Sounder William H. Armstrong. Introduction Background Discussion Starters. Sounder William H. Armstrong. “Sounder might come home again. But you must learn to lose, child.”. Sounder: Introduction.
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“Sounder might come home again. But you must learn to lose, child.”
On a cold October night, a very poor boy, his father, and their dog, Sounder, stand on the porch of their cabin and listen to the wind.
Sounder is a great hunting dog.
But they will not go hunting tonight.
Instead, the father goes out alone . . . .
and the next morning, sausage is sizzling on the stove, and ham is boiling in the pot.
Stealing meat is a desperate act, and a risky one, but the family has to eat.
A few days later, the sheriff and his deputies arrive at the cabin.
They violently handcuff the father and throw him in the back of their wagon.
When Sounder chases the sheriff’s wagon, one of the deputies shoots Sounder.
The boy is left alone.
His beloved dog is gone.
His father is in jail.
His mother and younger siblings are depending on him.
How will the boy cope with the loss of his dog and his father?
Will he be able to help his family survive?
One hundred years ago in the southeastern United States, African Americans
After the Civil War, many freed slaves became sharecroppers. These farmers
Most families of former slaves became trapped in a cycle of debt, while landowners became wealthier.
In many ways, these people were still enslaved.
Around the middle of the twentieth century,
Sounder is a mix of two dog breeds—
Georgia redbone hound
Dogs like Sounder provided many valuable services to rural families:
During the time of this story, prisoners didn’t just sit in jail. Instead, they were often
In Sounder, the boy and his family labor hard and constantly, but still they barely survive.