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Copper Sun

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Stolen from her village, sold to the highest bidder, fifteen-year-old Amari has only one thing left of her own: hope. Amari's life was once perfect. Engaged to the handsomest man in her tribe, adored by her family, and living in a beautiful village, she could not have imagined everything could be taken away from her in an instant. But when slave traders invade her village Stolen from her village, sold to the highest bidder, fifteen-year-old Amari has only one thing left of her own: hope. Amari's life was once perfect. Engaged to the handsomest man in her tribe, adored by her family, and living in a beautiful village, she could not have imagined everything could be taken away from her in an instant. But when slave traders invade her village and brutally murder her entire family, Amari finds herself dragged away to a slave ship headed to the Carolinas, where she is bought by a plantation owner and given to his son as a birthday present. Survival seems all that Amari can hope for. But then an act of unimaginable cruelty provides her with an opportunity to escape, and with an indentured servant named Polly she flees to Fort Mose, Florida, in search of sanctuary at the Spanish colony. Can the elusive dream of freedom sustain Amari and Polly on their arduous journey, fraught with hardship and danger?


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Stolen from her village, sold to the highest bidder, fifteen-year-old Amari has only one thing left of her own: hope. Amari's life was once perfect. Engaged to the handsomest man in her tribe, adored by her family, and living in a beautiful village, she could not have imagined everything could be taken away from her in an instant. But when slave traders invade her village Stolen from her village, sold to the highest bidder, fifteen-year-old Amari has only one thing left of her own: hope. Amari's life was once perfect. Engaged to the handsomest man in her tribe, adored by her family, and living in a beautiful village, she could not have imagined everything could be taken away from her in an instant. But when slave traders invade her village and brutally murder her entire family, Amari finds herself dragged away to a slave ship headed to the Carolinas, where she is bought by a plantation owner and given to his son as a birthday present. Survival seems all that Amari can hope for. But then an act of unimaginable cruelty provides her with an opportunity to escape, and with an indentured servant named Polly she flees to Fort Mose, Florida, in search of sanctuary at the Spanish colony. Can the elusive dream of freedom sustain Amari and Polly on their arduous journey, fraught with hardship and danger?

30 review for Copper Sun

  1. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    There are few books I recommend without hesitation, and this is one them. For years, Gary Paulsen's Night John has been one of the titles I try to lead all high school students to. I think Copper Sun is better. As others have mentioned, it isn't a pleasant read at times, but it is absolutely honest in its rendition of a slice of American history. I hope many people, teens and adults, will read it and consider how the past isn't dead; we all live within its long shadow. There are few books I recommend without hesitation, and this is one them. For years, Gary Paulsen's Night John has been one of the titles I try to lead all high school students to. I think Copper Sun is better. As others have mentioned, it isn't a pleasant read at times, but it is absolutely honest in its rendition of a slice of American history. I hope many people, teens and adults, will read it and consider how the past isn't dead; we all live within its long shadow.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maya B

    excellent read! the author made the characters so real. very vivid details. the book is labeled young adult but I felt it's for a more mature audience. excellent read! the author made the characters so real. very vivid details. the book is labeled young adult but I felt it's for a more mature audience.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    Sharon Draper's Copper Sun tells a riveting story of an African girl , named Amari , living in Africa who has everything going her way. She's engaged to the most handsome man in the village , her father is a chief , and she loves her family. It seems that nothing could go wrong until white-skinned strangers arrive in seemingly good intentions of making friends and trading. When there is a bursting sound of a gun shot and everything turns into a chaotic mess of smoke and dust as everyone in the Sharon Draper's Copper Sun tells a riveting story of an African girl , named Amari , living in Africa who has everything going her way. She's engaged to the most handsome man in the village , her father is a chief , and she loves her family. It seems that nothing could go wrong until white-skinned strangers arrive in seemingly good intentions of making friends and trading. When there is a bursting sound of a gun shot and everything turns into a chaotic mess of smoke and dust as everyone in the village , very young or old , is killed and all the young adults are rounded up for capture. Amari is in pure shock and horror as she is chained and realizes her entire family was just slaughtered. Amari goes through being beaten , raped , fed very little , being constantly chained and living in waste in a hull of a ship. Although she feels like dying , instead of enduring this misery , with encouragement from a new found mother , on the voyage , she some how finds the courage to carry on. This is an extremely powerful story of courage and trust that is sure to have readers of any kind wanting it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper is a must read novel for everyone. This riveting novel was written by Draper, a granddaughter of a slave. This outstanding novel is about the harsh realities of slavery. But, this novel also demonstrates that there are people in this world eager to do the right thing. The main character is Amari, a 15 year old girl from Africa who was sold in the Carolinas. Amari's character is strong, confident, emotional and determined......a definite role model. Polly's characte Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper is a must read novel for everyone. This riveting novel was written by Draper, a granddaughter of a slave. This outstanding novel is about the harsh realities of slavery. But, this novel also demonstrates that there are people in this world eager to do the right thing. The main character is Amari, a 15 year old girl from Africa who was sold in the Carolinas. Amari's character is strong, confident, emotional and determined......a definite role model. Polly's character is a perfect secondary one to Amari, leading to a unlikely but lasting friendship. The characters are vivid, the plot captivating and the descriptions emotional. "May your feet bring you to where your heart is."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jen McGraw

