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Comment: PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse.
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Sounder Paperback – December 24, 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 324 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"A rarely beautiful, understated novel about a black share-cropper and his family in the 19th-century American South. An extraordinarily sensitive book." -- "School Library Journal""The power of the writing lies in its combination of subtlety and strength." -- "H.""The writing is simple, timeless and extraordinarily moving. An outstanding book."-- "Commonweal
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 900 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Revised edition (December 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064400204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064400206
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 4.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on February 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
You gotta walk that lonesome valley. You gotta walk it by yourself. Ain't nobody else gonna walk it for you. You gotta walk it by yourself. -Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley, (American Spiritual)
In the Author's Note to the copy of this book that I just read, William Armstrong, who was white, says that he first heard this story from an old black teacher who used to worship at his local church :
It is the black man's story, not mine. It was not from Aesop, the Old Testament, or Homer. It was history--his history.
I don't know whether it is, in fact, a true story, but as Armstrong's own assertion acknowledges, it is the stuff of myth.
Sounder 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, so they basically have no neighbors and it is 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 and 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 and the mother's constant singing of "Lonesome Valley" imparts a Biblical touch. It may be too powerful for younger kids, but teens and even adults will love it.
GRADE : A
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Format: Paperback
In the nearly 35 years since it was published, SOUNDER has lost none of its original power or impact. That's not only the mark of great children's literature, it's the mark of great writing at any level.
SOUNDER is the story of a poor African American family in the late 19th century south. Sounder, the family's hunting dog, is responsible for much of the family income: he finds and tracks game that the father can eat and sell. Problems arise when the local white sheriff and his men think the family has become a little too prosperous. An event then happens which becomes a turning point in the oldest boy's life. (The story is told with painful honesty from his point of view.)
Author Armstrong masterfully drops the reader into a different era, an era we would like to forget. It's not a comfortable time and it's not a comfortable story, but it is a powerful one. The story is a simple one, but Armstrong paints on a large canvas, full of description so vivid and true that we feel we're there, walking on the cold ground, smelling the countryside, and even feeling the wetness of the tears and blood.
I believe it's significant that Sounder is the only character named in the book. This is the boy's story, but it could be any boy. He represents a sort of "every man," or "every child," if you will. The boy learns several important lessons along the way, some of them coming from unlikely sources.
SOUNDER is one of those stories that not only entertain children, but teach them valuable lessons in human nature, relationships, and learning. A very, very important book for us all.
116 pages with illustrations
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Format: Paperback
I think the book, Sounder, by William H. Armstrong, was very good. The story is about a boy who has a dog named Sounder. The family is poor so the father must steal to feed his family. His father is taken to jail and Sounder tries to protect him but gets hurt. What I thought was interesting about this book is the story is based upon William Armstrong's teacher's life experience of this. I enjoyed the way it made me think about the story in different ways. I enjoyed the characters because they had distinct personalities. For instance, the boy was very determined to find his father, and the other characters thoughts and emotions were very well described. All of the story elements together helped me picture the story as if I had witnessed it. The setting was described in great detail just like the plot and the characters were also. It was amazing that everything about the book could seem so real. The thing I enjoyed most in the story was the way the dog's bark was described. It was described with beautifully written similes and metaphors to portray how it sounded. The dog, Sounder, was named for it's bark because people could hear the bark louder and richer than any other dog's bark. For all of these reasons I will highly recommend this book with five out of five stars. There were only two things in this story I did not like very much. One is the abruptness of the time periods. In one paragraph it went from seasons to years. Another is that not very much detail about the boy when he was searching for his father was given. Overall though, I felt this book was one that should be read more than once.
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Format: Paperback
Sounder is a very depressing book. It tells the story of an African-American family and their coondog, Sounder, living in the harsh life of the South. The story takes place in the cabin of a sharecroppers home and the outlying town. After the mans arrest, the boy, his mother, and Sounder must face the hardships without the father. We really encourage you to read this book.
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