Sour Land

Sour Land

by William H. Armstrong
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Sour Land by William H. Armstrong

Life is hard for the three Stone children. The death of their mother has left them bereft and grieving. Their father tries hard to make things better, but he is busy trying to keep their farm going. Even the land around them seems to have betrayed them: It is so barren that it is known as sour land.

Then Moses Waters comes to teach at the black school at Cedar Corners. Moses can hear things no one else can, like the sound of the grass and the earth humming together. More than anyone else, he seems to have a special understanding of the Stone family. Only Moses can help them out of their grief.

But a sour land grows sour people. There are some folks in town who don't approve of the friendship between the white Stone family and the new black teacher. And it looks like they will go to dangerous lengths to stop it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064400749
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/01/1976
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range: 13 - 14 Years

About the Author

William H. Armstrong grew up in Lexington, Virginia. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and did graduate work at the University of Virginia. He taught ancient history and study techniques at the Kent School for fifty-two years. Author of more than a dozen books for adults and children, he won the John Newbery Medal for Sounder in 1970 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Hampden-Sydney College in 1986.

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Sour Land 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Set in the South in the early 1900's, Sour Land is a poignant story of the friendship between a black schoolteacher and a white family. Moses Waters, who comes to teach at Cedar Corners' black school, meets Anson Stone, a widowed farmer who struggles to grow his crops in the barren earth, also called sour land. Unlike other whites in the community, Anson looks beyond Moses' color and sees his kind, loving spirit. They eventually develop a deep friendship. Anson's motherless children slowly recover from their grief as Moses educates them about the beauty of nature and teaches them profound lessons in character. Although Moses' presence heals the Stones' sorrow, their white neighbors strongly disapprove of the friendship. Blinded by bigotry, they fail to see the goodness in Moses' heart and will stop at nothing until they think that they have completely destroyed him. The evils of racial prejudice are powerfully illustrated in this story. The title is diabolical, referring to both the barren soil of Cedar Corners and a town where the whites possess a 'sour' attitude towards blacks. Sour Land strongly depicts how racism poisons people's hearts and leaves no room for love and acceptance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
She almost hit him because she hit a gravestone right behind him! If you want to find out more of what happened to ¿her¿ read Sour Land by William H. Armstrong. If you enjoy reading historical fiction books be sure to read this fantastic story. If you ever wonder how things were in the past this is a great book to get you started. Read it and it will take your imagination flying everywhere Life is hard with three children and one parent until someone that understands comes along. That¿s what happened to the Stone children when they came across Moses Waters in a graveyard. Soon after, he starts working at Anson¿s farm. They don¿t know there lives are about to change especially in the children¿s school. But just when they thought it could not get any better, they were right. Things didn¿t get better. First someone died and then some things that they never thought would happen to the person that understood did. He went to jail. One of the things I liked about the story was that I was able to make connections. One of my connected books was a book called Sounder that is also written by William H. Armstrong and my connection was that the person in the story that goes by Moses Waters was in the book called Sounder and is also in this great book. The way I was able to make this connection was when Moses talked about his dog that died, named Sounder. Throughout this book I sometimes found myself in other places in the book. For example most of the time I found myself in the fields. This book also taught me a little bit about the past, but mostly in Martin Luther King¿s time. I really recommend this book to anybody that is interested in historical fiction. Some of the characters in this book are kind, and respectful, some of the greatest characters that had good personalities were Moses Waters, Anson Stone and the three Stone children. Some of them unfortunately were mean, disrespectful, and racists. But it is still a really great book and if you read it I hope you enjoy it.