From the Hardcover edition.
Sarny: A Life Rememberedby Gary Paulsen, Jerry Pinkney
So many readers have written and asked: What happened to Sarny, the young slave girl who learned to read in Nightjohn? Extraordinary things happened to her, from the moment she fled the plantation in the last days of the Civil War, suddenly a free woman in search of her sold-away children, until she found them and began a new life. Sarny's story gives a/i>… See more details below
So many readers have written and asked: What happened to Sarny, the young slave girl who learned to read in Nightjohn? Extraordinary things happened to her, from the moment she fled the plantation in the last days of the Civil War, suddenly a free woman in search of her sold-away children, until she found them and began a new life. Sarny's story gives a panoramic view of America in a time of trial, tragedy, and hoped-for change, until her last days in the 1930s.
From the Hardcover edition.
Sarny, a child in Paulsen's Nightjohn (Doubleday, 1993), narrates the story of her life from girlhood until 1930, when she is 94 years old. Born into slavery and taught to read by the slave Nightjohn, she marries, bears two babies, and sees her husband worked to death. Her children are sold just as the Civil War ends. Accompanied by another freed slave, Sarny journeys toward New Orleans looking for her children, and meets Miss Laura, a light-skinned black woman with a shadowy occupation and lots of money. In New Orleans, Sarny finds her children and lives comfortably in Miss Laura's employ. She remarries, teaches black children to read, and sees her husband lynched. As the story ends, Sarny, a very rich woman, is living in Texas and waiting to die. Sarny's strong narrative voice is striking, as she remembers events in her own distinct way. It is as though readers are sitting at the feet of a real person, listening as her story spins out. Those unfamiliar with Nightjohn will not understand the numerous references to it, but this detracts little from the story. While Sarny suffers many terrible tragedies, her life after the war is probably far more comfortable and sheltered than the lives of the vast majority of former slaves. However, this is not meant to be a sweeping overview of history, but the highly individualized account of one woman's experiences. Just how much of the book is based on historical facts remains fuzzy, but Sarny is a wonderful, believable character. Her story makes absorbing reading. --Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
- Random House Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.26(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.51(d)
- Age Range:
- 12 - 17 Years
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