Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

The Round House

By Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Complex adult book explores rape survival, reservation life.

The Round House Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Tough content and concepts by one of our greatest living authors

This is such an important novel! It is told from the point of view of 13 year-old Joe Coutts, and a decent amount of the story is when he is with his three best friends, but it is, overall, a heavy story that is primarily about rape, and the tangled web afterward: rape survival for both the victim and their family; the mistreatment of Native Americans (particularly Native American women). Read "The Round House" could be difficult for anyone connected to such violent crimes.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

It’s a complex, rewarding book that's part coming-of-age novel and part mystery, wherein every event is affected by the cultural and legal divide between the reservation and the white world outside. Joe's pain and inner struggle are portrayed with sensitivity and realism and with the critical distance that comes with time, as we know he has reached adulthood before telling the story. His mother's attack is agonizing but increasingly meaningful to "observe" as all the plot points and issues unfold.

Erdrich's award-winning novel is a breathtaking page-turner, deeply layered with emotion and real-life legal and cultural divisions affecting Native Americans.

Book Details

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate