“Sounder” by William H. Armstrong

Critique by Misham Syed

Summary of the book

The story is about a boy and his dog in 19th century South(United States). Every day normal except one day the boy wakes up and his dogs not there. The Sherriff accused the boy’s dad for stealing and arrested his dad. However Sounder, the boy’s dog goes after the boy’s dad and does not return. Nobody knows what happened to Sounder. The boy goes looking for him and follows his tracks. The boy does not find Sounder but he sees blood. And the boy also sees the dogs ear. The boy takes the ear home and puts it under his pillow and wishes that Sounder will come back. The boy’s mother makes a cake and tells the boy to give it to his father. So he goes to give the cake to his father who is in jail. But jailor is very mean to him. The jailor tells him to come to him. But the boy’s father tells him to run quickly out of there.

While the boy is going home he thinks of getting another dog but he knows his mother is going to be afraid. So when the boy gets home he eats supper and lays down in bed and thinks for a while then goes to sleep. Next morning the boy hears scratching noises like Sounder would make. Then he heard them again and got out of bed to see what it was. The boy and his mother saw a dog on three legs with one eye one ear was stabbed and his bones were showing. Could that be Sounder? The boys mother bought the dog food. The dog wasn’t speaking all it was doing was winning and wagging its tail. The boy’s father is gone to hard labor, the boys mother had said. The boy went to hard labor looking for his father. The boy started to work there. After the boys work was done he would look for his father. But he didn’t find his father. The boy would sometimes also walk on the road. The boy would get news papers that other people threw out and read them to his self like his mother use to. So the boy came back from is journey and didn’t find his father. His mother and him found out that his father was moved from hard labor to some place else. And they also found out that were the boys father had been in a terrible blast. Twelve convicts had died and several others have wounded but the boys father was not killed. The boy continued looking for his dad.

The boy saw whitewashers could any could any of them be his dad’s? A big steal piece fall on the boys hand and start to bleed. The boy was sucking on his fingers while the Sherriff was laughing. The Sherriff started to say get out of here and the Sherriff also threw a piece of iron that landed right in front of the boy. The boy started to walk away slowly. On his way he saw a school so he went to the school to wash his hand which had a big bruise and dried blood on it. There was a teacher that took the boy with him to his house.

The man started to read the boy a story from the boys book. After the story was done the teacher wrapped the boy’s injured hand and the boy said thank you and left. When the boy got home he told his mom and siblings about the teacher. The boy asked his mother if he could go to school like the teacher wanted him to and stay in the teachers cabin and do chores. The boy’s mother allowed so the boy went to stay in the teacher’s cabin and would visit his family in the summers taking his fathers place. And the boy would also tell his family stories.

One day the boy was sitting and talking with a women when a man came and Sounder went all crazy in excitement. The man turned out to be the boy’s father. The boy ran telling all his other siblings.

The boy went to his teacher and when he came back his dad would take him hunting the boy got tired but his dad said lets go home. When the boy went home his mom was rocking and singing. Sounder woke the boy up in the middle of the night when it was almost morning. But he didn’t go to sleep. The boy’s father dies and when the boy tells his mom his mom’s lips turn pale. They burry his father.


In my opinion the author wrote this book to show how the whites were cruel to the poor blacks a long time ago. Just like in the part where the Sherriff arrested the boy’s dad when it actually was not the boy’s dad’s fault. I also think that the author wrote this book so the readers could see even if you are poor you could still be awesome and amazing.

I think that it is a awesome book except that there are some parts where I get confused. The book is very sad and in some parts I got mad like on the careless police officer. The book gets mostly sad in the end. It’s an awesome book on the whole. This is one of the best books I read.

If I were the author I would put the peoples names in it like John instead of the boy or the teacher. I would change that the boy’s dad does not die and that Sounder does not come home that injured or if he even does, he gets better. I would also change that in the end the boy grows up.