Monday, August 14, 2006

Copper Sun *****

Draper, Sharon. Copper Sun. 2006.

I have enjoyed other works by this author such as Forged by Fire, Darkness Before Dawn, Romiette and Julio and so on. I don't think I have read anything by this author I have disliked. When I saw she had a new book out and that it had received a starred review in School Library Journal, I was excited to get my hands on a copy. I put it on reserve at my public library at the beginning of summer and it just now came in. So, either someone had it for a really long time, or it has been popular!

This book is about the slave experience in the late 1700s. Amari is 15 and is living a happy life in Africa until her entire village is destroyed by white men and the neighboring Ashanti. All of the older people are killed and the younger ones are marched to the coast where they are shipped off to the American colonies. She arrives in America and is sold to Derby Farms where she has a master that is worse than most. She is really the birthday present for the 16 year old son, and he uses her for sex. In between section about Amari are sections about Polly, a white girl that comes to the farm at the same time as an indentured servant. Her indenture is 14 years but she thinks at the end of it, she will become a lady. She hates slaves and thinks she is far better than them even though she works side by side with them and have to also live in slave quarters.

This was a great account of life as a slave and the desire to be free. Unlike many, Amari's spirit was never broken and she yearned to be free and fight for it. This account was interesting in that it not only looked at Amari's experience but it also looked at Polly's perspective too, in turn, so that readers could get a feeling for what white people thought of the slaves, not just what it was like to be a slave. This was a very well written novel and I recommend it for all readers. It is not only a moving book, but readers will also learn something, which is always nice bonus.

No comments: