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Draper, Sharon.
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2006.
ISBN 0689821816

(3 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Amari is a 15-year-old Ashanti girl who is happily anticipating her marriage to Besa. When slavers arrive in her village, her family is slaughtered and her world shattered. Shackled and frightened she is shipped to the Carolinas and forced into slavery. Amari develops friendships and struggles for freedom in this historical fiction novel.  (Florida Teen Reads nominee, 2007-2008)

Booktalk #2

Sharon Draper knows how to grab her reader’s!  Copper Sun begins in the idyllic African countryside where 15-year-old Amari lives in a thriving village.  Her dad is a weaver.  Her mom makes her do chores. She has an annoying little brother, and there’s a very hot guy, Besa, around her age whom she hopes to marry.  One day pale-faced men visit the village. The custom when any visitors arrive, even strange looking ones, is to welcome them with a feast.  Amari is watching the dancing, and Besa playing his drum, when she hears a strange sound and sees a flash of light.  The chief falls off his stool, dead, and the visitors begin to use knives and fire sticks on the rest of the villagers.  Amari witnesses the murder and destruction and is taken captive. The world as she knew it is shattered forever.  The oldest and the youngest members of the village have been killed.  The strongest, those in their teens and twenties, are marched to a slave ship where Amari witnesses more atrocities.  After the harrowing sea voyage Amari arrives in the Carolinas and is sold to a plantation owner who gives her to his 16-year-old son as a birthday gift.    (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2007-2008)

Booktalk #3

The historical fiction story, Copper Sun, begins in an African Shanti village. Kidnapped from her village at fifteen years old and subjected to a horrific sea passage, Amari is sold to a South Carolina planter, along with Polly, a white indentured servant.  Polly immediately sees her role in society as being above Amari’s, since she does not consider herself a slave, and she will be one day able to pay off her indenture.   Polly eventually drops her “I am better than you” attitude and learns to empathize with Amari once she witnesses the cruelty of her life on the plantation. She realizes how unbearable Amari’s life has become when she learns Amari was purchased as a birthday gift for the master's sixteen-year-old son. Amari's only hope is escape and Polly agrees to help her. The master's fury spurs Amari and Polly to escape toward a place of freedom they've only heard about, Fort Mose, a Spanish colony in Florida. I you have a love of history, this character-rich, moving story of two young women facing overwhelming odds will catch and hold your interest. (Mary M. Silgals, Trident Academy, for South Carolina Young Adult Book Awards, 2008-2009)

SUBJECTS:     Slavery -- Fiction.
                        Indentured servants -- Fiction.
                        South Carolina -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 -- Fiction.
                        Florida -- History -- Spanish colony, 1565-1763 -- Fiction.
                        African Americans -- History -- 18th century -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.

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