Night John

ISBN: 0440820723
ISBN 13: 9780440820727
By: Gary Paulsen

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Currently Reading English 420 Fiction Historical Historical Fiction School Slavery To Read Ya Young Adult

Reader's Thoughts


I kinda of like and dislike the book. One of the reasons is because I don't like the way they treat the slaves. The second reason is that the owners are waiting for the little girls to grow up so they can rape them.Finally the owners don't want to let the slaves study.I don't like the way that the owners treat the slaves. The owners treat the slaves like if they were animals or something like that. The slaves work so hard that the even died because of so much work.I also really hat that the owners wait for the little girls to grow up so they can rape them. The owners only want more slaves to work for them. That's why the little girls are scared to have their period.The owners not even to let the slaves have an education. They don't let the slaves have a future and better opportunities in life. The owners are scared. They think that the slaves would stop working for them.That's some of the reasons why I don't like the book. The only reason I like the book is because the slaves never give up. They work hard. They study for better lives. This is a really good experience because the book for me tells me never to give up no matter how hard you life is.


I would place this book in the historical/nonfiction genre. The inside flap says that while specific names and places are changed the events are true.This is a touching story about a freed slave who willingly goes into slave territory to teach reading and writing. His name is John and he comes at night. Paulsen does not shy away from the horrors of slavery. It is real and sad, but also hopeful and inspirational. The narrator is a young girl named Sarney and she is the first on her plantation to begin to learn with him. Though there are struggles she begins to read and write; she begins to gain power through knowledge.I love this book. It is a short read for anyone who wants to experience an inspiring story.

Joy H.

_Nightjohn_ by Gary Paulsen (1993)Below is a copy of my post about this book at my group:--------------------------------------------Sometimes I see a movie and learn later that it was adapted from a book. For example, last night I streamed the movie, "Nightjohn" (1996), from Netflix and now I see that is was adapted from Gary Paulsen's young adult book, Nightjohn.At the book's Amazon page, Publishers Weekly says:======================================================"Among the most powerful of Paulsen's works ... 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 ... 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."======================================================My TV screen was a bit dark during some of the low-lit scenes and at times I didn't quite understand where the story was going. I think there could have been more exposition for the viewer. We watch slow scenes and don't quite understand their importance until later. This can become boring while waiting for things to become clear.However the story was very touching and made me realize how the enforced illiteracy of slaves by slaveowners kept slaves in ignorance and enforced their dependency on their owners. We take our literacy for granted these days, but for the slaves, just learning the alphabet was difficult for them to accomplish. Some of them weren't even aware of the existence of letters.Below are links to the movie pages:


I think the book Nightjohn is great.It have a lot of actions and sad can learn a lot of stuff important from the book.The book tells you how you should treat people.It have a lot of actions and sad moments. When Nightjohn escapes it was a really big action because it's really hard for a slave to escape to the north.and when they whipped mammy in the spring was very painful and sad because she is an old women.A man can take it but a women can can learn many important stuff from the book. you can learn about the bast of the slaves and how they where can learn that there is not different between people. Its just there look that dose not mean you have to treat them differently. you can learn about how slaves escapes and what happen if they try to read or write and many other thinks.The book tells you how you should treat people.There is no different between people.every person should be treated the same as you treat your parent and your family. does not matter there look or there skin color what matter is what they are really inside.I liked Nightjohn book and i hope you agree with me about how people should be treated equally.NO i don't recommend Nightjohn book because it's heartful and it's sad also painful book :)


Snapshot: Nightjohn is a story about a slave named John and a twelve year old girl named Sarny. Nightjohn is an unusual slave for he knows how to read and he knows that they are bound by the words the white masters write on paper. One day John arrives to a new plantation and his new master tries to subdue him with no avail. Sarny observes this beautiful black man and immediately realizes that he is different. For a bit of tabacco John teaches Sarny how to read. Hook: Nightjohn will interest students because it's very short. The most interesting part of this book is how slavery is told and seen by a child. Paulsen does an extraordinary job of telling the slave's experience through a child's voice.Challenges: The subject of slavery might be uncomfortable for some students, particularly those who come from African descent. Also, there are some very vivid images of slave life that might be distressing to some students. Although, I believe that the images are less offensive because the story is told in a child's voice.Student in mind: This book is great for everyone. It can be used as a historical book and deals with issues like slavery, race, white supremacy, and the power of knowledge.Conference Notes: Why do people refer to John as "Nightjohn"? What is the importance of education? What things keep us prisoner in the present? Level: Easy; 6th-10th grade (For lower grades I would use it as the main book and for higher grades as an introduction to a unit, etc.)

