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This powerful Newbery-winning classic tells the story of the great coon dog Sounder and his family.

An African American boy and his family rarely have enough to eat. Each night, the boy's father takes their dog, Sounder, out to look for food. The man grows more desperate by the day.

When food suddenly appears on the table one morning, it seems like a blessing. But the sheriff and his deputies are not far behind. The ever-loyal Sounder remains determined to help the family he loves as hard times bear down.

This classic novel shows the courage, love, and faith that bind a family together despite the racism and inhumanity they face in the nineteenth-century deep South.

Readers who enjoy timeless dog stories such as Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows will find much to love in Sounder, even as they read through tears at times.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064400206
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/24/2002
Series: Harper Trophy Books Series
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 40,490
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

William H. Armstrong grew up in Lexington, Virginia. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and did graduate work at the University of Virginia. He taught ancient history and study techniques at the Kent School for fifty-two years. Author of more than a dozen books for adults and children, he won the John Newbery Medal for Sounder in 1970 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Hampden-Sydney College in 1986.

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Sounder 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 175 reviews.
booksRawesome More than 1 year ago
It was a great educational book, i read it last year in english class. It wouldn't really be a book I would choose for free reading, although I love how none of the people in the family have names. They represent all African Americans of the post slave period, and now. And it was great that a black man wrote the book because somehow, I feel that if a white person had wrote this book, we would not have the full perspective of the feelings a black boy in that period of time. I also love how the boy tries so hard to go to school and always persues his father when he was taken by the police. I feel it was more realistic because when the sherrif came to the cabin, a white man would have just gotten a warning, but the father of the boy's family was taken away, just for stealing a ham. Over all a good read, interesting and historical. It really shows the tough times that they had to suffer through.
3rummeaj More than 1 year ago
Sounder was an excellent book, and I thought it was one of the best books I have ever read. This book was both exciting and sorrowful. The book earns one, no two thumbs up. The way the author explains the boy's feelings throughout the book was awesome.

The book was about a boy and his family, (who remain nameless). The family also has a dog named Sounder, who has the loudest and deepest bark then all the other dogs. One night the boy's father goes out and steals a pig. The next day the have a giant feast. Then three white men come and arrest the boy's father. While they are taking him away, Sounder got lose and tried to jump on the wagon where his master was, but gets shot in the proses. He didn't die, but he was badly injured. Sounder disappears for a while, but when he finally does come back, he had half a shoulder, one of his eyes missing, and he couldn't bark. For years, the boy goes looking for his father, but can never find him. One day, while walking home, the boy finds a book in the trash, and tries to read it, but can't. He meets a school teacher, and takes him home and shows the boy his favorite book in the book the boy had found. When the boy gets home he tells his mother everything. The next day, the boy's father comes home and tells the family that he was hurt in a dynamite explosion. All in all, the ending of the book is very shocking and unexpected.

