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Copper Sun - Sharon M. Draper

Citation:

Draper, S. M. (2006). Copper sun. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

 

Annotation:

When pale strangers enter fifteen-year-old Amari's village, her entire tribe welcomes them; for in her remote part of Africa, visitors are always a cause for celebration. But these strangers are not here to celebrate. They are here to capture the strongest, healthiest villagers and to murder the rest. They are slave traders. And in the time it takes a gun to fire, Amari's life as she's known it is destroyed, along with her family and village.

Beaten, branded, and dragged onto a slave ship, Amari is forced to witness horrors worse than any nightmare and endure humiliations she had never thought possible — including being sold to a plantation owner in the Carolinas who gives her to his sixteen-year-old son, Clay, as his birthday present.

Now, survival and escape are all Amari dreams about. As she struggles to hold on to her memories in the face of backbreaking plantation work and daily degradation at the hands of Clay, she finds friendship in unexpected places. Polly, an outspoken indentured white girl, proves not to be as hateful as she'd first seemed upon Amari's arrival, and the plantation owner's wife, despite her trappings of luxury and demons of her own, is kind to Amari. But these small comforts can't relieve Amari's feelings of hopelessness and despair, and when an opportunity to escape presents itself, Amari and Polly decide to work together to find the thing they both want most...freedom.

Grand and sweeping in scope, detailed and penetrating in its look at the complicated interrelationships of those who live together on a plantation, Copper Sun is an unflinching and unforgettable look at the African slave trade and slavery in America.

 

Author's Information:

Sharon M. Draper is the acclaimed author of the Sassy series. She is also the author of many books for teens, including the New York Times bestsellers Copper Sun, the 2007 Coretta Scott King Award winner, and We Beat the Street. She also wrote Forged by Fire, the 1998 Coretta Scott King Award winner, as well as Tears of a Tiger, winner of the CSK/John Steptoe New Talent Award, and The Battle of Jericho and November Blues, both Coretta Scott King Honor Books.

Ms. Draper explains how she came to write the Sassy series. “Several years ago I met a little girl, an avid reader, who was about eight or nine years old,” she says. “Something was missing in the books available to her. She wasted no time in telling me, ‘You need to write some books for girls like me!’ Sassy was born that day. I wanted to create a little girl with both spunk and sparkle, a child with grace and glitter. Sassy and her seemingly bottomless sack are ready to greet the world with power and pizzazz!”

Ms. Draper is also a professional educator. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year and was selected as Ohio’s Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator and Ohio Teacher of the Year. She holds three honorary doctorates.

She has been honored at the White House six times and was chosen as one of only four authors in the nation to speak at the Library of Congress National Book Festival Gala in Washington, D.C., and to represent the United States in Moscow at their Russian Book Festival.

Ms. Draper is an accomplished public speaker who addresses educational and literary groups of all ages. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and a golden retriever named Honey.

 

Reward: received the 2007 Coretta Scott King Literature award, was named as one of the Top Ten Historical Fiction Books for Youth by Booklist was nominated for the 2007 NAACP Image Award for Literature, and received the Ohioana Award for Young Adult Literature. Copper Sun is also a CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book, received the Heartland Award for Excellence in YA Literature, was named as an IRA Notable Book for a Global Society and was named as Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal. Copper Sun is also listed on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Reading Level: 9-12 Grade

Genre: Adventure Historical Fiction