Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Fave Middle Grade Historical Fiction: Sounder

When Micheal asked what is my favorite middle grade historical fiction, it was an easy answer: Sounder by William H. Armstrong. The first book to make me cry (actual tears) as a kid. It won the Newberry Medal in 1970. I read the book in 5th grade and the story still affects me.

The Hook: The story follows a poor African American boy growing up in the South. His father is a sharecropper and struggling to provide for his family. The father and his dog, Sounder, go hunting every night but come home empty-handed until one morning the family wakes to the smell of ham. Unfortunately the father is arrested, convicted, and taken away from his family. The boy and a wounded Sounder try to find the father.

Why I loved it as a child: Growing up in California, I didn't really comprehend racism or the struggles of African Americans in the South. This book really opened my eyes to their hardships, inequalities, and illiteracy. Also I loved a bit with a dog. I cried when Sounder was shot, I cried when the dad and dog died.

Love this book. Not so much for reluctant readers but a book I think middle graders should all read.

Do you have a favorite MG historical fiction from your childhood?


  1. I didn't read this one until I was an adult, and I love it like you love it. I have so many favorite MG historicals (most of which I didn't read until adulthood), and now it's my favorite genre as well as the genre I write (most of the time).

  2. I believe I was in my teens when I read this. It's been a long time, but I still remember being moved by it.

    Great choice!