Children's Historical Fiction - Jim Crow South, dog

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Children's Historical Fiction - Jim Crow South, dog

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Nov 30, 2010, 11:20am

A black boy's father is arrested for stealing a pig; the family is poor and consists of the parents, their son, and a dog (don't remember any siblings). The father is sent to a chain gang, while the boy tries to continue life normally with the dog, who is very attached to the father. Eventually the father returns home, sick and defeated. He and the dog go off to hunt in the woods one day and die.

Nov 30, 2010, 12:20pm

That is Sounder by William H. Armstrong. It was one of the three books, along with Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows, that put me off ever reading another book about a dog.

Nov 30, 2010, 12:25pm

>2 SylviaC: : Oooo. I remember Ginger Pye being happy.

Nov 30, 2010, 12:29pm

>3 MyriadBooks: I read Ginger Pye a few years earlier than the other three, so they managed to wipe out all the happy for me.

Nov 30, 2010, 12:45pm

Nov 30, 2010, 12:53pm


"The dog dies" is such a cliche in YA literature that there's a whole book (which I haven't read) riffing on it: No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman.

Nov 30, 2010, 3:53pm

No More Dead Dogs is a fun YA read. Especially after reading the other books listed above.

Nov 30, 2010, 5:32pm

To this day I hold a grudge against my mom about Sounder. I had already had Old Yeller and the Yearling inflicted on my overly dramatic and overemotional self (she also lied about The Yearling, as I had begun to be suspicious of her "unfortunate pet" classic choices), and I quite directly asked her if it was another one of those books where the kid's pet dies.

She flat out lied and said it had a "good ending."

Way to traumatize your kid.

I avoided pet books like you wouldn't believe. I almost didn't read Swiss Family Robinson because I had seen the Disney version first and was convinced their zebra was going to die. (I do have to admit that if it actually did bite it, it didn't make that much of an impression on me, as I don't remember.)