Slavery is coming to an end with the end of the civil war. Just days before the end of the war, Sarny’s two young children are taken from her by her slave master. As soon as her master dies and she is freed, she begins walking to town to find where her children are. Accompanied by Lucy, a young girl from her plantation, she discovers where her children are and seeks to find them. Along the way she meets Miss Laura, who changes her life forever. Will Sarny ever find her children? Will she, now being free from slavery, be able to make a difference in the world?
- Sarny teaches other slaves how to read in secret.
- Sarny meets Martin, and they get married.
- Martin dies.
- She has two children – Delie and Tyler.
- Sarny’s elder leader, Delie, dies.
- Waller, the slave owner, knowing he is losing his money and property soon, decides to sell some of his slaves. He sells little Delie and Tyler.
- Six days later, they are freed, and Sarny immediately leaves to go to town to find her children. Lucy follows her, and they go together.
- When they arrive in town and get to the yards where they sell the children and find the slave seller being beaten to death.
- They can’t get any information out of him, but they find records of all his sales and find record of where he sold the children – New Orleans.
- They begin their journey, running into many battles along the way.
- They end up in an empty plantation, and they hear a noise. It’s a small boy whose parents are killed. They take him in and call him Tyler Two.
- They soon meet Miss Laura, who asks to hire the two girls and find a home for the boy.
- Laura takes them to New Orleans, and she throws a party, inviting the man who has the children.
- The man shows up, and the children come with him. She keeps them.
- Lucy and Sarny continue working for Miss Laura.
- Sarny meets Stanley, and they end up getting married.
- Sarny starts a school to teach blacks to read.
- Their school is burned down. They build another one using tents.
- That one is burned down, too, and Sarny sees one of the KKK who did it. She tells Stanly.
- Stanly goes and beats the guy to near death.
- The KKK come back and take Stanley and hang him.
- Sarny starts teaching again, but they make it mobile so they teach in different places so that no one can burn anything down.
- Miss Laura gets sick and dies. She leaves everything to Sarny, who becomes very, very wealthy.
- After a while, Sarny gets bored, so she moves to Texas to teach. She ends up opening over 20 schools in Texas.
This book is all about overcoming prejudices. It reminds me of going against the flow – doing what I know is right, even when persecutions come. This reminds me of many of the books I have read in the past about how blacks have had to learn to live after being freed.
Use in Classroom
This book would be good in the classroom to discuss what happened to blacks after they were freed. Students could learn to think critically about what freeing the slaves did to the economy. Students also can see what the KKK did to people. Also, the students can understand that, even though they me against the culture – someone of little significance according to them – they can make a huge impact in this world. Each person is put here for a reason. - AB