The inclusion of violence is necessary to the theme of the book - for example, amari would never have been whipped in her own village, but the "civilized" plantation owner feels it is an appropriate punishment when she drops food on his carpet. The sequences in which Amari is raped are narrated without physical detail, but with much emphasis on her feelings and reactions. There is a scene in which Tidbit is tied to a rope and flung into a river to attract alligators for the rich landowners' hunting pleasure. A scene involving the plantation owner's wife and a newborn black infant is absolutely numbing, but so well-written that the characters' reactions overshadow the actual violence. Amari's journey from Africa to America is vividly portrayed. Draper skillfully describes the physical sensations, fears, and horrors of Amari's new existence.
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Amari and Polly build close relationships with the plantation cook, teenie, and her precocious son, tidbit. Teenie helps the girls to understand the ways of the plantation, and she also helps Amari through the humiliation of being repeatedly raped by Clay, the plantation owner's son. Clay's stepmother is the only white person on the plantation who shows any kindness summary to and interest in the slaves. It soon becomes clear that she is something of a prisoner herself. Indeed, it is her tragedy, told in horrifying and shocking passages, that propels Amari and Polly to plan an escape, taking Tidbit with them. The last third of the book deals with the ordeal of their attempts to reach Fort Mose, florida, where they believe a community has been established for runaway slaves. Is there really such a place or is it a fleeting myth? Will they become free? The Writing Style: This book is extremely well-written. The author describes horrific events, evoking emotional responses, but never pushing the story into repugnance.
It glowed a bright metallic copper - the same sun that set each evening upon her homeland". The story of a teenage girl, torn from her village and thesis sold into slavery is powerfully told by Sharon Draper in Copper Sun. This novel, geared toward readers in grades 9 through 12, is the 2007 winner of the coretta Scott King Award. The Story: When 15 year-old Amari's family is murdered and her village burned to the ground, her happy life and dreams are brought to an abrupt and horrifying end. Shackled and humiliated, she and other survivors of her village are sold into slavery and transported from her native africa to the colony of south Carolina. On the same day that a plantation owner buys Amari as a birthday present for his 16 year-old son, he also secures the services of a young white indentured servant named Polly. Polly, imagining a life as a servant in the main house of the master, is bitterly disappointed when she is forced to live in slave quarters while transforming Amari into a proper slave. Polly's initial feelings of superiority toward the African slaves are eventually replaced by understanding and friendship as she experiences many of their hardships and humiliations.
Polly initially dislikes the African slaves, viewing them as strange competition for limited work, yet grows to sympathize with Amari's plight when she is repeatedly raped by the master's son, Clay. Polly's cynicism and realistic outlook on life provides a welcome contrast to the lost innocence of Amari, whose voice often disappears beneath the misery of her circumstances (save for one unforgettable passage at the end, where she encounters her betrothed from her village, and mourns. Copper Sun: a powerful beautiful Story. Apr 21 '07 (Updated Apr 22 '07). Author's Product Rating: Pros, gripping story. Wonderful narration and description, suspenseful plot, characterization. Cons: Some violent scenes, but handled relatively well. The bottom Line: Copper Sun is a beautifully told story of a young African girl sold into slavery, the horrors she endures, and her underlying hope. Full review: "Amari glanced toward the west and watched the sun set.
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In brutal specifics, Draper shows the inhumanity: Amari is systematically raped on the slave ship and on the plantation; a slave child is used as alligator bait by white teenagers. And she adds to the complex history in alternating chapters that flip between Amari and Polly, an indentured white servant on Amari's plantation. A few plot elements, such as Amari's chance meeting with Besa are contrived. But 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 readers breathless, even as they consider the story's larger questions about the infinite. A moving, personal author's note discusses the real places and events on which the story is based.
Copper sun has also received a starred review in the january 1, 2006 issue of school library journal and a favorable review in the january 1, 2006 issue of kirkus. Kirkus, poignant and harrowing, this narrative of early America alternates between the voices of enslaved Amari and indentured servant Polly, building a believable interracial friendship centered on the common goal of freedom. Amari is captured from her idyllic home in Africa, and sold into slavery in the new World. While accounts of the attack on the tribe and the middle passage are ephemeral, the story hits its stride upon Amari's arrival in colonial south Carolina. At the slave auction, the reader is introduced to Amari's new masters and Polly, who is a new servant in their household.
