Sunday, November 05, 2006

Copper Sun

This is a great book! The author, Sharon Draper, deals with a subject that is often chosen to be overlooked in a study of history. One of the main characters is Amari, a 15-year-old Ashanti girl who is looking forward to her marriage to Besa, who witnesses the cruelty of the slavers when they come to her village - murdering many and capturing all the others to ship them to America to be slaves.


She is forced onto a “boat of death” and makes the horrible journey known as the Middle Passage to the Carolinas. Some how she survives this trip and is sold to Percival Derby. She is a birthday gift for his 16-year-old son. At the same time, this man buys a white girl who is an indentured servant, Polly. Though Polly does not consider herself the same as a slave, she learns that she really is no different than the black slaves. She and Amari become friends and support each other during all the tribulations they face.


When their mistress, the second Mrs. Derby, gives birth to a black baby, Mr. Derby becomes exceedingly cruel and violent. Polly, Amari, and Tidbit manage to escape from the plantation. They make a long and difficult journey to Fort Mose, FL (a Spanish colony).


Many of the characters in the book are the stereotypical whites of the era of the southern plantation and slavery. However, refreshingly you will meet some of the whites who were not and helped the girls. The book has lots of action and is one you will want to read to see what will happen next.

For more information about Fort Mose, check out the following sites:

National Park Service
ThinkQuest
Africans in America from PBS

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