This book was really good. I loved it so much, that I read a couple chapters twice. The only thing I didn't like, was that everyone was nameless throughout the entire book. I sometimes forgot who was speaking. but, still this book was great. i highly recommend this book to readers who love reading about events from long ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Sounder took me back in time. It showed me how life was back then from an African American slave's point of view. Sounder is a book full of exitment, but with some sadness to make he story more realistic and to show you how hard life was fr African American slaves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was a page turner. It had a lot of detail which kept you wondering what was going to happen next. I think that the order the events were in had some to do with it. I think everyone would enjoy reading this book because it is full of suspense and it can teach you a life lesson. That depends on how much you get into the story.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
Here's a little bit about the book "Sounder"... It was first published in the 1960's and the story is about a black family living in the South. It tells of that family's hard times, a great coon dog named Sounder, and how they all pull together and survive what has been thrown their way in life. Lovely piece of literature. I'd recommend it for anyone to read (teens, adults, or boys and girls 10 & up). I love the author's writing style... how the names of the people are never revealed--you only know Sounder's name. It seems to keep the other characters in a slight obscurity, as if there is a shadow over their face and you cannot see the person... but yet, you know everything about them. I like how the author did that for this book. Superb, and excellent! I will be sure to read "Sounder" again someday.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sounder is a very good book ! They don't really tell you the boy's name . That is why i rated it only 4 stars! It also has a very sad ending! If you don't like sad books i do not think you should read it. Summary: It is about a boy's family who r share cropers . The boy has a dog named Sounder , a coon dog.You have to read it to find out the rest! Warning: SAD ENDING!
Labradorlover0SM More than 1 year ago
I read the book in school.I love the brave Sounder.Read SOUNDER.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have read fairytales, fiction stories, and nonfiction stories that I'm sure are pretty good. Although, when you read this realistic fiction you wont believe how good it is. Sounder is a heartwarming story unlike any other. Its about curiosity, action, and adventure. I am going to tell you about the importance of this story. I will begin with the setting. The road is one of the important parts of this story. It's where the dog, Sounder, gets shot by the sheriff. The next place is the boy's house. The boy' house is where the father gets arrested by the sheriff for stealing the ham. The jail is also an important place in the story. The jail is where the boy visits his father and is being told never to visit him again. The jail was a cave. The jail was cold, dark, and scary like a cave. The last place is the teacher's house. The teacher's house is where the boy lives on and off to go to school. The boy sees shelves filled with books, two stoves, and a beautiful garden at the teacher’s house. Now I will tell you about the important characters in this story. I will begin with ,Sounder. Sounder is the light to the boy and the father’s world. Always there for them. Is a very important part in this story. Never leaving them no matter what. Sounder is loved by the boy and the father. After Sounder is shot by the sheriff he disappears in the forest not knowing where he is. What happened to him? Is he dead? Is he alive? Find out if you read the book. The next character is ,the boy. The boy is really important in this book, because he is the one that has to do all of the work since his father has been arrested. The boy is loving and wonders where Sounder has gone, and what will happen to his father? The father loves his family and will do anything for them. After he is put in jail for taking the ham, he is no longer there for his family. The last character is the teacher. By doing the teacher’s chores, the teacher let the boy stay for free and go to school. He is nice and helped the boy clean up when the boy was wounded. The last thing I'm going to tell you is the plot. We first start with the conflict. The conflict is when the father is being arrested for stealing the ham. He is arrested by the sheriff, and is taken away. Next is the rising action. The first part of the rising action is Sounder getting shot by the sheriff when he was trying to save his master, the father. The second part of the rising action is when the boy puts Sounder's ear under his pillow to make a wish and hope that Sounder is okay. The last part of the rising action is when the teacher asks the boy to go to school and live with him on and off. The climax is when the father comes back from the jail wounded and hurting. The last one is the resolution. The resolution is both a happy and sad ending. It may surprise you, but it is really good. That was the important setting, character, and plot of this book. I hope you read it because it is a really good book. Thank you for reading my description of this book. If you read this book I hope you like it as much as I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sounder is a fictional book with great detail, and it uses a little harsh language.  The book isn’t too long, but it isn’t too short either. There are eight chapters that have an ocean full of detail.  William H. Armstrong wrote the book.  James Barkley did the illustrations.  The book won the Newbery Award for literature.   The setting is very interesting. There are about six important settings.  The first important setting is the house.  You read about the house right off the bat.  The next setting you read about is the forest. The forest is where the father hunts with Sounder. Now you read about the road and town. The town is important because the family is always making trips to the jail in the town.  