    Wow! This was a great book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lexy

    I also read this book in high school and Anthony was reading it I thought it was really brutal what they did to the African-American.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bookishrealm

    I devoured this book!! It was so good. I would warn that this book is graphic and doesn't hold back from describing the horrors of slavery. I couldn't help but love the characters and admire their strength. It'd amazing to know that there are children who went through this same thing and survived. There's a lot to learn from this novel and I can't wait to do a full review. I devoured this book!! It was so good. I would warn that this book is graphic and doesn't hold back from describing the horrors of slavery. I couldn't help but love the characters and admire their strength. It'd amazing to know that there are children who went through this same thing and survived. There's a lot to learn from this novel and I can't wait to do a full review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cana Rensberger

    I have been a fan of Sharon Draper for some time. She is a master at writing realistic fiction. COPPER SUN is her first historical fiction and it is amazing as well as frighteningly authentic. This book follows the trials and tribulations of Amari, a fifteen year-old African maiden. After witnessing the slaughter of both the old and young in her African village, including her parents and her young brother, she is chained, by feet, hands, and neck, lined up, and herded miles on foot to the ocean b I have been a fan of Sharon Draper for some time. She is a master at writing realistic fiction. COPPER SUN is her first historical fiction and it is amazing as well as frighteningly authentic. This book follows the trials and tribulations of Amari, a fifteen year-old African maiden. After witnessing the slaughter of both the old and young in her African village, including her parents and her young brother, she is chained, by feet, hands, and neck, lined up, and herded miles on foot to the ocean by pale skinned visitors with fire sticks. She watches her fellow Africans suffer incomprehensible humiliation and death at the hands of their captors as they are shipped like animal cargo across the ocean. The life that awaits her is nothing like she could have ever imagined. Amari must adapt to life as a purchased slave on a rice plantation, a life that includes atrocities committed upon her by her white owners. She meets Polly, an indentured servant who has dreams of making it to the big house and being a fine lady of standing. Instead, Polly lives in the slave quarters with Amari and finds she’s given the chore of civilizing Amari, now called Myna, and teaching her enough English to work. After witnessing murder, the two girls find themselves thrown together in a desperate run for freedom. This is not just another book about slavery. This is a book about something real and tangible. Ms. Draper’s writing is so vivid that you can smell the rank odors beneath ship. You can feel the pain of being lashed with a whip. Your throat will constrict at the heart wrenching pain of a mother and child being forced apart. You will also celebrate the strength and spirit of Amari and those she inspires. COPPER SUN won the Coretta Scott King Award. This is a book I will make sure goes on my classroom shelves. I give COPPER SUN a gold star!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    This novel detailing the experience of an African slave in the 1700's was a page turner for me. I sat down to read a few chapters and finished it in one reading. It explores many aspects of slavery beyond the African experience including indentured servants and the status of women in the past. Most of the historical information (much of which is horribly disturbing) was not new to me, but I had never heard of Fort Mose (sanctuary for runaways in Florida) before. Though this was a work of histori This novel detailing the experience of an African slave in the 1700's was a page turner for me. I sat down to read a few chapters and finished it in one reading. It explores many aspects of slavery beyond the African experience including indentured servants and the status of women in the past. Most of the historical information (much of which is horribly disturbing) was not new to me, but I had never heard of Fort Mose (sanctuary for runaways in Florida) before. Though this was a work of historical fiction, I think Draper imbued her characters with 21st century attitudes. For instance,though at first Polly feels superior to the slaves she is forced to live with, her transformation into feeling that they are her equals seems to come a little too easily. I think the cultural attitudes of her day (and her own personal circumstances) would have made it much more difficult for her to leap to total acceptance of her common humanity with slaves. Come to think of it, all of Draper's characters just seem to fall a little flat. At any rate, I think adolescents will read this book (it is a page turner), and learn a little history in the process.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lenisa Jones

