Imatge de l'autor

William H. Armstrong (1) (1911–1999)

Autor/a de Sounder

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William H. Armstrong (1) s'ha combinat en William Howard Armstrong.

11+ obres 8,360 Membres 95 Ressenyes 1 preferits

Obres de William H. Armstrong

Les obres s'han combinat en William Howard Armstrong.

Sounder (1969) — Autor — 7,809 exemplars
Sour Land (1993) 309 exemplars
Study Tips (1888) 51 exemplars
Sounder With Connections (1998) 1 exemplars
Soutland 1 exemplars

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Children's Historical Fiction - Jim Crow South, dog a Name that Book (novembre 2010)


TraSea | Hi ha 92 ressenyes més | Apr 29, 2024 |
The only named character in the book is the coon hound Sounder. His owner sharecrops land in the south. Game is scarce, and the family's main food source is cornmeal mush. The man, desperate to feed his family, steals some sausage and ham. When the sheriff arrests him, Sounder attacks. He is shot, hides under the porch that night, and then disappears. The boy and his mother work the land, wash for other people, and gather walnuts. Sounder eventually returns without an eye, an ear, or the use of one leg. The man is sent to work in the road camps, and the boy makes many trips trying to find his father. On one trip, a school teacher befriends him. After this, the boy lives with the teacher and goes to school after the harvesting is done. Many years later, the man returns home.
©2024 Kathy Maxwell at
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kathymariemax | Hi ha 92 ressenyes més | Feb 7, 2024 |
I worried that my book club kids wouldn't like this one, but they surprised me. Not only did they like it, but I think they really got it. We talked about the boy's anger and loneliness, the similarities between Sounder and the father, and what it's like to love and lose a pet. I tried to explain what sharecropping was, but the kids were far more interested in the emotional aspects of the book than the historical context. The only negative comments were about the ending (dismay over Sounder's ultimate demise) and about the characters not having names (they would've preferred names).

Personally, this book was tough for me. So gut wrenching. The part where the boy is getting all scraped up crawling under his house looking for a dog he thinks is dead just killed me. The part where the jailer destroys the carefully prepared cake killed me. The part where the father comes home terribly wounded killed me. Nearly everything the mother said, with its undertone of numbness, killed me.
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LibrarianDest | Hi ha 92 ressenyes més | Jan 3, 2024 |
Month of January 2022: Young Reader’s Classics

(Ages 8-12 years, grades 3-7)
Originally published in 1969.

I would say that young children reading this book should be a bit more of a mature reader because of the author’s writing style, just the way he words his sentences. I got more into the groove of the story after the first chapter.

According to William Armstrong, himself, this was told to him by an old black man who was his teacher and who used to work for his father years ago, a story that had stayed with him for 50 years before he wrote it in a book. In the Author’s Note, he writes specifically that it was not from Aesop, the Old Testament or Homer (as almost every website on the internet proclaims). This was history…the old black man’s history.

This story was about a poor black family with four kids, including “the boy”, trying to survive as sharecroppers sometime after slavery had ended. They also had a coon dog named Sounder, who was very attached to the dad. One day the dad stole some ham, which the family feasted on for two or three days before the law came to the door and took the dad away in handcuffs. The dog was shot, blowing off part of the side of one face, his ear and shoulder. Sounder was able to barely make it under the house where he usually slept. “The boy” just knew he went there to die, but Sounder had disappeared by morning.

“The boy” didn’t give up on finding Sounder, and he didn’t give up on finding where his father was sent to do his hard time. These circumstances lead him to a town where he incidentally met a teacher, a kind white man, who offered “the boy” an opportunity to be educated in reading and writing.

I believe, as the author believed, that the old black man, the teacher who taught him how to read and write some years later and told this story to him, was “the boy”.


“Sounder” (1972), starring Cicely Tyson as the mother, Paul Winfield as the father and Kevin Hooks as the boy.

“Sounder” (2003 remake), directed by Kevin Hooks, starring Carl Lumbly as the father, Suzzanne Douglas as the mother and Daniel Lee Robertson III as the boy.


William Howard Armstrong (1911-1999) was born in Lexington, Virginia. He was a small kid. He had asthma. He wore thick black-framed glasses. So yes! He had a hard time in school. But, his teachers saw something special in his writings at an early age and encouraged him. His mother read Bible stories to him that he absolutely loved. Stories were told around the kitchen table. One particular story, told by an old black man, who was his teacher and also worked for his father, about a faithful coon dog named Sounder had stuck with William and would become the basis of this John Newbery Medal award winning novel, “Sounder”. William died at his home in Kent, Connecticut, at age 87.

His photo, birth and death info are online at Find A Grave, but no cemetery listed and no headstone.


p. 48: Oak leaves contain strong acids that heals and toughen skin. Dogs and maimed animals will head to the woods and lay down in wet oak leaves, which act as a poultice, drawing out poisons and heals the wound with a hard brown scab. I wonder if this is really true? And if so, does it work on humans as well?
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MissysBookshelf | Hi ha 92 ressenyes més | Aug 27, 2023 |



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