AskDefine | Define sounder

Dictionary Definition

sounder n : a device for making soundings

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Something, or someone who makes a sound
  2. A device for making soundings at sea
  3. The collective noun for a group of wild boar


sounding device

Extensive Definition

Sounder is a young adult novel by William H. Armstrong. It is the story of an African-American boy living with his sharecropper family in Depression-era Louisiana. Although the family's difficulties increase when the father is imprisoned, the boy still hungers for an education.
Sounder won the Newbery Award in 1970, and was made in to a major motion picture in 1972.

Plot summary

Sounder is based on a true story. The main character, the family's eldest son's name is simply Boy. His father is a sharecropper, and works hard for very little money. His mother tries hard to make the best out of what little food they have. The "Sounder" of the title is the father's devoted hunting coon dog (a bloodhound/boxer mix), named for his loud voice.
When the family hears that the father is being transferred to another prison in the South, they can no longer visit him because no one will tell them where he's been taken. The boy goes looking for his father's work crew, against his mother's objections. He does not find his father, but he sees a group of convicts working hard in the sun behind a fence. A guard throws iron at him, injuring his hands, but he escapes without further injury.
On the way home, the boy saw a man throwing a book away and, since he's always wanted an education, he picks up the book. He then sees students running out of a school building. A teacher at the school offers to let the boy live with him so he can attend the school and get an education.
He goes home and asks his mother for permission to go to school. Although this means even more work for her, she agrees. The boy spends about a year at the teacher’s house, with a couple of visits to his mother. Afterwards, he goes home for good. One day, old Sounder, who sleeps most of the time, comes to sudden life as a figure slowly approaches, dragging one side of his body. The boy's father has finally come home, released early after a terrible accident partially paralyzed him.


In 1972, Sounder was made into a film starring Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks, Carmen Mathews, Taj Mahal, and Eric Hooks. It was written by Lonne Elder III and directed by Martin Ritt.
Academy Award Nominations
In 2003, ABC's Wonderful World of Disney aired a new film adaptation, reuniting two actors from the original. Kevin Hooks directed and Paul Winfield played the role of the teacher. (Winfield and Hooks played father and son, respectively, in the original version.)

External links

sounder in Italian: Sounder

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

TelAutography, Teletype, Teletype network, Teletyping, barometer, closed-circuit telegraphy, code, duplex telegraphy, electricity, facsimile telegraph, feeler, interrupter, key, multiplex telegraphy, news ticker, pilot balloon, probe, quadruplex telegraphy, railroad telegraphy, random sample, receiver, sample, sender, simplex telegraphy, single-current telegraphy, sound, stock ticker, straw vote, submarine telegraphy, telegraphics, telegraphy, teleprinter, teletypewriter, teletypewriting, telex, ticker, transmitter, trial balloon, typotelegraph, typotelegraphy, weather vane, weathercock, wire service
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