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Imagine being beaten for learning to read, shackled and whipped for learning a few letters of the alphabet. Now, imagine a man brave enough to risk torture in order to teach others how to read; his name is Nightjohn, and he sneaks into the slave camps at night to teach other slaves how to read and write. Celebrated author Gary Paulsen writes a searing meditation on why the ability to read and write is radical, empowering , and so necessary to our freedom. These skills threaten our oppressors because they allow us to communicate--to learn the real status of our slavery and to seek liberation. In this tightly written, painful, joyous little novel is a key that may unlock the power of reading for even the most reluctant teens.
Among the most powerful of Paulsen's works ( Hatchet ; The Winter Room ; Dogsong ), this impeccably researched novel sheds light on cruel truths in American history as it traces the experiences of a 12-year-old slave girl in the 1850s. Narrator Sarny exposes the abuse (routine beatings, bondage, dog attacks, forced "breeding") suffered by her people on the Waller plantation. The punishment for learning to read and write, she knows, is a bloody one, but when new slave Nightjohn offers to teach her the alphabet, Sarny readily agrees. Her decision causes pain for others as well as for herself, yet, inspired by the bravery of Nightjohn, who has given up a chance for freedom in order to educate slaves, Sarny continues her studies. Convincingly written in dialect, this graphic depiction of slavery evokes shame for this country's forefathers and sorrow for the victims of their inhumanity. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen there were many interasting points.The book Nightjohn is about a man named Nightjohn. He has a daughter and her name is Lany. Read morePublished on June 18 2004
IN THE BOOK NIGHT JOHNBY GARY PAULSEN.THE PRISONER WAS GOING TO ESCAPE FROM JAIL BECAUSE HE WAS STUCK INJAIL FOR LIFE. Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by timmy tunner
"Nightjohn" was an extraordinary book about slaves and one slave,
Sarny, who did what no one could do. Read more
Nightjohn is a very exiting book. This book is about a 14-year-old slave named Sarny who meets a slave who ran away to the north, but came back to teach slaves how to read. Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2003
This book is about Sarny, telling the story of John. He is the new slave brought to the plantation. He knows how to read and write and Sarny wants to learn. Read morePublished on March 6 2003
"Night John" was the best book I have ever read. Gary Paulsen books have lots of action. I want to read more of his books. Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2003
The protagonist is this girl who doesn't know how to read or write. The conflict is shes trying to learn how to read ,but she doesn'thave anyone to teach her. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2002 by Melinda Lundberg
I remember in fifth grade (5 years ago) my teacher read out loud to the class. This is probably the most unforgetable book I've ever read. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2002
This story is an intense and graphic account of the brutal conditions endured by slaves. The "Master" exerted extreme control over all facets of the slaves' lives, including... Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2002