Saturday, May 03, 2008


by William H. Armstrong

Alas, I wanted to write something original about this one, but as I see on the back of the book, the School Library Journal has already used the word that popped into my mind: understated. Despite being named after a dog, Sounder, is the tale of a boy, a young African-American sharecropper's son who is living somewhere in the American south sometime in the late 19th Century. (Maybe it's named after the dog because the dog's the only character that's given a name.) Times are lean and the boy's father gets arrested for stealing a hog to feed his family. What follows is a drawn out tale of loss, sorrow and longing for the father's return. But when I say "drawn out" I don't mean that in a negative sense. Sounder is not a tale of passion or angst. It contains no overly dramatic scenes of crisis or triumph. The moments of pain and hope are all low key--but deeply felt for the reader who is willing to slow down and let the tale flow at it's own pace.

Check it out.
LibraryThing link


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