For my book report I chose the book Sounder, written by W.H. Armstrong in 1969. I chose this book because I have always been the kind of person to have an interest in animals, and stories revolving around animals. I can also relate to the fact that the main character’s family suffered in the late 1800s after the end of slavery like my own family around that time period. W.H Armstrong wrote his book “Sounder” from a story he was told as a child by his neighbor, about a kind of dog known as a coonhound with a wonderful bark. This was the main inspiration for the novel, only added with African American themes about sharecropping and discrimination in the south.
William Howard Armstrong was born on September 14, 1914, in Lexington, Virginia to Howard Gratton Armstrong, a farmer, and his wife, Ida Morris. William attended public schools and was a good student; he graduated from Hampden-Sydney College with honors in 1936 and went on to do graduate studies at the University of Virginia. In 1945, he became a history teacher at Kent School, in Kent, Connecticut, where he built his own house and raised sheep on the side. William lived, taught, and wrote in Kent for all of his adult life. In 1943, William married Martha Stone Street Williams, and they had three children.
On a white man’s field, in an unnamed southern state, there is a small cabin where a black sharecropper lives with his family and a coon dog named Sounder. In winter, when the work in the fields comes to a halt, the black sharecropper goes to hunt raccoons with Sounder, his hound. His wife washes people’s clothes and sells walnut kernels to help the family get by and their oldest son helps them out with the chores. Although they are a poor family, they are close and loving. When it becomes difficult to hunt due to the extreme cold, Father steals a pig in order to feed his children; although he knows it is wrong, he feels it is better than seeing his family starve....