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Nightjohn

Nightjohn

Écrit par Gary Paulsen

Raconté par Michele-Denise Woods


Nightjohn

Écrit par Gary Paulsen

Raconté par Michele-Denise Woods

évaluations:
4/5 (15 évaluations)
Longueur:
1 heure
Sortie:
Jan 1, 1993
ISBN:
9781490608525
Format:
Livre audio

Description

Life on the Waller plantation is harsh and bleak. Twelve-year-old Sarny knows that it won’t be long before she will be forced to leave Mammy and join the other young women who serve the master’s household as breeders. Then one day a new slave arrives, bought from an overseer for a thousand dollars. He comes in a bad way, walking in front of the horses and Waller’s ready whip. His back is covered with scars as thick as Sarny’s hand, but he holds his head high and doesn’t seem to mind that everyone is watching him. Sarny doesn’t know yet, but Nightjohn’s arrival is about to change everything. For that very night, in exchange for a plug of tobacco, Nightjohn begins to teach Sarny the letters of the alphabet. With enough time and tobacco, she will be able to read. Sarny has gotten as far as the letter J, when Waller catches her tracing the word BAG in the dust on the road. The punishment for teaching someone to read is severe. What will happen if Waller finds out who Sarny’s teacher is? Will her precious gift of learning be lost forever? Newberry honor-winner, Gary Paulsen, offers a graphically realistic and historically accurate portrayal of slave society in mid-19th century America.
Sortie:
Jan 1, 1993
ISBN:
9781490608525
Format:
Livre audio


À propos de l'auteur

GARY PAULSEN has written nearly two hundred books for young people, including the Newbery Honor Books Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room. He divides his time between a home in New Mexico and a boat on the Pacific Ocean.

