Where the Crawdads Sing Book Common Sense Media

Title: Where the Crawdads Sing: A Common Sense Media Review


Where the Crawdads Sing, a novel by Delia Owens, has captivated readers around the world since its release in 2018. This coming-of-age tale set in the marshlands of North Carolina combines elements of mystery, romance, and nature, creating a unique and captivating story. In this article, we will delve into the book’s themes, examine its content, and explore the insights provided by Common Sense Media. Additionally, we will address frequently asked questions to provide a comprehensive review of Where the Crawdads Sing.

Book Synopsis:

Where the Crawdads Sing revolves around the life of Kya Clark, a young girl abandoned by her family and left to survive alone in the Carolina marshes. As Kya grows older, her isolation and connection with nature become her sole companions. The narrative alternates between Kya’s solitary existence and a murder investigation that takes place years later, intertwining her life with the unfolding mystery.

Themes Explored:

1. The Power of Nature: As Kya finds solace in the marshlands, the book highlights the healing and transformative power of nature. Owens paints vivid descriptions of the flora and fauna, emphasizing Kya’s deep connection with her surroundings.

2. Coming-of-Age and Resilience: Kya’s journey from abandoned child to a strong and independent woman showcases her resilience in the face of adversity. The novel delves into her growth, exploring themes of self-discovery, friendship, and overcoming societal prejudices.

3. Social and Racial Inequality: Where the Crawdads Sing highlights the racial and social disparities prevailing in the 1950s and ’60s American South. It sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals like Kya, who must navigate a society marked by prejudice and inequality.

Content Evaluation:

Common Sense Media provides ratings and reviews to help parents and educators make informed decisions about media consumption. Their assessment of Where the Crawdads Sing rates the book suitable for mature teens and adults due to its themes, language, and content. Here are some key considerations:

1. Language: The novel contains occasional strong language, including racial slurs, which may be unsuitable for younger readers.

2. Sexual Content: There are a few sexual scenes that are not explicit but are described in a sensitive manner. The book handles these moments with restraint and discretion.

3. Violence: The narrative includes instances of domestic violence and a murder investigation. Though not excessively graphic, some scenes may be distressing for younger or sensitive readers.

4. Mature Themes: The book explores complex topics such as abandonment, loneliness, prejudice, and societal injustice. These themes may require further discussion or guidance for younger readers.


1. Is Where the Crawdads Sing appropriate for teenagers?
Where the Crawdads Sing is generally suitable for mature teens. However, parents should be aware of the book’s occasional strong language, sexual content, and mature themes. It is advisable to read the book or review Common Sense Media’s detailed assessment before deciding if it aligns with a teenager’s maturity level.

2. Can children read Where the Crawdads Sing?
Considering the book’s mature themes and occasional adult content, Where the Crawdads Sing is better suited for young adults and adult readers. Parents should exercise discretion when allowing younger children to read this novel.

3. Does Where the Crawdads Sing have educational value?
Aside from its literary merit, Where the Crawdads Sing provides opportunities for discussions on topics such as resilience, social injustice, and the power of nature. It can be an excellent choice for book clubs or classroom discussions, encouraging critical thinking and empathy.


Where the Crawdads Sing is a thought-provoking and emotionally rich novel that explores themes of resilience, nature, and social inequality. Delia Owens’ masterful storytelling and vivid descriptions immerse readers in the marshlands of North Carolina, creating an unforgettable reading experience. While the book is generally suitable for mature teens and adults, parents and educators should be aware of its occasional strong language, sexual content, and mature themes. By understanding the content and considering Common Sense Media’s assessment, readers can make informed decisions about reading Where the Crawdads Sing.

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