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Sounder

by William H. Armstrong
A powerfully beautiful novel about a black sharecropper and his family in the 19th-century American South. A Newbery Medal winner! 105 pages, Ages 10 & up

Item Number: 704
Category:Contracted Braille in UEB

Price: $13.50
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Reviews for Sounder
RatingComments
5Sounder is the loyal coon hunting dog of a family of black sharecroppers. At the heart of the tale is the oldest son in this family, plagued by loneliness, helpless rage, and a burning desire to learn to read. The owner of the land they live on has been careful to space families out - presumably so that they won't band together. The families, basically, have no neighbors. It is also too far for the boy to walk to school. The boy's parents are strong willed, and his mother is deeply religious, but they are very reserved. The boy is very much alone, more so because he can't read, and Sounder is very nearly his best friend. Even this rather isolated world is shattered though when the father is sent to prison for stealing a ham. The men who come to take him away shoot Sounder in the process.

The story of how first Sounder and then the family heal themselves, and of how the boy eventually learns to read are really moving. The fact that only Sounder is given a name in the story adds to the mythic quality. The mother's constant singing of "Lonesome Valley" imparts a Biblical touch.

2011-08-17

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