    This book...just whoa. For it to be YA, it really blew my mind on how much great historical info that it had packed into it. I read almost the last half of this book in one setting. It got to a point where I just couldn't stop reading. This had not been out in a while in our library, but I'm definitely going to suggest it to people when they are looking for a good historical fiction read. This book...just whoa. For it to be YA, it really blew my mind on how much great historical info that it had packed into it. I read almost the last half of this book in one setting. It got to a point where I just couldn't stop reading. This had not been out in a while in our library, but I'm definitely going to suggest it to people when they are looking for a good historical fiction read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fly FreeBird

    I don’t know what to say... I’m speechless. It made me cry so much.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    3.75 stars! So well written!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    Sometimes I just stand back and wonder how humanity can be so cruel. Really, the things humans do to each other are revolting. Rape, murder, abuse, an ongoing list that only seems to grow as time goes on. It's the reason I can't watch the news ever. There are just too many bad things happening on this planet, and I don't need to hear about every single one of them. Of course, such a thing was unavoidable while reading the Copper Sun. My first reaction to the novel was horror. I was horrified by Sometimes I just stand back and wonder how humanity can be so cruel. Really, the things humans do to each other are revolting. Rape, murder, abuse, an ongoing list that only seems to grow as time goes on. It's the reason I can't watch the news ever. There are just too many bad things happening on this planet, and I don't need to hear about every single one of them. Of course, such a thing was unavoidable while reading the Copper Sun. My first reaction to the novel was horror. I was horrified by the treatment of Amari by Clay Derby. I couldn't believe what he made her do and how Polly didn't even think it was a big deal. I had heard of this practice before, but I had never thought of it to this extent. It made my skin crawl. How could someone do that? Of course, many other things horrified me in this novel. Amari's people were betrayed by people of their own color, a rival village. Her parents and little brother are killed, and the boy she is to marry taken away. Despite this, Amari's spirit does not break. She tries to survive during the voyage, learning English from one of the crew. That is the beauty of this story. Amari may go through hard times, but she doesn't lose her spirit. She keeps surviving, gaining strength from her relationships with Polly, Tidbit, and Teenie. Ultimately, she, Polly, and Tidbit escape to start a new life. Another interesting aspect to this story is the addition of Fort Mose. You don't really hear about slaves escaping to Fort Mose, and I think it was a cool choice of location to make. Fort Mose, though only operational a few years, is a significant and often ignored part history leading up to the Civil War. I was glad to hear a little about it. I'd definitely recommend this. It is excellently written and aimed for young adults, something that always is something I look for when reading about slavery. Definitely looking forward to reading more of Draper's work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emi Guzman

    Copper Sun was the first book I listed for Mrs. Augustine's literature circles. Considering the fact that I am usually too aggravated by the subject of history to even taste some historical fiction, I was impressed. The story is told from two peoples' perspectives (I always appreciate this writing style)Amari and Polly, but is mostly built around a fifteen year old African girl named Amari. Amari once had a perfect life in her Ewe village in Africa. Until one day, white men attacked her village Copper Sun was the first book I listed for Mrs. Augustine's literature circles. Considering the fact that I am usually too aggravated by the subject of history to even taste some historical fiction, I was impressed. The story is told from two peoples' perspectives (I always appreciate this writing style)Amari and Polly, but is mostly built around a fifteen year old African girl named Amari. Amari once had a perfect life in her Ewe village in Africa. Until one day, white men attacked her village and killed all the children and elderly. The young and healthy like her were kept barely alive and later sold into slavery in America; Amari was a birthday gift for a plantation owner's son. Life on the plantation was a tragedy, and after she could not take anymore of it, Amari along with an indentured servant girl called Polly, and another slave's son named tidbit, took off to find the freedom that they craved so strongly. They do find this freedom in Spanish territory called Fort Mose where they get to start a new life. My favorite quote from the book would be, "As long as you remember chile, ain't nothin' ever gone." Honestly it is probably the most popular quote from Copper Sun, but it's not overrated at all. This quote was stated by Teenie (Tidbit's mother whom is a slave who specializes in cooking) and directed to Amari, but the idea came up various times after the fact. In fact the reason why I love this quote is because Amari holds on to these words and reminds herself that the beautiful background/past that she has is not gone.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Terrell

