WILLIAM H. ARMSTRONG reading level information

Wiliam Armstrong wrote the groundbreaking novel, SOUNDER, about being poor and black in the South.  It was later turned into movie which starred Cicely Tyson.  The movie received 4 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

What I and many other people didn't know was that this was book one in a loose Trilogy. 

bookcover of SOUNDER by William H. Armstrong
James Barkley (Illustrations)


3.90 STARS from 12,269 GoodReaders

Sounder was a groundbreaking book for it's time.  It's about a boy and his family.  They are sharecroppers and very much depend on their dog Sounder to help them find food in the woods.  Night after night, the father comes home empty handed... and then, one day, a sweet ham makes it's appearance.

Not long after an angry sheriff shows up, and the father is sent away to prison for theft.

Very moving tale. Please note that Racism is a prevailing theme, and that any reader will run across the wretched 'N' word.

Reading Information:
Word Count: 22,693
Page Count: 128
Accelerated Reading level: 5.3 / points: 3.0
AR quiz: 84
Lexile: 900L

Spanish edition

bookcover of SOUR LAND by William H. Armstrong
Illustrated by Barbara Blyfield

3.77  STARS from 26 GoodReaders

The Stone family is on hard times.  The children's mother has died and land on their farm is poor, the dirt sour.  When the father brings a black man onto to help, they find him to be understanding of their plight.  And more remarkable, literate and educated.

Things begin to go wrong though when the townspeople make it known that they think the black/white friendship is wrong. 

Word Count:  27,503
Page Count: 128
Accelerated Reading level: 5.7 / points: 4.0
AR quiz: 36018


The final book in Armstrong's trilogy.  The story is about an old Virginia farmer and his grandson who are bent on saving their land in the Blue Ridge Mountains from being taken by the government for a system of parks and highways.

no reading information available

compiled by Pam