Night John by Gary Paulsen.
Delacorte Press/Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc: NY, 1993.
Sarny: A Life Remembered sequel 1997

This book took me by surprise. It is so different from Paulsen's other books. It emphasizes the importance of reading in an incredibly real way. Reading represents life and freedom. For people who only have what they are allowed, freedom (even within the mind) is worth many risks.

Both Night John and Sarny are strong characters, and I found it to be a powerful book regarding slavery, education, and opportunities. It affected me deeply because I am a teacher living in a country that now takes education for granted, and I believe there are people here who want to limit education and opportunities for the majority of our people.

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