    Fifteen-year-old Amari loves life in her home village in Africa. She spends her days strolling along the stream, daydreaming about her handsome future husband, teasing her little brother, and avoiding chores. But everything changes the day the visitors arrive. Her world changes forever as the strangers begin killing the adults and young children. Amari stands stunned as her parents drop dead from gunfire. Her little brother urges her to run into the jungle for safety; they try, only for Amari to Fifteen-year-old Amari loves life in her home village in Africa. She spends her days strolling along the stream, daydreaming about her handsome future husband, teasing her little brother, and avoiding chores. But everything changes the day the visitors arrive. Her world changes forever as the strangers begin killing the adults and young children. Amari stands stunned as her parents drop dead from gunfire. Her little brother urges her to run into the jungle for safety; they try, only for Amari to be captured and her brother to be shot dead.

 Upon arrival in America, Amari is sold to the highest bidder. Amari meets Polly, a white girl. The two girls from different ends of the earth bond together in order to survive. The whole black person meets white person, then struggle ensues until they eventually come to love one another thing is overdone; but Draper doesn’t spend a lot of energy trying to sell that aspect of the book, which is why the book thrives.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gianina Gray

    this book is very sad,sad,sad in the beginning,but the end is very spirit lifting,with a little bit of a twist.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Read Harder 2018: Colonial or Post-Colonial Literature I started one book for this challenge (Roxane Gay's Untamed State) and found it too dark. I chose this one instead because it's YA and I thought that might make it easier to read. It did, but just. The start of the book is most difficult: we meet Amari, a young girl of the Ewe tribe. In short order, her village is burnt to the ground, its population decimated and Amari and a few other young people are taken into slavery. It was a heartbreakin Read Harder 2018: Colonial or Post-Colonial Literature I started one book for this challenge (Roxane Gay's Untamed State) and found it too dark. I chose this one instead because it's YA and I thought that might make it easier to read. It did, but just. The start of the book is most difficult: we meet Amari, a young girl of the Ewe tribe. In short order, her village is burnt to the ground, its population decimated and Amari and a few other young people are taken into slavery. It was a heartbreaking read and the story didn't get any easier when Amari made it to South Carolina. This was an interesting book - Amari meets an indentured white girl and they are thrown together through life at their plantation - but still difficult to read. It, of course, made me wonder why humans are so awful to each other. And it made me wonder what our world might be like if we chose collaboration over the quest for power. If you want to know more about slavery before the United States was a country, this book is a good choice. Just plan to have a lighter read on tap to follow.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Audra

    Such a gripping book that tells the tale of Amari, an African girl, stolen from her village and brought to what is now the US during The Middle Passage. It tells the tale of her enslavement and her escape to freedom with a young boy named Tidbit as well as a white indentured slave named Polly. What I like is that this book tells the horrors of the boat ride over and enslavement and the grueling ordeal of escaping to freedom without being gruesomely descriptive. I'm a sensitive reader so that's al Such a gripping book that tells the tale of Amari, an African girl, stolen from her village and brought to what is now the US during The Middle Passage. It tells the tale of her enslavement and her escape to freedom with a young boy named Tidbit as well as a white indentured slave named Polly. What I like is that this book tells the horrors of the boat ride over and enslavement and the grueling ordeal of escaping to freedom without being gruesomely descriptive. I'm a sensitive reader so that's always a plus for me. A gripping read and also lots of information in the Afterword about slavery with lists of websites and books that can be read. Will be buying a copy for my personal library.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Meg Frantz

    This book is an astounding book for all readers! It has a riveting plot, and is ideal for anyone who likes either historical fiction, or just a great book. While some parts of the book were very sad and hard to read, I was able to power through, and enjoy the ending. One thing I enjoyed about this book was how it said "Copper Sun" multiple times. I really enjoy finding any relation to the title of a book in the middle of the story. It is very satisfactory to me. Overall, I believe this book is sat This book is an astounding book for all readers! It has a riveting plot, and is ideal for anyone who likes either historical fiction, or just a great book. While some parts of the book were very sad and hard to read, I was able to power through, and enjoy the ending. One thing I enjoyed about this book was how it said "Copper Sun" multiple times. I really enjoy finding any relation to the title of a book in the middle of the story. It is very satisfactory to me. Overall, I believe this book is satisfactory for all readers, and while some parts were incredibly hard to read, I thought it was a great book to read in order to expand my knowledge of slavery.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary