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4.0
15 évaluations / 28 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (4/5)
    um... guys how do we read the book because i have a project and i can't read it online
  • (5/5)
    History has taught us MANY stories of survival and overcoming oppression. We do need to learn all we can to adapt and overcome.
  • (5/5)
    I was truly impressed by this novel and really enjoyed it. I liked it because of is descriptive, colorful language. Paulsen did an amazing job of using vocabulary that was able to really paint a picture of what was happening in the text, and really give the reader a picture of what was happening. For example, "I'm brown. Same as dark sassafras tea. But I had seen black people, true black. And Nightjohn was that way. Beautiful. So black he was like the marble stone by the front of the white house; so black it seemed I could see inside, down into him. See almost through him somehow" (28). I also like this book because it is told from the first person view of Sarny, an illiterate ten year old slave girl who is being taught illegally to read by Nightjohn. By telling it from her point of view, we get a real sense of the danger in teaching her to read, as well as the necessity in teaching her to read, as her illiteracy is apparent in the way Paulsen writes her voice. The main idea of this story is to do what what you believe is right, despite others thinking it might not be.
  • (5/5)
    A piece of history that I did not know until I read this book. Although the descriptive language is very graphic and terrorizing, the author did a great job sharing this piece of history with its readers. I liked this book a lot because of its message. Years ago, African Americans were portrayed as illiterate and to read about an African American man who risked his life to educate his people, well that right there is just heroic to me. I believe that education is life; without it you have nothing. I do not recommend that anyone under the age of 10 should read this book because of how graphic it is, but it's history. The author's idea of using the southern dialect in the book was brilliant! What better way to teach readers? A little complicated to read at first because of the southern dialect, but after a while I got used to it. Excellent book!
  • (3/5)
    The main idea of this book is to portray the horrific and cruel circumstances into which many African Americans were forced during the time of slavery in the United States. This book also shows the importance of education and courageous acts.I had mixed feelings about this book. One reason I enjoyed this book was because of the character Nightjohn. His unwavering courage and strength in horrifying situations is absolutely inspiring. For example, Nightjohn was whipped many times and even had his toes cut off by his master because he was teaching other slaves to read. Yet, he continued on, never wavering in his pursuit of education for the slaves. This type of persistence and courage, even to the point of unimaginable pain, is just stunning to me.I also liked this book because of the powerful message it sends about the importance of education and literacy. For example, after Nightjohn had escaped to freedom, he returns to slavery in order to teach other slaves how to read. He endures terrible torture all in the name of education. I think this shows just how precious education is, and how we should always be grateful for our freedom to learn today.I had mixed feelings about this book because of the extremely graphic depictions of slavery. For example, we read about whippings, removal of appendages, rubbing salt in wounds, etc. While I understand that these are realistic and send an extremely powerful message, I felt that it might have been a bit too violent, especially considering the young adult readers to whom the book is geared. As a college student, I had difficulty reading through some of the passages and found them very upsetting and disturbing. However, I do understand the purpose and merit of these scenes. While I personally found them, in a sense, overly graphic, I do recognize that these scenes will have a lasting, powerful impact on all readers, and will truly imprint the atrocities of slavery in their minds.
  • (3/5)
    I liked this book for the most part. I liked the books use of imagery, granted that the imagery was focused more towards the violent events in the book. For example, the author used vivid description of how the slave owners punish their slaves. In a couple of scenes, the author explains that slaves are whipped until their skin splits open, tied their hands up, and salt is rubbed in the wounds to strengthen the pain. I liked how the author didn't hide or skip over this part of the book like many authors do because it pulled out emotions that could only develop through detailed imagery. I didn't like that the whole book was written through a specific voice. For example, when Sarny is confused as to why the 'white' people don't want the slaves to know how to read Night John replies, "'Cause for us to know things, is bad for them. We get to wanting and when we get to wanting it's bad for them. They thinks we want what they got." The language that is used throughout the whole book makes perfectly sense and is a great idea for the book, but I personally had trouble understanding and continuously read parts incorrectly, leading to having to reread many times. The main idea of the book was to value your education greatly, despite the huge risk in getting caught.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed this book mainly because I'm a big Gary Paulsen fan, but I loved how Paulsen developed his character Nightjohn. With this truly inspiring story, Paulsen explains how NIghtjohn escaped slavery but twiceand came back to risk everything for the sole purpose of teaching others. I also felt that the message of this book is extremely relevant to anyone with an appreciation for academics and their importance in life. Knowledge is power, and it can never be taken away from you; Paulsen explains that no matter what happens to you physically or emotionally, you will always have what you know to lean on for the rest of your days.
  • (2/5)
    This book was a decent read. It was very difficult for me to get into because of the language used. I feel like the language was efficient because it set the reader back in time and put them into the scene, but it was difficult for me to follow since I didn't understand. I had to go back and read often. I did like the theme of the story because what NightJohn did was extremely powerful. After taking the blame and getting his toes cut off, he continued to teach other slaves to read and write. This is something not most people would do. I think this book's message is the power of sacrifice.