Now, the jail is important because the boy visits his father in jail. Sounder has some interesting characters, including the father, the dog Sounder, the mother, the boy, the teacher, and the red-faced man.  The first is the father. The father is a tall man that loves manual labor.  Next you will read about Sounder.  Sounder, a brave and loyal dog, will protect his master wherever he goes.  When an intruder comes all the family hears is hear is “bark, bark, bark.”  The mother, a worried woman, hums when she gets nervous.  Next, you will read about the boy. The boy is a curious young man that loves adventure. The red-faced man is very rude.  The reason he is rude is because the mother made a cake for the father and the man ruined it by squashing it with his hands.  The next character is the teacher.  The teacher is important because he gives the boy a place to stay while the boy is going to school.  The teacher’s house is paradise to the boy because of all the books. As you can see this book has amazing detail, and I hope you consider reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a great story about friendship and love.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My favorite Newbery so far. A story I want every child, every adult to read. A father (no proper nouns are ever used except for the name of the dog, Sounder) and his family are hungry. The weather makes hunting impossible. The father makes a decision to steal a ham for his children. But he is soon caught. When the men come to take the father to jail, they take a shot at Sounder and Sounder disappears. The father is sent to jail and then to work on a chain gang. For much of the book, the fate of neither Sounder nor the father is clear.
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some how I missed this Newbery-Award-winner when I was young, but I¿m glad I finally had the chance to read it. The novel tells the story of a young boy growing up during the Great Depression in the south. His family is poor, but they work hard to make ends meet. They have to deal with local prejudice and make do with the little they have. When the father is arrested and sent off to a work camp, his son searches for him. During his travels he meets a teacher who sparks a thirst for knowledge in him and opens up future opportunities for learning. There is a harsh ending, but it leaves room for hope, which is important.
bhsilvers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
my favorite book EVER!!!
NemaGuoladdle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book starts out with how the dog came to be with a black family. Also the character of the dog like how his baying yelp can be heard for distances when he trees a racoon or possum. The story is also about the relationship the dog has with a young, black boy. The is set back during the depression it seems because life is real hard. For instance, some times there isn't always food to eat. The story demonstrates life for a young black boy and what he goes through growing up in those times, along with his dog. The illustrations were in black and white drawings and I thought were very good. It made the book seem more real.I remember reading this book back in Junior High School and I really liked it. It made me think of the times of hearing my own father talk of his childhood during the depression times, too. He was born during that time and remembers days of going hungry and just barely making it some times as a child. He said it teaches you a lot about life.I definitely would use this book for history, social studies, government, and in English with a book report. I feel the morals and virtues that this book teaches is definitely needed in this day and age. Even the movie is real good and comes very close to the reading of this book, and I would also consider showing the movie as a project to the children as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not read this book but is looks pretty good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im in third grade and we read it in my guided reading group and it was a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not like this book at all! I am extermly sumrised that it ot an award, because it didn't deserve it. Thst book was sad, hsve not plot and was terrible
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to respond write "the deffinition of loy"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read !
aalaurian More than 1 year ago
It is just a great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
YEAH!!!!!! It is the cool book i read in my life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sounder is a very good book, and the dog, Sounder, is a very loyal pooch, or mutt. A boy came across him one day on the road and brought him home. Now, Sounder is the family pet and goes raccoon hunting with the boy's dad. Sounder gets shot in the first part of the book but he survives.  He goes into the forest for three months. The plot is sad and encouraging.  The father steals a ham from the butcher's place in the town and the father goes to jail. His mother makes the dad a cake and sends the boy out to deliverer it, but when the boy gets there the prison guard tells him [in a mean voice] that it will open soon. When he gets inside the guard smashes the cake into slop. The boy saw his dad. The boy talked shortly with his dad. The boy gives the smashed up cake to his dad, and then the guard tells the boy, "It's closing time."  The boy's father gets moved around a lot. Because he works to try and get out of jail, and the boy searches for the father a lot. When the boy goes to a barbed wire fence, a guard throws a piece of iron at the boy's hand and there’s blood on his hand. The guard tells the boy that there was a dynamite blast that went wrong and killed twelve people. The boy goes to a schoolhouse and meets a teacher that helps the boy.  That's all I'm going to tell you right now but you can find out what happens in the rest of the book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a great book to read. I definetly recommend this book for anyone who loves to read.