    Being a slave was beyond terrifying. It's a past that i could not imagine until this author made it concrete. I felt I lived through the characters because of how descriptive she was and for a moment I was able to share their grief and hope. It is a work of historical fiction that gave a voice to ancestors that have gone before us to give us freedom. The author spent years researching the contents of this book to bring us to something close to what it may being the reality day to day life of a s Being a slave was beyond terrifying. It's a past that i could not imagine until this author made it concrete. I felt I lived through the characters because of how descriptive she was and for a moment I was able to share their grief and hope. It is a work of historical fiction that gave a voice to ancestors that have gone before us to give us freedom. The author spent years researching the contents of this book to bring us to something close to what it may being the reality day to day life of a slave. This book definitely left me with a lot of afterthoughts, including how easy freedom can be taken for granted.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katie Lalor

    Drama! A wonderful and realistic story of slavery. There are a lot of examples of words of the wiser. Would recommend for mature readers. Draper's words let's you feel all the emotions during this time. Drama! A wonderful and realistic story of slavery. There are a lot of examples of words of the wiser. Would recommend for mature readers. Draper's words let's you feel all the emotions during this time.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Juanita

    The copper sun was amazing. It's historical fiction and every part felt so real. I love how Sharon shared the research she did to wrote the book and all the resources she utilized. I plan to get this book for my nephews. This would be a good educational tool for then to begin learning about slavery. This was such a powerful book. The copper sun was amazing. It's historical fiction and every part felt so real. I love how Sharon shared the research she did to wrote the book and all the resources she utilized. I plan to get this book for my nephews. This would be a good educational tool for then to begin learning about slavery. This was such a powerful book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This book was a hard book to read. Our PTA recently donated a whole bunch of books. Sharon M. Draper is one of my "gateway" authors, an author I can count on to interest my students in reading. This book was on my list of books to read and to buy for my class but I'd never read it. When I saw it on the stack of donated books, I snatched it up. It is a book about slavery during Colonial times. It doesn't deal much with abolition or any of the other traditional slave themes. Instead, it begins with This book was a hard book to read. Our PTA recently donated a whole bunch of books. Sharon M. Draper is one of my "gateway" authors, an author I can count on to interest my students in reading. This book was on my list of books to read and to buy for my class but I'd never read it. When I saw it on the stack of donated books, I snatched it up. It is a book about slavery during Colonial times. It doesn't deal much with abolition or any of the other traditional slave themes. Instead, it begins with a young free woman with a fiance and a fine future. The introduction is brutal. Before even beginning the first chapter, we find this woman in chains being sold at auction. The contrast hit me hard. Sharon M. Draper is not graphic but she doesn't hold back either. The brutality and the casual violence are interwoven deep into slave life. At the same time, there is kindness and hope and dreams. One sailor teaches English during his time with the slave women; two otehr sailors take turns raping the slave women. There are some huge coincidences in the lives of the slaves which eventually allow them to escape to Spanish Colonial America where freedom is granted to slaves who learn Spanish and become Catholic. These coincidences can be used to demonstrate that even though white women weren't formally enslaved, their lives were just as curtailed by white men. I think that would probably be my only complaint. The slave women were fully developed characters, even as minor characters. With one exception, all white men were portrayed as mean and cruel. I can't think of a single slave man who was mean or cruel. The white women seemed to be quite maternal. Perhaps it's a bit too much of "the noble savage" stereotype for my liking but I know my students will love it. I would not recommend this book for immature students or students whose parents are protective. I would probably recommend this book for mother-daughter reading groups. This is a powerful book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Edward Hernández