  • (5/5)
    The young adult novel, Nightjohn, is about slavery in the American South shortly before the Civil War. Based on actual events, the author tells about a young slave girl, Sarny, who is taught to read by another slave, Nightjohn.
  • (4/5)
    This book is a portrayal of slavery. Nightjohn is on a mission to teach illiterate children to read and write in order to be able to write about the past later in life. To tell the story of slavery. The book is beneficial for children to learn how difficult life was for slaves and what life was like for them. This book would be good for children ages 8-12.
  • (4/5)
    I liked this book and the author was able to pack in a lot of powerful information in 70 pages. Although it was hard for me to understand at first, I really liked the language used in this book. The characters spoke with African American Vernacular dialect and it was hard to read at first. But, I believe it helped the book seem more realistic and it made the me feel like I was there, observing these horrible events. For example a line in the book said, "Why they be cutting our thumbs off if we learn to read". This type of language that the characters used showed how they were uneducated. The author did a wonderful job portraying the characters also. Nightjohn was so brave and he did everything he could to educate these children, regardless of the consequences. Sarny, the main character was portrayed very well and the reader often felt sympathy for her. Although she was uneducated, she was smart and brave. For example, she said "I just be so quiet and listen all the time that I learn things". This shows how smart she was and how she wanted to learn more even if it wasn't allowed. The main idea in this book is to stay hopeful and stay brave and hopeful.
  • (5/5)
    "Nightjohn" is the story of a young girl Sarny who is a slave on the Waller Plantation. Sarny's experience as a slave completely turns when John comes to her plantation. One night when John was begging for tobacco, Sarny trades the tobacco she has in exchange for three letters: A, B, and C. Regardless of the many warnings Sarny receives, she continues to trade with John in an effort to learn to read and write. With the excitement of knowledge filling her, Sarny writes her very first word all over the plantation, remembering to wipe it out of course. However, the master sees her writing and immediately knows someone has been teaching her to read and write. Finally, John confesses and his two toes are cut off. Instead of giving up, courageous John runs away and only returns in the night to take Sarny and many other brave slaves to "school" where they continue learning to read and write.I liked this story, because the writing was very true to the time period. The setting took place on a plantation during the period of slavery, and story took the point of view of a young, uneducated slave. The writing and dialogue stayed very true to this period and language of this character. For example, Sarny says "don't know nothing about writing" when the master catches her writing her first word in the dirt. This dialogue really makes the reader feel as if the story is actually happening in front of them as this situation would occur in real life.Also, I really liked this book, because of brave and courageous characters in the story. Sarny is warned multiple times of the consequences of learning to read. Mammy says, "Child, they'll cut your thumbs off if you learn to read" (p.54). But regardless, Sarny wants the knowledge and power of reading and writing, so she continues to learn. Also, John gets caught teaching Sarny and even loses his toes for it. But still, John comes back in the middle of night for Sarny, "School-we got to go to school. Don't you want to learn the rest of the letters?" (p.85). Along with the true language and courageous characters, the story has a powerful big message of taking a stand against segregation and displaying the power of education, words, and writing. There's only one way to inform the world of the experiences they have been through as slaves: telling the world through writing.
  • (4/5)
    I liked this book overall. It was told from the perspective of a young slave girl who was rapidly approaching puberty, at which point her role and "dutites" as a slave would change significantly. This girl's name is Sarny, and during the course of the book, she makes friends with a man named Nightjohn, a slave who had escaped and gone to the north to learn how to read, but then come back to try to teach others how to read. It was illegal for slaves to try to learn, or even simply know how to read, and they would be punished for doing so, so both Sarny and Nightjohn we're taking great risks. That's one of the reasons I like this book, both Sarny and Nightjohn knew the potential trouble they could get in if they were caught, yet their desire for knowledge/education and their desire to help others outweighed that risk. Ultimately they are caught, and Nightjohn is punished by having the middle toes on both of his feet severed. Despite this, 3 days later, he makes a break for freedom is successful. He still comes back though, during the nights, to bring Sarny together with other slave children, and teach them how to read and write as well. I liked how inspiring of a character Nightjohn is; not only has he escaped slavery once, but twice, yet he is still willing to come back and risk everything for the sole purpose of teaching others, who would have no opportunity beyond him, how to read. The message of this book is that knowledge is power, and it can never be taken away from you; even if someone puts a chain around your neck and chops off your toes. This book is also about courage, determination, and standing up fr what you believe in.Reading level 5-8
  • (5/5)
    This story is about slavery in the early United States. It is about a young black girl who learns to read and write even though she is a slave. This story is a great way to tie into how slaves were treated in the US. Recommended grades for this book are 4-7.
  • (4/5)
    A quick read, narrated with the realistic voice of an illiterate slave (something that took me a while to adapt to). While it is very easy to read as far as reading level goes, it was one of the most difficult books I have read. My reactions included dizziness, vomiting, and crying, but again, I'm highly sensitive to graphic violence. I wish this book had a disclaimer and I really wouldn't have read it if that had been the case.

