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Sounder by William H. Armstrong.

Sounder

Title: Sounder.
Author: William H. Armstrong.
Genre: Fiction, YA, animals, children's lit.
Country: Canada.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 1969.
Summary: During the difficult years of the nineteenth century South, an African-American boy and his poor family rarely have enough to eat. Each night, the boy's father takes their dog, Sounder, out to look for food and 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 on them.

My rating: 8/10.


♥ His mother fed him and said, “Child, child, you must not go into the woods again. Sounder might come home again. But you must learn to lose, child. The Lord teaches the old to lose. The young don’t know how to learn it. Some people is born to keep. Some is born to lose. We was born to lose, I reckon. But Sounder might come back.”

♥ “He just crawled up under the house and died,” she said.

The boy was glad. He had learned to read his book with the torn cover better now. He had read in it: “Only the unwise think that what has changed is dead.” He had asked the teacher what it meant, and the teacher had said that if a flower blooms once, it goes on blooming somewhere forever. It blooms on for whoever has seen it blooming. It was not quite clear to the boy then, but it was now.

Years later, walking the earth as a man, it would all sweep back over him, again and again, like an echo on the wind.

The pine trees would look forever on a lantern burning out of oil but not going out. A harvest moon would cast shadows forever of a man walking upright, his dog bouncing after him. And the quiet of the night would fill and echo again with the deep voice of Sounder, the great coon dog.
Tags: 1960s - fiction, 19th century in fiction, 20th century - fiction, 3rd-person narrative, animals (fiction), canadian - fiction, children's lit, class struggle (fiction), fiction, race (fiction), social criticism (fiction), ya
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