising teens.

About Birchbark Books

“Birchbark Books is operated by a spirited collection of people who believe in the power of good writing, the beauty of handmade art, the strength of Native culture, and the importance of small and intimate bookstores.”

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