Paulsen, Gary. Sarny: A Life Remembered. 1997. New York : Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1999.
Sarny and Lucy, slaves freed by the advance of the Union Army, set out from Georgia to New Orleans in search of Sarny's stolen children. Along the way they encounter Miss Laura, a powerful and beneficent Creole woman who employs them and pulls political strings in New Orleans to recover Sarny's children and to support Sarny in her dream of opening a school for freed slaves.
Sarny lives to an advanced old age (she remembers her life in an extended flashback). Eventually she founds a whole series of schools, passing along the inheritance of literacy that her indomitable teacher gave her in Paulsen's earlier novel Nightjohn. Most of the action of the novel takes place during the War and the immediate postwar period, however, as Sarny fights racial injustice in Reconstruction New Orleans.