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By: Gary Paulsen


2015 Community Read- Middle School Selection


Reading groups at Geneva Middle School will receive copies of Gary Paulsen’s critically acclaimed “Nightjohn.” All students at West Street Elementary, North Street Elementary and St. Francis-St. Stephen School will receive companion books. Copies of each book, as well as a reading guide created by Hobart and William Smith students, will be included in Family Reading Kits available to borrow from the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center. 



Set in the 1850s, Gary Paulsen's groundbreaking new novel is unlike anything else the award-winning author has written. It is a meticulously researched, historically accurate, and artistically crafted portrayal of a grim time in our nation's past, brought to light through the personal history of two unforgettable characters.


Sarny, a female slave at the Waller plantation, first sees Nightjohn when he is brought there with a rope around his neck, his body covered in scars.


He had escaped north to freedom, but he came back--came back to teach reading. Knowing that the penalty for reading is dismemberment Nightjohn still retumed to slavery to teach others how to read. And twelve-year-old Sarny is willing to take the risk to learn.


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