|Cover of the book - The image is used for identification purposes only under the fair use clause.|
Sounder: The Loyal Dog
Sounder by William H. Armstrong is a story about a sharecropping man, his son, and his wonderful hound dog Sounder. When the man is arrested and taken away, Sounder tries to save him, resulting in his wounding. But the dog lives, as the result of careful tending by the son and his mother. The son, only known as the boy, tries to find his father and find a way for his family to survive without the man of the house.
This book depressed me, and I struggled to finish reading it. As far as value as historical fiction goes, this was a great story of life as a poor Negro sharecropper. There is much pain and suffering in this short novel, and while some of the characters seem content with their lot in life, it seemed harsh and saddening. The only character named in the story is the dog, Sounder, who is named for the way his bark sounds through the woods.
After reading some of the other Newbery Medal books lately and feeling uplifted at the end of the reading, I felt like I was kind of let down by Sounder. While the boy does achieve his goals and there is a slight hopefulness to the end of the book, there also a feeling of injustice and discontent.