    This experience was equivalent to watching "Roots". What I mean by "really liked it" in my rating is actually "I think the content is important to know and the book is effective in portraying the horrors of slavery." However, I did not in ANY WAY like it.

  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    In my opinion, this is a great book. For one, I feel the characters were well developed, and were believable in their emotions and actions. Sarny is introduced to the readers first, though soon after Nightjohn is introduced as well. The characters are victims of slavery, and form a friendship with one another. Sarny develops from a silent, shy girl in the beginning of the story, to a young lady who will not accept her fate as a slave breeder. Nightjohn develops from a boy who wants to teach others how to read and write, to an honorable man who risks his life for the sake of others. Both characters develop throughout the story with the reader, and quickly gain their empathy and interest. In addition to the characters, I like how the story pushes readers to think about the time period around slavery. The story not only teaches readers about slavery, but also throws viewers into experiencing brutal realities some slaves were faced with. The underlying message of this story is hope. Sarny knew that her masters would never allow her to display her knowledge of reading and writing, though in her mind, she continued to hope that one day she would be free, and could express her knowledge to everyone.
  • (4/5)
    In the time of slavery things were awful. I don’t think we realize just how awful they actually were. Then you come across a book Like Nightjohn that takes you into that world and opens your eyes to the real horrors of how people were treated during slavery. This was a hard book to read but it was also are great book that teaches a lot. I really liked this book for a couple of reasons. One reason I really liked it was because of the language it was written in. It really made you feel like you were in that time period. Another reason I liked it was for the story it told and how it made the reader think about a really tough concept and what it must have been like to be a slave.While the language that this book is written in is a little tough to get use to at first, as you get use to it, it really added to the reader’s experience. The book is written just like slaves would talk in that time period. This kind of language helped to send you back in time and immerse you in to the story. For example “I didn't know what letters was, not what they meant, but I thought it might be something I wanted to know. To learn.” Having this kind of language help show the reader that slaves did not get to go to school or learn how to read and write. It brings an authenticity to the story. The actual story this book tells is powerful and moving. The story follows young Sarny, who deals with being a slave. Then one day a new slave is brought onto the plantation. She learned his name is Nightjohn. Soon after he arrived he started teaching her letters and how to makes the sounds to read them. But the most interesting thing that she learned was that Nightjohn learned to read because he was once a free salve. A man who was once free from slavery put himself back into the horrors of it to help teach reading and writing to slaves showed amazing character. As the story continued, Sarny started to learn to write and was caught and punished for her actions because, “To know things, for us to know things, is bad for them. We get to wanting and when we get to wanting it's bad for them. They thinks we want what they got. That's why they don't want us reading." It was in the events that follow you really learned just how tortuous it was to be a slave. This is why this story pushes you to think about tough issues. It really made you think about and even showed you what it would have been like to be a slave. It made you ask questions like: Why did this happen? What would I do in that situation? How could people do this to other human beings? It makes you think about racism and all the problem and issues with it. This book packs a punch that I will not soon forget.Nightjohn sends a powerful message it teaches us the value of learning and the doors it can open to know how to read and write. But more importantly it gives us a glimpse in to a dark time in American history a time that will not be forgotten.
  • (5/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. The main idea was about a girl named Sarny and her experience of slavery and her friend John. The book was very interesting and at some points graphic for my personal taste. Sarny was a little girl who is curious about the “white” house and learning how to read and write. John was a slave who had reached freedom, but choose to come back to teach the others how to read and write. The story had many great details describing the inhumane assaults against the slaves by Waller. For example, the story states “...she had screamed until she sounded like pigs being cut he made mammy to go to the salt house and get salt to rub it in the cuts to make more pain.” I could really imagine and feel the pain on my own skin from reading passages like this one. I also really enjoyed how the story was written. Gary Paulsen wrote the book using run on sentences and incorrect grammar. As seen in my previous quote “...made mammy to go to the salt house...” Having the story written this way allows the reader to connect to the Sarny and the lifestyle she is experiencing. This book is a great read and I would recommend it to everyone.
  • (4/5)
    First I chose this book because one of my fellow classmates talked Gary Paulsen up as an author so much, I felt the need to read one of his books. I enjoyed this book because the story was told from the perspective of a young slave girl, named Sarny, who is quickly approaching puberty. Once she reaches puberty her role and "dutites" as a slave would change significantly. Sarny makes friends with a man named Nightjohn. Nightjohn is a slave who had escaped and gone to the north to learn how to read, but then come back to try to teach others how to read. I liked that both Sarny and Nightjohn knew the potential trouble they could get in for learning to read, if they were caught. But their desire for knowledge and to help others outweighed the consequences of the risk. I loved Nighjohn’s character he is so inspiring and strong. Nightjohn has escaped slavery twice, but he returns for the sole purpose of teaching others how to read. The message of this book is that knowledge is power, and it can never be taken away from you, no matter what others do to you. This book shows the reader what true courage and determination is.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book for a few reasons. I really liked the characters in the book, especially night John. I thought he was such an inspiring and brave character. Although he knew it was not aloud, he still risked his life in order to teach the other slaves to read, which I thought was so caring and brave of him. I also really enjoyed the plot of the book. Even though he faced troubles of having his toes chopped off, he doesn’t just sit around, he escapes to freedom and even eventually comes back for Sarny in order to still help her. I thought it was so awesome how even after being hurt for trying to help Sarny, he still risks coming back in order to help her. I think the overall message is doing the right thing. Even though sometimes you can get penalized and punished for doing the right thing, never give up, because in the end it is always the right thing to do.
