Sunday, February 8, 2009


by William Armstrong.


Summary: This book tells us about a coon dog and a boy who live with his parents and three younger siblings in a plantation. There was scarcely any food for the family to eat. Every night, the boy’s father and Sounder would go hunting, but it was becoming more and more difficult to catch anything. Night after night he would come home empty handed. But in desperate need to feed his hungry family, the boy’s father when out one night and stole some food. He was then jailed for stealing food and Sounder seeing his master being taken away tries to protect him and was shot getting wounded badly. Sounded ran off and hides, he returns after a few weeks and even then it was very tough for the family. The boy now has to take care of the family while his father is in prison. His father was sent to hard labor for his crime. The boy was curious to where his father was and everyday, after doing his chores he would go on long journey in search of his father. The boy was always curious and wanted to learn to read. While on his long journey, he came across this stranger who was a teacher and was willing to teach him to read. The boy was full of enthusiasm to learn to read and although his father and Sounder died the boy was determine to continue to go to school.

Reflection and use of book: This book would be a great addition to a classroom library because it describe the struggles difficulties a typical black family went through to survive; barely having enough food to eat. It also talks about the determination and courage of a boy who learned to read and how it renewed his strength and gave him hope. This book can be used in a nonfiction unit depicting discrimination and inequality of blacks and whites. It shows how some blacks barely had any food to eat and many times went hungry and the hardships they faced trying to survive.
Social Justice Domains:
1) Self-love and acceptance: Even though the boy had the difficulties to joggle to take care of his family and working, he was still determined to learn to read. A few days after his father died, he made sure that his family had enough chopped wood and food and went on his long journey for school.
2) Respect For others: Throughout the story, the boy was always respectful to his parents and everyone else. Even when he visited his father in jail and he was very angry with the guard for mistreating him, he was still respectful.
3) Exploring Issues of Social injustice: The boy was determined to learn to read and although he had no idea how he was going to accomplish it he kept the dream alive in his mind.
4) Social Movement and Social change: During one of the boy’s long journey, he discovered that his dream would finally learn to read. Somehow deep down inside him, he knew that it would change his life.

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