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    Sounder

    Sounder

    by William H. Armstrong and James Barkley

    School Library Journal

    Beautiful writing, moving storytelling: the death of a devoted dog and his black master in the rural 19th-century South leaves the man's son a hard but hopeful legacy of stoicism, resilience, and self-independence.

    Sounder is a 1970 Newbery Medalist and an ALA Notable Children's Book.

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    books;paperback books;paperbacks | Ages 9-12
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    Sounder
    Ages 9-12 $5.99
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    Sounder

    Sounder

    by William H. Armstrong

    A compelling story of a boy's tenacity for life in a black sharecropper's family. "An uplifting tale of courage, human dignity, and love...Simple, timeless, and extraordinarily moving."—Commonwealth

    $4.17 You save: 30%
    Paperback Book | Grades 5-7
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    Grades 5-7 $4.17
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Interest Level:
6-8

Lexile Framework:
900L

Grade Level Equivalent:
4.9

Guided Reading Level:
T

Age:
11-13

Genre:
Classics, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Animal Stories

Subject:
African American, Death, Grief, Loss, Parents, Adolescent Issues, Homelessness and Poverty, Tolerance and Acceptance

About This Book

Winner of the Newbery Medal and an acknowledged landmark in children's literature, Sounder traces the keen sorrow and abiding faith of a poor African-American boy in the 19th-century South. The boy's father is a sharecropper, struggling to feed his family in hard times. Night after night, he and his great coon dog, Sounder, return to the cabin empty-handed. Then, one day, he succeeds in bringing something home. Unfortunately, the joy is short-lived: an angry sheriff and his deputies come and take the boy's father away to jail for stealing a hog. Sounder, shot in the fracas, disappears.

Angry and humiliated, the boy has no choice but to begin a difficult transition to adulthood. He learns to read, and with that skill comes the beginning of greater understanding. Sounder eventually returns — emaciated, battered, but still devoted — and so does the boy's hope. Though nothing can change the hard realities of the past, he gradually finds the courage he needs to rely on his own resources and walk bravely toward the future.

As resonant now as when it was first written, Armstrong's powerful, beautifully told story will strike a chord with readers and stay with them for years to come.


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