Letter recommending Sounder for publication

Harper editor Ferd Monjo wrote this letter to the head of the U.S. Harper Children’s division, Ursula Nordstrom, regarding a manuscript he had received in July 1968. He called it a “strong, powerful, tragic book,” and “a superb work of art.” The submission he was referring to—Sounder by William Armstrong—is today a Newbery Award–winning, influential children’s work on race and class. This classic novel shows the courage, love, and faith that bind an African-American family together despite the racism and inhumanity they face—a story Harper was enthusiastic about from the start.

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