Thursday, January 5, 2012

Book Review: Copper Sun

I haven't done much but lay in bed and read since December 29. Well, I have blogged and played Words with Friends, but really, that's been the extent of my life for the past few days. Sounds thrilling right?

On New Year's Eve, I finished up "The Hobbit", which I will not spend much time reviewing as most people have already read this fantastic tale. If you haven't, you should. It's truly a great tale about an unlikely hero who ends up going on a crazy adventure with people he doesn't consider his friends until the end. There... that's "The Hobbit". It's also the precurser to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and there's a movie coming out next December. So, go read it.

Next up: Copper Sun by Sharon Draper.

image from here

I must admit to hearing this was good, but I was having issues with reading it. I don't know why. Maybe I wasn't in the mood, I don't know. But, since I borrowed it from school before winter break, I figured I should read it so I can review it for the students when I get back. I did have another choice, but I chose to start here. I'm glad I did!

This book is a piece of historical fiction. It's the story of Amari (and Polly). Amari is an African girl who is taken away from her village by white slave traders after witnessing terrible events in her village. What those are, I refuse to say because I'm not a spoiler. She ends up on a slave ship to the American colonies where she is sold into slavery. She is bought as a birthday present for a plantation owner's son. Need I say more? Didn't think so. She tries her best to stay under the radar and remain strong only to come against many obstacles. Eventually, she ends up on her own with some unlikely guests.
Polly is the other participant in the story. She is a white indentured servant. She is sent to the plantation with Amari to help Amari learn and to watch out for her. Polly despises Africans, so the relationship is very interesting as Amari despises Polly as well- both hate each other only based on color. Sad.

 An unfortunate event happens on the plantation that land Amari and Polly in the middle of a major mess. They end up on their way to auction with another person. I will say the unfortunate event was mindnumbing and horrible. I couldn't believe what I read and I wanted to go after the plantation owner myself. On the way to auction, something happens. Polly, Amari and guest find themselves in the woods trying to make it to a safe place where they can be free. They fight over going north vs. going south, eventually walking in the way that feels right.  I have to stop there so I don't spoil it.

The end of this book is beautiful and yet terrible all at the same time. Don't you love those? I do. Draper offers hope and peace. She does a great job stating the perspectives of both characters. The story is well thought out and keeps you interested. I finished it in 2 broken days.

I do recommend reading this, but must tell you that some of the content is a bit hard to bear. I do not recommend it for students who are not mature. Definitely something with sensitive material in it, even for adults. You will feel emotion in this book, including some laughter- which is much appreciated. If you want to try a quick, easy read with incredible content, this is a book to choose!

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