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Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen
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Nightjohn (1996)

by Gary Paulsen

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I really enjoyed this book for many reasons. The main idea of this book is to never give up. This is represented throughout the book in many different ways. Sarny is a young black slave girl who thirsts for knowledge. She is unable to obtain this knowledge until a male slave comes to the plantation, whose name is John. Determination is represented in this book when Sarny starts to how to read and write from john. For example, she writes the word bag in the dirt and gets caught by Waller. Even though she gets punished, she continues to learn from John. Another example was demonstrated when John decides he is going to try to escape. This showed his perseverance and determination. ( )
  bfried10 | Oct 28, 2014 |
This was a very shocking book. At some parts, it was hard to understand because of how the main character speaks. However, I think that makes the story even more powerful.
  LaurenValencour | Oct 26, 2014 |
This book is about a young girl who is a slave who starts to learn to read and write. This book is set in the time of slavey and talks about the difficult times African Americans had. This book is great in helping children to understand what happened and why it happened. Teaching about slavery is hard and not something that we want to teach. However, teaching about our past is important for children to understand so we don't make the same mistakes in the future. This book is for middle schoolers. Ages 13 and up.
  lauramaki | Oct 22, 2014 |
This book is about a young girl in a slave plantation. She encounters a man who teaches her to learn, and helps other people learn so they can escape.
I like this book because it keeps you thinking all through the book. There are many different ways the book could have ended, and I did not expect it to end the way it did.
I would say this book should be for kids in 5 or 6th grade and up because of its graphic content that appears occasionally.
  AmyGelle | Oct 20, 2014 |
1. This story is about a young girl growing up as a slave. A man gets purchased by her owner who then starts teaching her to read. He teaches her a few letters then runs away in the middle of the night. Later, he comes back to get Sarny and brings her to a little area with a few other slave children and he continues to teach them all to read.
2. I really liked the way this story showed slavery from a child's point of view. I would use it in my teaching to broaden children's understanding of slavery, our country's history, and the importance of equality.
3. I think this story would be a great supplement to a unit/theme on slavery or equality and injustice. I believe the age range for this book would be between 8-10 years old. Give or take due to developmental level.
  samjanke | Oct 19, 2014 |
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Questo libro è dedicato alla memoria di Sally Hemings, comperata, allevata e in seguito usata da Thomas Jefferson, terzo Presidente degli Stati Uniti, senza che mai potesse permettersi un solo respiro da donna libera.
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Questa è una storia su John della notte.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440219361, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Twelve-year-old Sarny's brutal life as a slave becomes even more dangerous when a newly arrived slave offers to teach her how to read.

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