Thursday, June 4, 2020

Sounder by William H. Armstrong

Sounder (c) 1969 by William H. Armstrong
Sounder by William H. Armstrong is a moving story about a boy and his dog. The boy is never given a name. The only important character with a name, is Sounder, the dog. He is a loyal, loving dog, who is badly injured while trying to protect his master, the boy's father, who is arrested for stealing a ham to feed his hungry family. The boy is unable to find his dog for a long time, but doesn't give up hope that somewhere, Sounder is alive. Finally, Sounder comes home, wounded, but alive. The boy and his dog make a strong pair as they go looking for the boy's father on various chain gangs. Meanwhile, the boy works hard to teach himself how to read, partly on his own, and partly with the help of a generous, altruistic teacher. Racism against the boy and his family is very prevalent in the book. But so are courage, caring, and love; from several characters, but especially from Sounder.

I recommend this book to people who are willing to learn uncomfortable but important things, and who enjoy stories of overcoming hardships, and stories about loving, loyal dogs.

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