"I didn't know what letters was, not what they meant, but I thought it might be something I wanted to know. To learn." - Sarny.
Sarny, a female slave at the Waller plantation, first sees Nightjohn when he is brought there with a rope around his neck, his body covered in scars. He had escaped north to freedom, but he came back - came back to teach reading. Knowing that the penalty for reading is dismemberment Nightjohn still returned to slavery to teach others how to read. And twelve-year-old Sarny is willing to take the risk to learn.
Set in the 1850's, Gary Paulsen's groundbreaking new novel is unlike anything else the award-winning author has written. This frequently violent book is meticulously researched, historically accurate, and an artistically crafted portrayal of a grim time in our nation's past, brought to light through the personal history of two unforgettable characters.
For junior high readers.
(From the Teen Historical Fiction shelf.)