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A village in West Africa,a fifteen-year-old Amari is kidnapped after her village is destroyed and family is murdered. Amari is taken to America to be sold to a high bidder. Amari has nothing to to live for but to work on a plantation and full-fill her master's needs. The only thing that can save her is the will to live and her ambition to escape her nightmare. The novel was amazing it felt as if you were going through the pain and sorrow yourself. Amari was a strong and smart character, having t A village in West Africa,a fifteen-year-old Amari is kidnapped after her village is destroyed and family is murdered. Amari is taken to America to be sold to a high bidder. Amari has nothing to to live for but to work on a plantation and full-fill her master's needs. The only thing that can save her is the will to live and her ambition to escape her nightmare. The novel was amazing it felt as if you were going through the pain and sorrow yourself. Amari was a strong and smart character, having to have courage to keep moving forward even after losing it all. She may have had a few bad tones ,but her kindness to others saved her from loneliness. Sympathy for amari grows as the novel continues to progress its torment.The book was a page turner due to its intense scenes such as the romance between the slave and its owner and the death of a baby and its father. I really did not like the ending of the novel because it felt too quick to just end the way it did. Amari may have won her freedom but it did not feel rewarding or satisfying. The ending where amari lives in a new country with a new family while been pregnant from clay. The story with amari was rough and tear-jerking and had high hopes for a happy ending. If the ending could at least provide some crucial information how amari is fine with her new family that would be fantastic. My rating was four stars because the ending was not as fascinating as I hoped. Freedom may have been what she wanted but in the end she was stuck with a baby and mental wounds. The ending made it seem that amari lost more than she gained. Everything else about the book was amazing because of its great plot about a girl in a slave trade finding new friends and family.

  25. 5 out of 5

    June Ahern

    From the moment the first line was finished, I was captured. This is my first read of author Sharon Draper and will not be my last. The story is an emotional ride, and very hard to read...I was angry, sad, frustrated, happy for any little meager piece of relief and finally I sighed. Not a "feely goodie" time story, but to know what one can endure just to live, is remarkable. Will keep that in mind when I'm whining. The story is of Amari a 15 year old African. Ms. Draper gives only a short read, b From the moment the first line was finished, I was captured. This is my first read of author Sharon Draper and will not be my last. The story is an emotional ride, and very hard to read...I was angry, sad, frustrated, happy for any little meager piece of relief and finally I sighed. Not a "feely goodie" time story, but to know what one can endure just to live, is remarkable. Will keep that in mind when I'm whining. The story is of Amari a 15 year old African. Ms. Draper gives only a short read, but wonderfully descriptive about Amari and her family and life with her tribe. And then they come, the white soldiers and another African tribe, to capture and kill Amari's people. That is the start of a very long and horrible journey to a new - a foreign place, the Carolina's in America. - where she begins her life as a slave. Amari is such a brave young woman and intelligent - she has to learn English in a short time. Her survival is dependent upon it as she works among other slaves a plantation. Her master, Mr. Derby - and if I could have killed him - I believe I would have (that's how vividly descriptive this book is)who buys Amari for his 16 yr son. And after what happened on the ship, the rapes, she is now subject to this young cruel man. Bought at the same time 15 yr old, a white indentured slave. And then there is Master Derby's young pregnant wife whose baby, when born, is a devastating surprise that puts into motion a huge change for Amari and Polly. I couldn't stop reading Copper Sun. It's a powerful poignant historical fiction. Kudos to Sharon Draper's Copper Sun for winning the Coretta Scott King Award.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Toughlove

    Copper Sun by Sharon Drapper, is an exciting, intense, and very descriptive book. The main character is a girl named Amari. She was taken from her village in Africa, after all her friends and family were killed by slave hunters. The only person, who watched over her, was an old woman which she called Afi. This is a story that tells about what Amari had to go through, and how she dealt with it. I loved this book, I couldn’t put it down, it told about the journey from the village, to the ship, ac Copper Sun by Sharon Drapper, is an exciting, intense, and very descriptive book. The main character is a girl named Amari. She was taken from her village in Africa, after all her friends and family were killed by slave hunters. The only person, who watched over her, was an old woman which she called Afi. This is a story that tells about what Amari had to go through, and how she dealt with it. I loved this book, I couldn’t put it down, it told about the journey from the village, to the ship, across the ocean, to the plantation, that she lived at. Though it was kind of a tragedy that goes from the best, to bad, to the worst she can think of. This is one of those books that I would even if I didn’t have to. The author’s purpose for writing this book is to inform in an interesting way. She is telling about the thing and difficulties that slaves had to go through, but it wasn’t just like a history book, it was like this girl’s life story. She wrote it to show that this young girl had hope, after everything was taken away from her. The book also relates to real life, because someone somewhere has felt like they wanted to die. If this little girl can have hope when everything is taken away, and still find happiness, a grown woman or man can find hope too. I would recommend this book to everyone, especially people who are depressed.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Fran Prather