Liley Tafelsky

Night john was a very good and inspiring book. It tells you how bad slaves had it back then and what they had to live through. I think it was interesting that a lot of the regular things we would do and learn as a kid were illegal for them to learn as a slave.


I dislike this book. It doesn't make sense to me. It is boring to read. It doesn't explain things the way is supposed to. I dislike this book because it doesn't make sense. It's confusing to me. It has words I didn't understand. I didn't understand when Sarny was learning how to write. I dislike this book because is boring. It doesn't have a lot of action. For examples slaves got whipped it wasn't that much action. I dislike this book because it doesn't explain the way is supposed to. I didn't understand why mammy slapped john in the face. I didn't understand and why john only came out at night. I'n conclusion I didn't like Night John. I thought I t was boring and confusing I do not recommend this book.

Arielle Banks

Genre: realistic fictionTags: history, slavery, african-american, troubled times,etc.My review: I have read this book many times before and it has never gotten boring or old to me. Even though I enjoy it very much, I will give it 4.5 out 5 stars in ratings. I say this because it is a very powerful book and it explicitly tells me what my ancestors and others went through during slavery. I found it emotional and moving at certain periods. I think me watching the movie also influences my judgement of it because I saw the imagery created during the reading of the book come to life and action in the movie. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a more in depth detail of history.Plot Summary: in the book, sarny, an African American little girl, meets another slave who was just like her in particular ways. His was known as NightJohn. He appeared to the plantation beaten with scars and wounds on his body. He had these because he had escaped to the north for freedom and came back to teach reading to the other slaves. Back then, it was absolutely lethal and wrong for an African American to be literate. Well, NightJohn ends up teaching Sarny how to read and write but they must be very careful so the master won't discover what they are doing. In the very end, some of the slaves escape to the north also.


I thought the novel was amazing for many reasons.I thought it was amazing because it represents many values.Some of the values are bold,risk-taking and loyalty. I thought it was bold because in the novel,Sarny (a young slave) has been a slave since she was born.She never learned how to read or write,been abused and worked for days.This is representing bold because although she was treated terribly,she is still standing up and trying so hard to get away form the plantation after what they did to her.She never gave up on herself and kept on trying. I thought the novel was risk-taking as well.I thought it was risk-taking because the slave master abuse many slaves.For an example,the slave master was chasing Sarny because he caught her doing something.(Writing) Sarny ran way because she was afraid she will get hit. Sarny ran to Mammy to hide form the slave master.The slave master chose to punish Mammy so Sarny would feel guilty for not telling him what she was doing.The slave master got Mammy naked and hanged her.The only thing the other slaves can do is not to look at her to show respect for her body.This is risk-taking because Mammy risked her life to go through punishments so Sarny won't get hurt. I also thought the book was representing loyalty. I thought it was representing loyalty because for an example,Mammy took a terrible punishment just to protect Sarny.Another example is that NightJoh (an older man slave) escaped from the plantation but then comes back so he can help Sarny how to read and write.All of these examples are representing loyalty because both older people risk their life to help another one. These are the three reasons why the book was representing many values.Some of the values were bold,risk-taking and loyalty.Thank you for reading my essay.

Laura Carranza

I will write about how i like NightJohn. Nightjohn helped me understand how it was to be a slave.I found out it is to do what ever you want to do. My last reason is that it was interesting to know hear how people lived back then.NightJohn helped me understand how it was to be a slave. they suffered back then. Slaves had to work a lot. They had work.Some people did not have money and did not get payed.I found out how hard it is to do what evr you wnat to do.People back then did not go to school. They where not supposed to know how to read and write. Montly men had to wrok all daynight. So they were no body in life.My last reasin is that it was interesting to hear how people lived back then. I think by learning that the slaves back then i felt lucky to have esucation. All of the slaevs didn't even know how to read or write. They did not know anything about the world that is out side of where they areI like NightJohn. It was interesting. I recomend it to read the book NightJohn.


