This month's carnival theme is classic dog stories and I read Sounder by William H Armstrong, a 1970 Newberry Award Winner. Taking place in the rural south, it is the story of a sharecropper's family and their coon dog, Sounder. Very simplistic in its telling, it is nonetheless very moving. The characters do not have names; they are simply referred to as as 'the boy', 'the woman', 'the man'. Here is a description of Sounder from the front flap of the book:
Sounder, the great coon dog, has the neck and shoulders of a bulldog and the melodious bay of a hound. When he trees a coon, his voice rolls across the flatlands, louder than any coon dog in the whole countryside.
This is the story of a young boy struggling to grow up in the rural south and be the man his father is. There are many trials and struggles that the family goes through and he is only made stronger by them. Everything always comes back to Sounder and the relationship that he and the boy share. Having Sounder as part of the family is the one constant that the boy has always known.
I do have to say that I initally found it hard to get into the story because of the lack of names or personalization of the characters but as I read further, I found that I couldn't put it down and read it one day!