    I attended Draper's session at the International Reading Association National Convention last week. She mentioned that Copper Sun is being taught in conjuction with Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, which I have used with sophomores in World Literature, so I was intrigued. The book follows Amari as slave traders destroy her home, she survives the trip over on the slave ship, and how she manages to survive as a slave in the US in the 1700s. It refers to her constant rape by white men, though it I attended Draper's session at the International Reading Association National Convention last week. She mentioned that Copper Sun is being taught in conjuction with Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, which I have used with sophomores in World Literature, so I was intrigued. The book follows Amari as slave traders destroy her home, she survives the trip over on the slave ship, and how she manages to survive as a slave in the US in the 1700s. It refers to her constant rape by white men, though it doesn't give gory details. The descriptions of her emotional pain and humiliation after are enough. One thing I really liked about this was that Draper gives a balanced perspective. She shows how other tribes were involved in selling out Africans (they saw each other as members of different tribes, not as brother Africans), reveals whites who are conflicted, and shows that white women and poor whites were were victims of the system as well. Overall, I thought this was amazing and if I teach American Literature again, it will definitely become part of my "canon."

  28. 5 out of 5

    bjneary

    You think you have read historical fiction about slavery but then you read this book and the viciousness of the slave owners, the violence perpetrated on these slaves on a daily basis is just so difficult to read. Amari is such an inspiring heroine, along with Polly and Tidbit and Hushpuppy; they brave a hellish journey to freedom. There is just so much I could write about what happens in this book, but I urge you to read it and feel the loss, pain, nightmares and tragedy that each one of these You think you have read historical fiction about slavery but then you read this book and the viciousness of the slave owners, the violence perpetrated on these slaves on a daily basis is just so difficult to read. Amari is such an inspiring heroine, along with Polly and Tidbit and Hushpuppy; they brave a hellish journey to freedom. There is just so much I could write about what happens in this book, but I urge you to read it and feel the loss, pain, nightmares and tragedy that each one of these characters suffers. The brutality of the slavesis so crushing, it is so difficult to have hope, but Draper makes sure every character knows there is hope but that only a few use that hope. I now know whay this book received the Coretta Scott King Award and highly recommend every student who has American History read this book and learn about this dark time in our history. Draper also provides resources that include websites and books on slavery that helped her in her research and writing this book. I think reluctant readers would like this book as well.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin Isgett

    Another fantastic historical fiction story written for young adults, but that I would suggest everyone read. The story of an enslaved African girl and a white indentured servant are told and entwined, and I was tied to both of them quickly and intensely. There are many very difficult issues addressed in the book, but they are things that actually happened to people who were enslaved. I think it is extremely important to be aware of atrocities that people both inflicted and experienced, instead o Another fantastic historical fiction story written for young adults, but that I would suggest everyone read. The story of an enslaved African girl and a white indentured servant are told and entwined, and I was tied to both of them quickly and intensely. There are many very difficult issues addressed in the book, but they are things that actually happened to people who were enslaved. I think it is extremely important to be aware of atrocities that people both inflicted and experienced, instead of glossing over them and viewing history through G-rated lenses. I can remember going to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC as a high school sophomore and being horrified as the seemingly simple word "Holocaust" took on true meaning as I saw photographs, videos, and displays that spelled out exactly what abominable things had been done to one group of people by another. When we better understand our history, we are better able to influence our present and future for good.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    I read this because it's on a high school summer reading list in Philadelphia this summer. It captured me from the start! Both heart-breaking and inspiring, this book of historical fiction follows Amari, an African girl from her life in Africa to her life as a slave in the South. The story is also interesting because it includes Polly, an indentured white girl. While critics have stated that the bond Amari and Polly eventually develop is unrealistic, I, for one, believe that racial reconciliatio I read this because it's on a high school summer reading list in Philadelphia this summer. It captured me from the start! Both heart-breaking and inspiring, this book of historical fiction follows Amari, an African girl from her life in Africa to her life as a slave in the South. The story is also interesting because it includes Polly, an indentured white girl. While critics have stated that the bond Amari and Polly eventually develop is unrealistic, I, for one, believe that racial reconciliation can and does take place! Cool to learn about Fort Mose, Florida, too. Who knew that some slaves escaped to the South? I didn't. :)

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