What I think about NightJohn is that it was interesting.The first thing I like was when sarny learn the words.Then I liked when NightJohn got his toes cut off .The last thing I likee was when he help the slaves learn words.My favorite part was when sarny learn the words.It made me feel happy when sarny knew the words.It they ever escape they would know how to read signs.My other favorite part was when NightJohn got his toes cut off.It made me feel sad because the only thing NightJohn was trying to do was teach slaves how to read and write.So I think that Waller did something bad.The last thing I liked was when NightJohn help the slaves learn the words.They had a pit school underground because that was the only way they would learn words and it was the only on the nights because they had to work on the day time.Inconclusion I think the book was interesting.It show how slaves were treated.I recommand the book.

Cate M.

Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen was a very quick and easy read, yet still has a great story. Sarny, a slave at the Waller plantation was doing her work when Old Waller brought Nightjohn (a male slave) to the plantation. He was already beat up and scarred, yet Waller forced him to run for hours, while tied to the horse by his neck. This made Sarny curious, so she started to talk to Nightjohn when they were both done with their work. Nightjohn wanted to trade his knowledge of reading and letters with Sarny, for the exchange of tobacco. The catch is, slaves aren't supposed to be learning how to read. Throughout the book, Sarny has to learn secretly, and Nightjohn is always going the extra mile share his knowledge with the others.


This is a good book for the people who are into history to understand what happen to other people who were slaves. Also people who didn't know what happen to slaves should read this. Also you could know how slaves communicated. slaves were mistreated and not that many people know that, slaves were hurt or even killed some people should know about how slaves lived night john is a good book for people because he shows how slaves were punished like being streeped naked and whipped in front of people. sometimes slaves had some of their body parts cut off like ears,toes and hands. People whose family was a slave owners told stories about what happen to their slaves. night john has alot of things that i didn't know slave owner did they had facts about slavery in the book. no matter how old you were you had to work mostly when you were 12 years old. People would love this bok thier are sad parts in the book but its worth reading.I hope slavery never happens again because it would be worse because of the new technology we have so there would be more bloody punishments.Slaves communicate by many ways like using blankets,songs and of course letters. Or either sing, their songs are not just songs they sing. Their songs are mostly about how they escape some bbof their songs have something to it.

David Sanchez-garcia

NIGHTJOHNI like this book. It’s interesting. I was amazed at where Nightjohn did just to be with the slaves. I think this book is sad too.When he was teaching Sarny.When he defends mammy.And he made his shoes.This book interesting Sarny learns to be literate. I also liked when there was a slave running but they caught him when Nightjohn defends mammy and Sarny. I felt depressed.This book is interesting. It showed me how slaves used to live. The characters were very clever. They were brave. It shows how people were under control and being slave is dangerous. Slaves were not allow to do mostly anything. For example the slaves weren't allow to read and write.They were clever. They were hiding from waller just so sarny could learn.Nightjohn made his shoes out of rawhide and put lard and pepper on them so the dogs couldn’t follow him.Nightjohn was brave when he stood up for mammh. Nightjohn knew the rules but Sarny wanted to still learn how to read and write.Nightjohn would teach her how to read and write in the night when waller isn’t there.


This essay I will talking about Nightjohn book.In my opinion I think that I like to read Nightjohn book. From this book, I could know a lot about the slaves. I can seen real life of people living in 1800's. I feel sympathy with the people living over there. In first my opinion,I could know a lot about the slaves. From the South.Te slaver buy slaves to work for them.Normally,they work at the farm of their slaver.They still work very hard.they are restless. Everyday,they master whip on their body.Sometimes.the slaver use a dog to bite them.Also,The slaver perform more evil works to their slaves.As far as I know , the slaves can not learn read and write. But they try to know something happen to them. That's why they try to secretly learn to read and write . they try to discover a good way to get out their situation. Second in my opinion, I can see real life of people living in the 1800's .They don't ave freedom.But they have a dream that they can have a beautiful life like normal people.The slavers don't like their work of them.Even though,they work very hard.But they are without of the money.They don't have any physically.All of physically belong their slaver. Third in my opinion,I feel sympathy with the people living over there. For example, If I was living their life, I think that I could not do same way them. It seems very difficult . Also they are so brave.Even though, They are trying keepping the good work they do.They have a dreams and try to do that become real life. In my opinion, I think Nightjohn is good book to read. I could know a lot about the slaves . I can sen real life of people living at the 1800's. I feel sympathy with the people living over there.

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