Shackled, frightened, and despondent, she is led to the cape coast where she is branded and forced onto a 'boat of death' for the infamous Middle passage to the carolinas. There, percival Derby buys her as a gift for his son's 16th birthday. Trust and friendship develop between Amari and Polly, a white indentured servant, and when their mistress gives birth to a black baby, the teens try to cover up Mrs. Derby's brutal fury spurs them to escape toward the rumored freedom of Fort Mose, a spanish colony in Florida. Although the narrative focuses alternately on Amari and Polly, the story is primarily Amari's, and her pain, hope, and determination are acute.
Cruel white stereotypes abound except for the plantation's mistress, whose love is colorblind; the doctor who provides the ruse for the girls' escape; and the Irish woman who gives the fugitives a horse and wagon. As readers embrace Amari and Polly, they will better understand the impact of human exploitation and suffering throughout history. In addition, they will gain a deeper knowledge of slavery, indentured servitude, and 18th-century sanctuaries for runaway slaves. starred review in the february 1, 2006 issue of booklist. Draper, best known for her contemporary African American characters, Draper's latest novel is a searing work of historical fiction that imagines a fifteen-year-old African girl's journey through American slavery. The story begins in Amari's Ashanti village, but the idyllic scene explodes in bloodshed when slavers arrive and murder her family. Amari and her beloved, besa, are shackled, and so begins the account of impossible horrors from the slave fort, the middle passage, and auction on American shores, where a rice plantation owner buys Amari for his 16-year-old son's sexual enjoyment.
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Their reward is a riveting tale. starred review- january 1, 2006 issue of school library journal. Copper sun by Sharon. Draper (Atheneum; isbn: ; January 2006). This action-packed, multifaceted, character-rich story describes the shocking realities of the slave trade and plantation life while portraying the perseverance, resourcefulness, and triumph of the human spirit. Amari is a 15-year-old Ashanti girl who is happily anticipating her type marriage to besa. Then, first slavers arrive in her village, slaughter her family, and shatter her world.
Self-reliant kalam and outspoken, 16-year-old Polly hates the slaves but realizes their only difference from her is skin color. Draper skillfully alternates narrators so that Polly and Amari provide two perspectives of the derby plantation. Amari, summoned to Clay's bedroom twice a week, is excused from working in the plantation's rice paddies. When another sexual treachery blows up violently, the ensuing chaos provides Polly and Amari a cover for escape. Once again, Draper's research is put to good storytelling use. Told to run south, the girls flee toward Florida's Fort Mose (pronounced mo-zay a settlement of freed slaves. This journey becomes one of optimism and hope, a contrast to the ocean voyage of despair. Draper - voted the 1997 national teacher of the year and a frequent classroom presenter to teenagers throughout Ohio - knows her audience. The fast pace and truly horrifying scenes of "Copper Sun" will have adolescent readers quickly turning pages.
for readers younger than. Draper, a granddaughter of a man born a slave in 1860, writes a description of the middle passage that is astounding. Chained, lashed and deathly ill, the men and women are reduced to breathing cargo "stacked like logs for the fire." Bodies are dumped overboard. Sailors prey on healthier girls, abducting them for nightly rape. Below the decks, the stench of feces and vomit forces the white sailors to cover their mouths with rags. Not fully comprehending the language, amari is unclear why she is being sold at auction in the carolinas. Readers will be outraged by the degradation she endures as a 16th-birthday present for Clay derby. The story shifts tone, viewpoint and setting after the auction. Polly, a white indentured servant, is also purchased by Clay's father.
The horror begins quickly. Infiltrated by slave dealers, Amari's village is destroyed and survivors are chained together by iron neck bands and marched to the sea. Advised to find something of beauty in any hostile place, amari gazes at a copper-colored sunset, realizing the same sun shone on her beloved, decimated village. As Amari arrives at Cape coast, an infamous slave-holding prison, Draper's extensive research becomes evident. The stench of urine, the groans of captives and the pain of skin scrapped away by irons put the reader inside these terrible cells. When the slaves finally emerge and step into brilliant sunlight, they are placed into small boats. The depleted ranks of Africans are rowed supermarket to a slave ship and enter a new hell.
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Book reading 1, book reading 2, book reading. Book reading 4, reviews: Harsh life of slave book girl a riveting tale. Friday, december 30, 2005, rollie welch, special to The Plain dealer (Cleveland, Ohio). Cleveland native sharon Draper, award-winning author and graduate of the old John Adams High School, switches literary styles in "Copper Sun." Following her hugely successful string of modern-reality, young-adult fiction, Draper offers a historical novel featuring iron shackles, the middle passage and runaway slaves. Draper isn't after a history lesson. Instead, she brings emotional life to the appalling details of forced servitude. From the opening pages, readers become engrossed with the heartbreaking journey of Amari, a 15-year-old African girl captured and enslaved in 1738.