How does the boy in "Sounder" get the oppurtunity to go to school?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The boy in "Sounder" gets the opportunity to go to school when a kindly teacher takes an interest in him.  Recognizing the boy's intelligence and drive, he offers him a place to stay during the term in exchange for doing chores for him.

The boy is off on one of his tortuous journeys in search of his father.  A prison guard cruelly throws "a jagged piece of iron" at the boy and hurts his hand.  Bleeding, the boy retreats, and, while "passing along a street in a strange and lonely town" on his way back home, he finds "a book of stories about what people think" in the trash.  Having always thirsted for the knowledge a book could bring, the boy takes the volume but finds he cannot read well enough to understand it.  As he journeys on he passes a schoolhouse, and the kindly schoolteacher invites him to his home so that he can care for his injured hand.  The teacher and the boy talk, and the old man reads the boy a story from his book, which happens to contain the writings of Montaigne, a great Renaissance philosopher.  The boy tells the teacher about himself, and the man offers to help him get an education (Chapter 7).

The boy had tried to go to school twice before, but had not been able to do it because the schoolhouse was so far from home (Chapter 1).  Now that he has a friend who will help him, the boy's mother agrees to let him take advantage of the opportunity, saying, "Go child.  The Lord has come to you" (Chapter 8). 

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