While I liked the characters and storyline, it was a bit too gory for me. In order to find out who is teaching children to read, he hangs Mammy for hours, and then saddles her like a beast of burden and whips her. Tells me that too many authors over-write. This book has a great story line and is a real eye opener. Below are links to the movie pages: Sarny is a 12-year-old slave girl owned by a cruel master.
I gave the book 5 stars because we should all feel the horror of slavery. It has been my regular reading experience to find the best reading in smaller texts. She knew she had to do what was told of her, and she quickly learned what happened to slaves who disobeyed. The story NightJohn written by Gary Paulsen was based on a true story and actually happened during a dark and horrifying time in our American culture. For such a short book, this story packs a powerful punch! Recently, studies have shown that police violence is aimed more at people of color than at others. I'm also wondering what other texts it would best be paired with. For a bit of tabacco John teaches Sarny how to read.
More Choices If you enjoyed this book and want to know what happens to Sarny, there is a sequel entitled Sarny: A Life Remembered by the same author. After Nightjohn heals he runs away, promising to return. But for Sary any price, even death is one she is willing to pay to learn how to read. There are two reasons I did not give this book five stars. She was raised by mammy, another slave whose job it was to care for all the young children.
I'm curious as to how other educators have situated this text. A young man who was planning to head North with his girlfriend on another plantation is castrated; the castration is botched and he bleeds to death. It's a book that needs to be read. The book was an easy read but compact with a lot of information and facts on how slaves were treated and misused for nothing more than animals. We have no way of figuring how close the story is to the outbreak of the Civil War; we are only told that slavery has been outlawed in the North. Sarny's whole life begins to change for the better when she learns how to read.
Nightjohn is a slave who escaped to freedom, but came back to teach slaves how to read. He had escaped north to freedom, but he came back--came back to teach reading. If you like historical fiction, this would be a good book for you! Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. Plot Summary The book begins with an introduction to Sarny and her life on the plantation. Is there a difference between legal and right? He catches her and beats Mammy instead of Sarny.
We get to wanting and when we get to wanting it's bad for them. This short simple story is quite horrifying because it is true. By gaining this knowledge,she is breaking a law that could get her killed. When I think of the real generations descended from such as the likes of Nightjohn and Sarny, imagined as they are, who couldn't be bothered to read, write, or tell a story of their own making, I feel that people are a terrific disappointment, that they do not appreciate the sacrifices that came together to make their current existences reality in a country that once legally held their people as chattel. It would be a good book to read to upper middle school students who were learning about the history of slavery. Reader Response You may be shocked to read in this book about the complete control that slaveowners had over their workers.
It was full of pain and suffering, and being dunked into this time period was not an enjoyable experience. However, the actions of an unusual character provided a ray of hope into not just the other slaves but also the Gary Paulsen's Nightjohn gives readers a black and white look at the extreme cruelty and racial discriminatory of the 1850's. That's why they don't want us reading. Sarny lives in slavery and is, therefore, forbidden the knowledge of reading and writing. It has graphic descriptions of what happens to some of the men who try to run, or what happens when Waller finds out that John is teaching Sarny how to read.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a more in depth detail of history. Nightjohn and Sarny are the main characters of this book, and this book focuses on twelve year old Sarny learning how to read from Nightjohn, a once freed slave. While today's world still needs some fixing, this story will shock students into the even-uglier realities kids and adults of color faced during a time in which slavery was perfectly legal. Ayn Rand was at her best in Anthem. It would make for valuable lessons to research 19th century America in regard to slavery and race. John is an unusual slave who knows how to read and write.
I eventually got the hang of it though. However, the actions of an unusual character provided a ray of hope into not just the other slaves but also the reader. Nightjohn is a chilling tale about life on the Waller plantation. Having finished, I'm uncertain where it might best live. Edwards Award given by the American Library Association for his lifetime achievement in young adult literature. My review: I have read this book many times before and it has never gotten boring or old to me. This discrimination shouldn't still exist today.
Sarny is a young slave girl on a plantation who lives and works for the master. He was caught and bought by Master Waller. I say this because it is a very powerful book and it explicitly tells me what my ancestors and others went through during slavery. Recently, studies have shown that police violence is aimed more at people of color than at others. Although set in a time frame I am not used to reading, Nightjohn was a pretty good read.