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Sounder by William H. Armstrong


by William H. Armstrong

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5,000791,381 (3.75)1 / 41

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Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
Wow. Devastating. Especially for young readers. The author's note that he is telling a true story is important I think, if I were teaching this book or offering it to its target audience.

Four stars if the characters had names. Might sound like a quibble, but "the boy" and "his father" doesn't merely get old quickly. It also keeps the reader at arms' length in a way I don't think the author intended. As another reviewer has said, this isn't a "universal" story. It's a capturing of specific history, a time and a place and a family. I would prefer the author's craft choices to bring me closer to that family. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
A poor, African-American family goes searching for food every night until one night they awake to boiling ham. They eat the ham and then are arrested by sheriffs for supposedly stealing it. Their dog, Sounder, goes after the deputies and the boy goes looking for him. He finds blood but no dog. He knows that Sounder is still alive somewhere. The boy tells the story about his dog to his teacher and friends at school. They are later reunited. ( )
  mckinzietangen | Feb 7, 2019 |
I'm sure at some point I should have read this growing up, but I didn't. A very simple, touching, and poignant story about a child dealing with very adult issues with impressive grace. Audible has a version that is beautifully narrated by Avery Brooks that i strongly suggest putting the two hours into. ( )
  lbeller | Jan 31, 2019 |
This is one of the saddest books I think I ever read. ( )
  melanieklo | Jul 25, 2018 |
The blurb on my edition of this Newbery winner says it is "told in a way that includes us all." By this, I assume they are referring to the fact that none of the characters (except Sounder of course) have names. The main character is "the boy," a black sharecropper's son of an unspecified age, and his parents, "the man" and "the woman." Rather than including us all, I thought it kept the characters distant. This is a story that would I would have expected to have me sobbing at several points, but I never shed a tear. I never felt close to the characters.
The story opens with the man being arrested for stealing food to feed his family. As he is carted off in chains, the sheriff shoots the family dog, Sounder. After they are gone, the boy spends some time searching for Sounder, and then in a few years, when he is older, he spends months each year searching for his father.
It's a well written book, but it never touched me the way it should have. ( )
  fingerpost | Jul 23, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William H. Armstrongprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barkley, JamesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russell, JimIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westering, Francien vanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A man keeps, like his love, his courage dark. --Antoine de Saint Exupery
To Kip, Dave and Mary
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The tall man stood at the edge of the porch.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
AR 5.3, Pts 3
Sounder is a WOnderful, Gloomy book that contains great details and rocking ideas you will love this BOOK!
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064400204, Paperback)

Sounder is no beauty. But as a coon dog, this loyal mongrel with his cavernous bark is unmatched. When the African American sharecropper who has raised Sounder from a pup is hauled off to jail for stealing a hog, his family must suffer their humiliation and crushing loss with no recourse. To make matters worse, in the fracas, Sounder is shot and disappears. The eventual return of a tattered and emaciated Sounder doesn't change the fact that the sharecropper's oldest son is forced to take on man's work to help support the family. His transition to adulthood is paved by the rocks and taunts hurled at him by convicts and guards as he searches for his father. But along this rough road he ultimately finds salvation as well.

William H. Armstrong's Newbery Award-winning novel quickly became a classic as a moving portrayal of resilience and hope in the face of profound human tragedy. Decades later, the bittersweet story still rings true, as strong-spirited individuals continue to battle the evil of prejudice. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:44 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding by learning to read and through his relationship with his devoted dog Sounder.

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Average: (3.75)
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