A Breath of Fresh Literature: Novels Discussed by High Schoolers

A Breath of Fresh Literature: Novels Discussed by High Schoolers

In this episode:

Basia, Tori, and Maïana discuss the novel The Round House by Louise Erdrich. They talk about themes from the novel such as: Native culture, misogyny, trauma, and how these topics extend beyond just the pages of this book. They call in their friend Katia for her opinion in the conversation and Sabrina opens and closes the Podcast.

The podcast followed an open discussion format. Here are some highlights:

  • Sabrina opens explaining the Podcast, “A Breath of Fresh Literature: novels discussed by high schoolers” and introduces the novel for this episode.
  • She explains the reasons to why The Round House was chosen.
  • Basia, Tori, and Maïana introduce themselves and Basia gives a synopsis of the novel.
  • Basia, Tori, and Maïana discuss the novel.
  • Katia is called in.
  • Basia, Tori, and Maïana discuss the novel.
  • Katia is called in.
  • Sabrina concludes the episode.

If you’re interested in learning more about Native culture and folklore, this podcast is for you.

Uncovering the Cover: The Round House by Sabrina

For this episode, Sabrina redesigned the cover for the novel. (See the article image above.)

The Round House author Louise Erdrich strings the reader along with clues to detect a rapist. Narrated by Joe, a 13-year-old boy, and son of the rape victim, these clues create a spider’s web of emotion in Joe’s head. Striving to identify who hurt his mother and yearning for her to become herself again, Joe becomes an investigator on his own terms. Using both the crumbs of information from the little his mom speaks and the information he can pull from his father, Joe is left unsatisfied. As Joe begins to feel like information is being withheld from him, he takes it upon himself to find justice for his mother.

The original cover of The Round House portrays a woman who is covered in what appears to be a red blanket; only see her forehead and hair are visible. The way the red is shaded in, it shows wrinkles, like a blanket. My intention was to uncover the blanket and in return, uncover the clues that are given surrounding the rape of Joe’s mother. Though the outline of the woman and where the blanket would have been are both still visible, everything I added is to show what’s underneath. I added a mouth connecting to a large speech bubble filled with clues, such as specific character leads: Mayla, Father Travis, and LaRose, or objects: gasoline and the baby doll. The lines are meant to create a web intertwining the clues to show that though they are separate, they all go together for the sole purpose of finding the rapist. The shortened quote on the right side of the speech bubble is coming from an interaction between Joe and his father; it reads: “It is these people really, said my father, small-time hypocrites, who may in special cases be capable of monstrous acts if given the chance”. Finally, at the very bottom, everything pulls together, overlapping, like a braid, symbolizing the way Joe uncovers information in The Round House and how all of the information becomes intertwined.

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