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Copper Sun
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Copper Sun
Fifteen-year-old Amari witnesses the murder of her family and the destruction of her remote African village. She endures countless humiliations as she is beaten, branded, and forced to board a slave...
Fifteen-year-old Amari witnesses the murder of her family and the destruction of her remote African village. She endures countless humiliations as she is beaten, branded, and forced to board a slave...
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  • Fifteen-year-old Amari witnesses the murder of her family and the destruction of her remote African village. She endures countless humiliations as she is beaten, branded, and forced to board a slave ship. The atrocities continue as she struggles through endless days of backbreaking work and daily degradation on a plantation. Somehow, through it all, Amari's hopes and dreams survive because there are moments of kindness from an indentured white girl, Polly and the gentle wife of the plantation owner. Amari and Polly find that by working together freedom could be possible. Award-winning author and educator Sharon M. Draper, known for her popular, contemporary teen novels, successfully tackles historical fiction and received starred reviews from Booklist and the School Library Journal. In this well-researched novel, Draper explores the inter-relationships of those who live on a plantation. "Draper builds the explosive tension to the last chapter, and the sheer power of the story, balanced between the overwhelmingly brutal facts of slavery and Amari's ferocious survivor's spirit, will leave [listeners] breathless, even as they consider the story's larger questions about the infinite costs of slavery and how to reconcile history."-Booklist, starred review

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Amari, a young African slave, befriends Polly, a young indentured servant, as the two begin their lives on a Southern plantation in the early eighteenth century. While many aspects of the story are predictable and most characters are caricatures, Amari's hard life and brutal experiences, and Polly's to a lesser extent, shake the listener. Myra Lucretia Taylor amplifies the violence and tragedy with a compassionate voice that breathes emotion and sorrow into her depiction. While she handles the varying accents adequately, her real accomplishment is her portrayal of dual points of view. Though the story is told in the third person, Taylor maintains perceptibly different tones as the emphasis shifts between Amari and Polly. L.E. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 9, 2006
    Draper's (Forged by Fire
    ) historical novel takes on an epic sweep as it chronicles the story of 15-year-old Amari, kidnapped from her African village in 1738 and sold into sexual slavery in South Carolina. The horrors of the kidnapping—Amari's parents and little brother are murdered before her eyes—and the Atlantic crossing unwind in exhaustive detail, but the material seems familiar. The story doesn't really take off until Amari reaches her new "home," a rice plantation run by a Snidely Whiplash clone, who presents her to his evil-to-the-core son as a birthday gift. Befriended by the wise cook, a white indentured girl named Polly and the beleaguered mistress of the household, Amari eventually and improbably finds a way to escape. Draper has obviously done her homework, but the narrative wears its research heavily. Every bad thing that befell an African slave either happens to or is witnessed by Amari (e.g., Africans eaten by sharks, children used as live alligator bait, an infant shot dead out of spite). Rape is constant. These lurid elements may appeal to reluctant readers who would normally shy away from historical fiction, but they unfortunately push the story to the brink of melodrama. The author also pulls her punches with a highly implausible happy ending. But after all that Amari has gone through, readers will likely find the conclusion a huge relief. Ages 14-up.

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