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Copper Sun by Sharon Mills Draper
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Copper Sun (edition 2008)

by Sharon Mills Draper

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891739,915 (4.24)41
Member:Nymeth
Title:Copper Sun
Authors:Sharon Mills Draper
Info:Simon Pulse (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Children's and YA, Historical Fiction

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Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper

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Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
This is about the horrors of slavery. Therefore it us a tough read. I learned some things from this story. For example I thought all slaves escaped to the north and canards, but in this gripping story, Amari send Polly are headed to Florida.
The story is relayed from two viewpoints; 15-year-old slave Amari, and 17-year-old indentured servant Polly, Copper Sun is a story of resilience in the face of human depravity, and a hope for freedom against all odds.

The story begins with a happy teenager named amari. She engaged to the most handsome man in her African village, and adored by her parents. When white men enter her village for the first time, her people welcome them with open arms, but the men are here for violence. The white men shoot and kill most of Amari's village before setting it on fire. They chain and shackle the healthy youth and cram them into a slave ship set for America. Amari is sold to Mr. Percival Derby as a birthday present for his oldest son, Clay. At the same time, Mr. Derby purchases the indenture of a seventeen-year-old girl named Polly, who has 14 years left on her service before she earns her freedom. When Polly first meets Amari, she doesn't want anything to do with her. Polly feels Amari is beneath her because Polly is a white girl who will eventually be free. Amari is a black slave, and little more than an animal in many white people's eyes.

Life on the Derby plantation is horrendous for both girls, and in time, they bond based simply on their will to survive their terrible condition. This bond strengthens after Clay begins raping Amari and Polly sees first-hand just how scared Amari is, which is the same reaction Polly would have to the treatment. She realizes that blacks, even though they are slaves, have the same emotions, and are just as human, as their white slave holders. The only respite for the two young girls comes from the feisty humor of Mr. Derby's slave cook, Teenie, the unbreakable precociousness of Teenie's four-year-old son Tidbit, and the secret kindness of Mr. Derby's eighteen-year-old second wife, who is nearly nine months pregnant. When Mr. Derby remarried after his first wife passed away, his teenage bride came to her new home with all her belongings and her favorite slave, Noah. When Mrs. Derby goes into labor on the plantations, the slave women, including Amari, quickly rush to her aid. Amari is horrified when she sees that Mrs. Derby's baby does not share the white skin of Mr. Derby, but is a beautiful caramel brown, the same color as Noah's skin. Mrs. Derby admits to the girls that she and Noah are deeply in love, and she begs them to help her save her baby. All the slave women band together in an attempt to hide the truth from Mr. Derby, claiming that the baby was stillborn and had to be quickly buried, but Mr. Derby demands to see the body. When no one can produce the dead child, Clay searches the slave quarters and reveals the truth: the baby is not dead, and the baby is black. Mr. Derby calls all the slaves to the courtyard and forces them to watch as he shoots the newborn infant in the head. He then turns the gun on Noah, instantly killing him too. For their part in covering up the truth, Amari and Polly are whipped, held overnight in the storage room, and promised that in the morning, they will be sold to the nearest brothel.

The next morning, the girls manage to escape. They grab Tidbit and run wildly into the woods. The trio run until their legs tire, heading South toward a land known as Fort Mose, a Spanish colony in Florida where slaves can be freed. The trio run for two months, braving every imaginable danger from wild animals to starvation to the appearance of evil Clay Derby who has come to reclaim them. Through all their trials, the three children must trust and depend on each other to survive. Skin color is no longer an issue and the children view themselves as equal. They meet many kindly strangers along the way who help hide them, give them food, and assist in transportation. Finally, the three weary travelers reach the gate to Fort Mose, where they find a sense of security, safety, and above all, freedom from slavery.

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  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
Amari is living a wonderful life in a small village in Africa, when slavers come and kill many of her friends and family, and take the rest to the slave markets. She is transported to the Southern United States to be sold into slavery on a plantation.
  rachel.mcconville | Jul 6, 2016 |
Young adult historical fiction that parallels (and precedes) [b: The Kitchen House|6837103|The Kitchen House|Kathleen Grissom|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1350302443s/6837103.jpg|7048306] without the overdone melodrama. In it, a remarkable story of courage in the face of brutality is told through the convergent viewpoints of a young slave girl and an indentured servant. It's clearly written for the tweens to teens crowd but I enjoyed it all the same. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Narrated by Myra Lucretia Taylor. Amari witnesses the murder of her family as she and other villagers are captured for the slave trade, sent across the Middle Passage to South Carolina where Amari is purchased by Mr. Darby as a 16th-birthday gift for his cruel and selfish son Clay. At the same time he purchases the indenture of Polly, a white indentured servant girl who is trying to work off her late parents' indentures. Together Polly and Amari both harbor dreams of being free. That opportunity comes when they are ensnared in a messy situation involving Mr. Darby's wife giving birth to a baby fathered by her slave. The enraged Mr. Darby sends Polly, Amari and little Tidbit away to be sold, but a compassionate doctor lets them off down the road to pursue freedom. The trio heads south to Florida where they have heard freedom is assured in Spanish territory.
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
My personal response to the book: The book was excellent! It was a quick read as it keeps the reader's attention. Students will come away learning more about slavery in the US.
Curricular connections: The curricular connections include history, poverty, racism and slavery. As a TL I would not add this book unless it was for a high school collection. Students could read it to learn more about slavery.
  West_Elementary | Jan 18, 2016 |
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First words
What are you doing up there, Kwasi?" Amari asked her eight-year-old brother with a laugh. He had his legs wrapped around the trunk of the top of a coconut tree. "For once I want to look a giraffe in the eye!" he shouted. "I wish to ask her what she has seen in her travels."
Quotations
Amari thought back, however, to what Polly had said at the start of this journey: “Freedom is a delicate idea, like a pretty leaf in the air: It’s hard to catch and may not be what you thought when you get it.” Amari wondered if this long and arduous journey would bring her the happiness she dreamed of. Maybe this place would turn out to be a terrible disappointment.
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Book description
This is the story of a village in Africa, where visitors come one day and they take slaves. A 15 year old girl has to watch the horrific things that take place.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689821816, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Two fifteen-year-old girls--one a slave and the other an indentured servant--escape their Carolina plantation and try to make their way to Fort Moses, Florida, a Spanish colony that gives sanctuary to slaves.

(summary from another edition)

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