“Words are freedom.”

Sarny is a young girl growing up as a slave on a Southern plantation in the 1830’s. Though life is rough, she feels fortunate to be chosen to work in the master’s house, babysitting the master’s son.

When a new slave named John joins the plantation, he offers to teach her to read. A slave knowing how to read and write is illegal, and Sarny is warned she may be risking her life to learn the secrets of letters. Still, she cannot resist the opportunity.

But keeping her new skill a secret is a challenge, especially when she becomes so captivated by a copy of the Bible that she steals it.

Based on the popular book by the late Gary Paulsen, Nightjohn offers an inspiring story about the power of courage and determination. Some intense drama and mild violence from the cruel slave master may be scary for very young viewers.

Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Rated PG-13
USCCB rating: A-II
100% on Rotten Tomatoes
IMDb Parents Guide