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 a piece of 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 treats his injury and offers to let the boy live with him so he can attend the school and get an education. The boy learns a lot from the teacher and later he realizes he is smarter than his mother.
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 come home, released early after a terrible accident that has left him partially paralyzed. Both he and Sounder pass away soon after his return.
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.)
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