Nightjohn

2 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 ratings

Nightjohn Publisher's Summary

Life on the Waller plantation is harsh and bleak. Twelve-year-old Sarny knows that it won’t be long before she will be forced to leave Mammy and join the other young women who serve the master’s household as breeders. Then one day a new slave arrives, bought from an overseer for a thousand dollars. He comes in a bad way, walking in front of the horses and Waller’s ready whip. His back is covered with scars as thick as Sarny’s hand, but he holds his head high and doesn’t seem to mind that everyone is watching him.

Sarny doesn’t know yet, but Nightjohn’s arrival is about to change everything. For that very night, in exchange for a plug of tobacco, Nightjohn begins to teach Sarny the letters of the alphabet. With enough time and tobacco, she will be able to read. Sarny has gotten as far as the letter J, when Waller catches her tracing the word BAG in the dust on the road. The punishment for teaching someone to read is severe. What will happen if Waller finds out who Sarny’s teacher is? Will her precious gift of learning be lost forever?

Newberry honor-winner, Gary Paulsen, offers a graphically realistic and historically accurate portrayal of slave society in mid-19th century America.

©1993 Gary Paulsen (P)1993 Recorded Books
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  • Book 1

    • Nightjohn

    • By: Gary Paulsen
    • Narrated by: Michele-Denise Woods
    • Length: 1 hr and 29 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 37
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 28
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 29

    Life on the Waller plantation is harsh and bleak. Twelve-year-old Sarny knows that it won’t be long before she will be forced to leave Mammy and join the other young women who serve the master’s household as breeders. Then one day a new slave arrives, bought from an overseer for a thousand dollars. He comes in a bad way, walking in front of the horses and Waller’s ready whip. His back is covered with scars as thick as Sarny’s hand, but he holds his head high.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Excellent book!

    • By T. Perkins on 11-24-14

    Regular price: $9.09

  • Book 2

    • Sarny

    • A Life Remembered
    • By: Gary Paulsen
    • Narrated by: Lynne Thigpen
    • Length: 4 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 19
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 18
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 18

    As the Civil War rages around the plantation where Sarny lives, she hears of other slaves running away. They are following the sparkling drinking gourd in the northern sky to freedom. She longs to go wherever she wants and to be allowed to read books, just like the freed slaves. But she has a young son and daughter to look after. When the master sells her children to a stranger, Sarny waits for an opportunity to sneak away to search for them. Her chance comes after a Union soldier kills the master.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • It's a great story. Absolutely Loved it!!♡♡♡♡U Sho

    • By Joanna on 09-03-18

    Regular price: $17.49