Book review: Sounder

SounderSounder by William H. Armstrong

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quick and useful read on negro life as a sharecropper. The people have no names, to make the point that their dignity is diminished in society. But the identity of the dog is linked with the boy and the father.

[spoiler alert]

The dog is carelessly shot and grievously wounded, and the father is arrested equally carelessly. The dog doesn't die until he sees the man return home. The father doesn't die until he sees his family again.

I read this to see if it a suitable for my children, ages 9-12, and I think it is. Maybe 12 and up. There is one use of the n word early on, and realistic (not gratuitous) violence done to people is portrayed.

One of its strengths is getting the reader to fear the oppressor. It also vividly shows the temptation of the boy to hate the oppressor.

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