The most recent book I read was Sounder. It was written by William H. Armstrong, in 1969. It is the story about a family of sharecropper farmers, which takes place probably around the early 1900’s, or late 1800’s. They live in a run-down cabin, working in the fields, and doing other chores for “the people in big houses”, as they refer to them in the book. The boy in the book, and “the boy” he is called throughout the book, has a dog named Sounder, whom he takes hunting with his father, to catch vermin to sell for fur. However, one terrible day, the sheriff of the town which the family lives in, arrests his father on charge of stealing ham. As the sheriff takes his father away, Sounder chases after them, and gets struck down by a shotgun. The boy only finds part of the dog’s torn ear. A few weeks later, the dog returns, with a missing leg and eye to the boy’s grief. Meanwhile, his father has been sentenced to a year of hard labor. The boy searches all over, but can’t find his dad. Eventually, the boy’s father came home, but he had gotten injured, due to a dynamite blast in a prison camp. One night when he was hunting, his father died. Two weeks later Sounder died, due to his sadness of his master dying. Since his father had come home, the boy had been going to school, and with his new knowledge, he knew that his father was out of his pain, and was in eternal peace, and he felt good in a way.
This book was very enjoyable and intriguing, and I would probably rate the book four stars, and William Armstrong won a Newberry Medal for this book for a reason. William Armstrong wrote 16 other books besides Sounder. He was born in 1911, and died in 1999, at the age of 87. There is a very valuable lesson to learn from this book. The lesson to learn is that we should really count our blessings and put everything in perspective. For example, the things most of us take for granted like a roof over our head, freedom, and good food and clothes, is not something everybody has. Even something such as family and a good family is something that not all people have. Whenever we find ourselves complaining about something, we need to take into perspective whether it is worth complaining about. For example, we are sometimes forgetful and complain about what food we have to eat, not remembering that some families don’t have anything to eat. And when we read a book, we don’t think that some people can’t even read, because they don’t have the opportunity. Even though I have known that I am truly blessed with many blessings, this wonderful book by William Armstrong has taught me to always count my blessings.