ISBN: 0440219736
ISBN 13: 9780440219736
By: Gary Paulsen Jerry Pinkney

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Civil War Currently Reading Fiction Historical Historical Fiction School Slavery To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

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.

Reader's Thoughts


it was really sad it really touched my heart and its sad what they did to myrce and how they treated them


second book to Nightjohn excellent book about life after slavery


This book is a contiuned series to Night John, and it's about Sarny's adventure journey to New Orleans in the search for her two children; Deili and Tyler. As both Sarny and Lucy (young girl who she be-friended) travel the 500 or so miles South they find many injuried soldiers; yet, the sights and feelings soon come to their thoughts about white people, Sarny discovers new ways. I really enjoyed this book, I decided to get it because I could not ease my curiousity to the ending of Night John and I needed to know more about Sarny. I think this book is a great book for muliculture because it mentions the different ways of how the South grew up and how other relgions differ from my own relgion. Very interesting and exciting book for children.


A well-written story. Sarny has a strong voice, and the story she tells rings true with a happy enough ending, despite all the hardship she experiences.I would be very interested to read its prequel Nightjohn.


I didnt really like this book becuase it wasnt really my type of book.It wasnt all that bad I would still reccommend it!


Sarny is a fictional tale of the life of a slave woman named Sarny. She is born on a plantation and the author chronicles her life from freedom to her death. I feel that I would have loved this book had I read it as a child, because I used to love short historical fiction stories like this one, especially around the civil war. I wasn't very enthusiastic about reading Sarny, but the book turned out to be alright. It is a nice simple book to read, that doesn't bring up any new ideas but makes a nice break from reading more complicated books (no offense to the author, but I'm sure he meant the book to be simple for a young adult audience).I liked the authenticity of the language in the book, which was written from Sarny's perspective. The author must have put a lot of thought into wording her thoughts the way he did. The plot of the book is extremely unlikely to ever happen, but that isn't necessarily a flaw. After all, it's nice to read a book with a happy ending once in a while.


The book starts out as the main character explaining her life. Along the way she has two kids that she names, Tyler and Delie. Then one day they get taken because of a bad bet at a poker game. The man that won the poker game, came one day with a wagon and picked up the two children. That’s where the story begins to get interesting. If Sarny, the main character, wasn’t herself, or had different ideas on what there is in life to look forward to, I think that there wouldn’t be a book. Sarny really can teach readers a lot about the good things in life and to stand up for what is right, instead of going with the crowd. If Sarny didn’t meet up with Laura, who is a rich women from down in New Orleans, she probably wouldn’t have found her children as fast as she did. Sarny may have never found them. The book takes place in the south, which is more believable than the north because there isn’t nearly as much slavery as there is in the south in this time period. The setting really plays a large part in making the book more believable.I think that "Sarny" is a good book for anyone who likes to read about history, but in a fictional way. In the book they incorporate a little bit of history along with alot of different ideas and thoughts from the time period of the civil war. It is a very well thought out book with a great theme of, never give up, embedded into it.

Erika Forth

This book was read aloud to my class by a professor and she made some great voices with it. A good book like Nightjohn, but perhaps a bit more satisfying and lengthy.

Miss. Morris

I really liked this book. Despite not liking history this book gave me a new light on slavery. It can be violent at times.

Rebecca Radnor

Continuation of Nightjohn, but in my opinion its much better because it stays closer to the historical reality of life. Somehow it manages to be in New Orleans during the period of plessy v. ferguson without ever talking about it, or the way that the African American upper class types suddenly had American race norms thrust upon them with the influx of southerners (who were not from New Orleans). In spite of this, its an engrossing story of the slave who Nightjohn taught to read, as she grows to be a woman, lives through the civil war and ends up in New Orleans working as the maid to a very rich and mysterious woman. There are no big events that the book covers, other than the plague in St. Louis, but that is mentioned only in passing, and as I already noted, not even Plessy --- but you'll enjoy the read so much that you won't even notice it.

Kathy Davidson

very interesting. loved to read about the struggles just after the civil war


Gary Paulsen has never let me down. He's one of my favorite authors for a reason!


recommended for 6-8th grades, excellent historical fiction to teach reconstruction after the civil war.


another book recommended by a student. this is the sequel to nightjohn. it really oversimplifies plenty, but paulsen makes the character sarny a spectacular storyteller. if you want a child to understand some of the emotional impact of slavery and the time just following it, give them nightjohn and sarny.


sarny is a great book that talks about how cruel slavery was back then.I give this book a 5 star rating because its a very good book.The story of sarny talks about her slave owner dying and how she sets of on an adventure to find her kids that were taken from her.she starts her long journey to new Orleans by foot but then meets a nice white women that offers her a free job but not like a slave she would get paid.This is a start of a great friendship between sarny and the white women. not only did the white women offer sarny a job but she also promised sarny to help her find her kids.This book is a really good book to understand how slaves felt back then.I recommend this book to everyone because it has adventure,mystery,and drama.

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