Sharecropper boy finds hope, dignity amid racism, hardship. Age
: 12+ What Parents Should Know
: Parents need to know that this Newbery-award winner is not a heartwarming dog story, as the title and cover may indicate. Rather, it is the story of a boy's struggle to find his father, his dog, and his own identity in a racist world that is harsh, lonely, and violent at times. Written in the late '60s, some of the characterizations seem stereotypical, but the language is simple and strong, almost poetic, and the story is good. Several editions of the book have been reprinted, and it was made into a well-received 1972 movie starring Cicely Tyson and an updated 2003 Disney movie starring Paul Winfield. —Common Sense Media
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