Copper Sun, Review

17 Aug

Copper Sun by Sharon M Draper

Plot: This is the story of Amari, a young African girl captured and sold by slave traders, is kept as a “gift” to the plantation owner’s son, and eventually escapes to her freedom. The story opens in Amari’s tribal village, and I had a very difficult time knowing in what time period the story was set, as the village seemed timeless. I had a difficult time trying to understand what it must have been like for Amari to watch her family be slaughtered, and then to be captured and sent away to a new world on a ship. One scene from the book that made an impression on me was when Amari was forced out of the holding cell at Cape Castle and ends up in the bright daylight on the shore. In the middle of a horrible ordeal, Amari still is overcome by the vast beauty of the ocean, saying “…nothing could have prepared her for water so blue, so beautiful, so never ending” (Draper, 2006). Once I read this, I knew Amari would be a survivor, because she was able to find beauty in the world, despite her circumstances. This was reinforced at the end of the novel when Amari has hope for her (and her baby’s) future, despite the circumstances that brought them there. One other factor that had an impact on me was the importance of a name. Amari must reluctantly respond to the name given to her by her owner; however, as soon as she is free, she reverts back to her given name. In addition, I did learn something new when reading this book: I was not aware of the sanctuary provided by Fort Mose for people of all colors and backgrounds. It took me longer than expected to get into this book; however, when I did, I was really taken in by the story. It’s obvious that Draper wants readers to be aware of the cruel treatment of the slaves and the hardships that had to be endured. However, Draper also touches on the role of women during the time period as well, and provides a broad look at their roles through the characters of Polly (the indentured servant) and Mrs. Derby (the plantation owner’s wife). This book provides an interesting look at pre-Revolutionary War slavery from a slightly different perspective, which is refreshing, honest, and effective.

Would you recommend this book? Yes

4 stars

–Lisa

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