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Reviewing and Summarizing the Life of Sarny

A very powerful sequel to the book Nightjohn, Gary Paulsen’s book entitled Sarny: a Life Remembered follows the life of a brave woman who learned to read and write while being held captive by slavery and how she served as an inspiration to her fellowmen. The story is set during the Civil War and slavery was reaching its peak action. Therefore, the book was focused on the important themes related to war such as justice and freedom.

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Because the narrator was a female slave, the voice of the story is naturally defiant, brave, and full of hope.

This is a very qualification of novels that tackle about the lives of Black slaves for it adds character to the wholeness of the plot. In the narration of the book, Sarny was already ninety years old. Her lifetime was devoted her struggles to unite her family, to keep her children safe, and to be able to serve as an educator to other slaves. In Paulsen’s work we witness how Sarny victoriously escaped slavery and how she taught herself to be literate, along with the other slaves she was with.

She was married twice and her two children, Tyler and Delie, were separated from her when they were sold as debt payments by their owner. When she was able to leave her owner, she dedicated her time and effort to search for her children. After achieving emancipation, Sarny devoted her time in building a school where she would teach other former slaves to be literate. Other important characters in the story were Lucy, a young slave who has become Sarny’s friend on the road, and Miss Laura, who helped Sarny find her children.

These two characters contribute significantly to the direction of Sarny’s life. On the other hand, Sarny also served as an important factor to the developments of these two characters. Sarny is an amazing, informative book to read for all ages, particularly targeting the audience of young adolescents. Even though the main protagonist of the story was already in her nineties, the whole plot of the story would be educational and interesting for all young students who would read this book.

There is a fair amount of racial violence and sexual issues that were tackled in the book so the readers should at least be adolescents. But as a whole, Sarny has a very interesting array of characters and its plot is really heartwarming. It is a book that deserves to be highly recommended for it touches important realities of motherhood, family life, slavery, social equality, and freedom.

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