  • (5/5)
    I really loved the writing style of this book. I could tell that the author wanted it to sound like a slave had written it. There were a lot of sentence fragments and grammatical errors that would be typical of someone with no education, like the main character Sarney. For example, “Come a hard time. Come a awful, hard time,” and “But they’s some of them to cry,” show that the narrator does not have an understanding of sentence structure and grammar rules (p. 42 and 55). I also loved how descriptive the language was. When the narrator described the breathing of the slave owner, she said, “Breath cut in, cut out like a saw cutting wood,” (p. 64). I had never thought of someone’s breathing as a saw before, but I could clearly imagine what harsh and angry breaths he was taking. At times, I felt the book was disturbing because of the treatment of the slaves, but I gained a better understanding of the hardships and maltreatment of African Americans. The purpose of this book was to describe the attitudes of white slave owners on the education of African Americans. The powerful book shows the lengths a slave would go to learn and teach other how to read and write.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book for a few different reasons. One thing that I liked was how the author used the African American dialect form back then through the entire novel. Such as when he writes, “all I know for a mammy is the one who raised me, old Delie, and she be the one who raises all the young.” I also liked this book, because of the detail the author provided, such as when he described the scars on Nightjohn back, “the skin across his shoulders raised in ripples, thick as my hand, up and down his back onto his rear end and down his legs some.The main message of this story was the hardships African Americans faced during the Civil War time period
  • (4/5)
    I really liked the book Nightjohn. This book was very brutal but I learned a lot about the life of a slave. In history lessons, I always learned that there were slaves, and that their masters weren’t nice to them, and that they had difficult lives. That’s about as in depth as my lessons went. This book really displayed the emotions of these slaves, and their hardships. Reading about how Mammy was whipped, and NightJohn had his toes cut off, simply because a child wrote the word “Bag” in the dirt was heartbreaking. I truly felt ashamed that my ancestors could have possibly done things like that. The book was written in the way the characters would have talked back then, and it was a little difficult to read at first. However, it really made the book come to life. For example, one sentence reads, “There’s some to say I brought him with witchin, brought NightJohn because he came to be talking…” The message of this story is to inform readers of the hardships of slaves.
  • (4/5)
    This was one of my favorite chapter books we read all semester. My favorite part of the book is the imagery the author created throughout the chapter book. I had vivid images throughout my reading. Some of the most gruesome events in the book had the best imagery associated with them. I could sense NightJohn’s pain as he was getting his toe cut off for trying to teacher another slave how to read. The author evoked all the reader’s senses in his writing. The next aspect of the book I liked was the author’s writing style. The book was written in a language that was authentic to the time period and authentic as to how people spoke during this time. They introduced themselves by saying “I be John,” “I be Sarny.” At first a reader may have difficultly getting accustomed to the way the characters speak but it adds authenticity and gives the reader a sense of how they spoke during this time period. Finally, I loved the characters in the book. The characters gave the reader someone to relate to and gave the reader an opportunity to “look through a window.” The reader can see another perspective on the importance of education that is something that many readers take for granted. In addition, the reader is forced to think about a life that is different from their own and they are forced to have a greater appreciation for their opportunity’s and freedoms. The big idea/message of this story is the importance of education, selflessness, and freedom.
  • (4/5)
    I listened to this story on audiobook and I highly recommend it. Paulsen's writing hits you like a punch to the gut, leaving you breathless, and paired with Michele Denise-Woods' reading, this story will envelope you as you're listening. The only downside? I want more! I want to know what happens to our sweet, courageous protagonist. I want to know what happens to Nightjohn. But, thankfully, listeners are, at least, left with a nice surprise. Gary Paulsen actually speaks about his inspiration for this book, Sally Hemmings, and you can tell how deeply her story has affected him. And it so shows in his writing. I could listen to Paulsen talk for days. He's incredibly moving. So, if you're up for a sad, yet hopeful, and very quick listen, pick this up. And definitely stick around for Paulsen's bit at the end.
  • (5/5)
    Nightjohn, is a book about the many facets of slavery. I had a hard time reading this book, but was unable to put it down. It was so real, and such a sad story, with a happy ending. I would suggest this book to teachers who would like to add to their lessons on slavery and diversity. I would also suggest this book to children no younger than 5th grade, as it contains graphic details, and difficult topics.
  • (5/5)
    Inspired by true events, Gary Paulsen's NightJohn gives insight into the connections between education and freedom for American slaves. Sarny is a quiet and curious young girl whose world is opened up by a brave new fieldworker, NightJohn, who has dedicated himself to teaching slaves to read and write. Written from Sarny's perspective and in her own language, this story gives readers an authentic insight into the cruel realities of American History and the grassroots struggles for freedom. Paulsen's plot is easy enough to follow-he only leads up to the point at which NightJohn sets up his school, and it is up to the reader to speculate on the eventual effect of such efforts. Physical details of life on the farm can be plucked out of Sarny's narrative with some subtlety, but the emotional effects are laid out bare: readers are given every opportunity to imagine the pain, despair and eventual hope that permeate Sarny's daily life. Highly recommended for both school and public libraries.