Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 4 - 8T5.322693

Set in the Deep South, this Newbery Medal-winning novel tells the story of the great coon dog, Sounder, and the poor sharecroppers who own him. Celebrating 30 years!

During the difficult years of the nineteenth century South, an African American boy and his poor family rarely have enough to eat. Each night, the boy's father takes their dog, Sounder, out to look for food and the man grows more desperate by the day.

When food suddenly appears on the table one morning, it seems like a blessing. But the sheriff and his deputies are not far behind. The ever-loyal Sounder remains determined to help the family he loves as hard times bear down on them.

This classic novel shows the courage, love, and faith that bind an African American family together despite the racism and inhumanity they face. Readers who enjoy timeless dog stories such as Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows will find much to love in Sounder.

Hardcover, 128 pages
Published on October 8, 1969 by HarperCollins
ISBN-10: 0060201436
ISBN-13: 9780060201432
7 Book Reviews
  • applemango
    applemangoSaturday, May 16, 2020 at 10:10 pm55 stars
    There is a boy who has his companion Sounder, he loves his father and mother and with some young ones they live in a small cabin. They aren’t slaves but they still have to do field work and get walnuts to sell at the general store for the absolute necessities. One day a sheriff or the “big mean man” comes to take his father to prison because he stole some ham. After Sounder, the dog, gets shot and crawls away to the forest to treat his wounds. The boy desperately misses his dog and his father. In his journeys to the jail and to the fields and forest he searches for his beloved father and dog. Finally Sounder comes home missing an eye some limbs and half an ear. He never barks, and he always waits for his master...until one day the boy’s father comes back, he too, is injured. Now, the boy is learning to read and helping his mother. They pass away, the dog and the father. Happily, though.
    • jolly_ali
      jolly_aliTuesday, March 19, 2019 at 7:15 am55 starsFeatured
      My favorite part happens when Sounder went away to heal, because, this story is emotional for readers. Especially when the father was taken away to do free cropping hard labor fieldwork. This was not fair because the father only took the ham, after the man he worked refused to pay him fairly after his hard labor. Stealing is never ok but in this situation the family was hungry, and his boss was unfair by holding his earned pay. As the sheriff's took the father away one of them used a rifle to shoot after Sounder, because he barked after them. I believe Sounder had a dog sense that something was not right so he chased after them. After Sounder was shot at, he disappeared for a long while. I think that animals do things like this because they know exactly where to go heal when they get injured. For this reason animals are smart.To be totally honest this book was a eye opening smack in the face reality check for me. Trust me, if you read this story you will realize that life now, is not so hard because nowadays we don’t have to face the hard times of yesteryear. For this reason, others should read it. I’d give this book FIVE Stars, because the story was a tear dropping emotional shock.
      • dodondogo
        dodondogoTuesday, January 1, 2019 at 9:47 pm55 stars
        It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and I don’t say this lightly because I don’t believe most books and stories are that good. I can never relate to most even when I try. And I read a lot of college level reading books, but this one stands out. It’s a children’s book that is not willing to shy away from the ugly tension of the past; featuring a young African-American boy and his hound dog as they struggle to deal with the cruelties of life. I’ve read this book literally 10x over and I recommend it to anybody and everybody!!
        • fourv
          fourvWednesday, May 20, 2015 at 9:48 am
          I recommend this book. But i will warn you the book is sad a times, so just be ready when you read. EG
          • fourv
            fourvMonday, May 18, 2015 at 9:53 am
            I think sounder is a sad book; although, It pulls you in and makes you create a mind movie. I would recommend this book to anyone who's craving some emotion. JG
            • dogsaremylife
              dogsaremylifeTuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm
              this book is not the best but you might like it i dont recommend it
              • fourv
                fourvMonday, May 18, 2015 at 9:48 am
                i disagree with you dogsaremylife. I think that Sounder is a great book. There are some sad parts but that's life. People die. I do recommend this book. i had a good time reading Sounder and wish that you give it another chance. MB