Infobox Book
name = Sounder

title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = William H. Armstrong
illustrator =
cover_artist = James Ransome
country = Canada
language = English
series =
genre = Children's
publisher = HarperTrophy
release_date = 1969
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages = 128 pp
isbn = ISBN 0-06-440020-4
preceded_by =
followed_by = Sour Land, The MacLeod Place

"Sounder" is a young adult novel by William H. Armstrong. It is the story of an African-American boy living with his sharecropper family in Depression-era Louisiana. Although the family's difficulties increase when the father is imprisoned for stealing pig meat and chicken, the boy still hungers for an education.

"Sounder" won the Newbery Award in 1970, and was made in to a major motion picture in 1972.

Plot summary

Sounder is based on a true story.The main character, the family's eldest son, is simply named Boy. His father is a sharecropper, and works hard for very little money. His mother tries hard to make the best out of what little food they have. The "Sounder" of the title is the father's devoted hunting coon dog (a bloodhound/boxer mix), named for his loud voice. Sounder is badly injured when he chases the men who take his master away.

When the family hears that the father is being transferred to another prison in the South, they can no longer visit him because no one will tell them where he's been taken. The boy goes looking for his father's work crew, against his mother's objections. He does not find his father, but he sees a group of convicts working hard in the sun behind a fence. A guard throws a piece of iron at him, injuring his hands, but he escapes without further injury.

On the way home, the boy saw a man throwing a book away and, since he's always wanted an education, he picks up the book. He then sees students running out of a school building. A teacher at the school treats his injury and offers to let the boy live with him so he can attend the school and get an education. The boy learns a lot from the teacher and later he realizes he is smarter than his mother.

He goes home and asks his mother for permission to go to school. Although this means even more work for her, she agrees. The boy spends about a year at the teacher’s house, with a couple of visits to his mother. Afterwards, he goes home for good. One day, old Sounder, who sleeps most of the time, comes to sudden life as a figure slowly approaches, dragging one side of his body. The boy's father has come home, released early after a terrible accident that has left him partially paralyzed. Both he and Sounder pass away soon after his return.


In 1972, "Sounder" was made into a film starring Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks, Carmen Mathews, Taj Mahal, and Eric Hooks. It was written by Lonne Elder III and directed by Martin Ritt.

Academy Award Nominations
*Best Picture - Robert Butt. Radnitz
*Best Actor - Paul Winfield
*Best Actress - Cicely Tyson, who played the teacher (a female role in the original movie adaptation)
*Best Adapted Screenplay - Lonne Elder III

In 2003, ABC's Wonderful World of Disney aired a new film adaptation, reuniting two actors from the original. Kevin Hooks directed and Paul Winfield played the role of the teacher. (Winfield and Hooks played father and son, respectively, in the original version.)

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sounder — est un film américain réalisé par Martin Ritt, sorti en 1972. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution 4 Lien externe …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sounder —    Drame de Martin Ritt, d après le roman de William H. Amstrong, avec Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks, Yvonne Jarrell, Carmen Mathews, James Best.   Pays: États Unis   Date de sortie: 1972   Technique: couleurs   Durée: 1 h 45    Résumé …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • Sounder — Sound er, n. One who, or that which; sounds; specifically, an instrument used in telegraphy in place of a register, the communications being read by sound. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sounder — Sound er, n. (Zo[ o]l.) A herd of wild hogs. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sounder — (izg. sàunder) m DEFINICIJA tehn. 1. brzojavni prijamnik za zvučno primanje poruka 2. v. sonda (1) ETIMOLOGIJA engl …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • sounder — sounder1 [soun′dər] n. 1. a person or thing that makes a sound or sounds 2. a telegraphic device that converts electric code impulses into sound sounder2 [soun′dər] n. a person or thing that sounds the depth of water, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Sounder — Sound Sound, a. [Compar. {Sounder}; superl. {Soundest}.] [OE. sound, AS. sund; akin to D. gezond, G. gesund, OHG. gisunt, Dan. & Sw. sund, and perhaps to L. sanus. Cf. {Sane}.] 1. Whole; unbroken; unharmed; free from flaw, defect, or decay;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sounder — lotas statusas T sritis ekologija ir aplinkotyra apibrėžtis Navigacijos įtaisas vandens gyliui matuoti iš laivo. atitikmenys: angl. sounder; sounding load; sounding weight vok. Lot, n; Messlot, n; Peillot, n rus. лот, m …   Ekologijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • sounder — Ⅰ. sound [1] ► NOUN 1) vibrations which travel through the air or another medium and are sensed by the ear. 2) a thing that can be heard. 3) music, speech, and sound effects accompanying a film or broadcast. 4) an idea or impression conveyed by… …   English terms dictionary

  • sounder — noun Date: 1575 one that sounds; specifically a device for making soundings …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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