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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A painfully honest novel about slavery in America
Fifteen-year-old Amari loves life in her home village in Africa. She spends her days strolling along the stream, daydreaming about her handsome future husband, teasing her little brother, and avoiding chores. But everything changes the day the pale-faced visitors arrive.

Everyone contributes for the celebration to welcome the strangers. Amari helps her mother...
Published on February 16, 2006 by Teen Reads

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Did not care for this one.
This is the second book on slavery I've read in the last few weeks that almost becomes a soap opera. I'm still looking for a novel that will let my daughter see all of the horror of the slave era without exposing her to adult themes, and authors who are more interested in telling a shocking story than really presenting a realistic view of the era. I'm not trying to shield...
Published 1 month ago by K. Spangler


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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A painfully honest novel about slavery in America, February 16, 2006
By 
This review is from: Copper Sun (Hardcover)
Fifteen-year-old Amari loves life in her home village in Africa. She spends her days strolling along the stream, daydreaming about her handsome future husband, teasing her little brother, and avoiding chores. But everything changes the day the pale-faced visitors arrive.

Everyone contributes for the celebration to welcome the strangers. Amari helps her mother arrange the food, her storyteller father shares his tales, her fiancé plays his drum, and everyone dances. But then their world shatters as the strangers begin killing the adults and young children. Amari stands stunned as her parents drop dead from gunfire. Her little brother urges her to run into the jungle for safety; they try, only for Amari to be captured and her brother to be shot dead.

The nightmare continues as Amari and the other young people find themselves chained together and forced to walk for days. At the coast, Amari views the ocean for the first time and most of her friends for the last time. Packed tightly into ships, Amari's people endure horrific conditions: hunger, thirst, sickness, lying in their own waste, and rape. More die and are tossed overboard, but Amari survives with encouragement from a woman named Afi, who tells Amari that she has to live; Amari has a purpose in life and she must find hope. But hope is the last thing to be found on a slave ship, and that is what Amari has become --- a slave.

Upon arrival in America, Amari is sold to the highest bidder, a rice grower wanting a birthday present for his son. Soon Amari meets Polly, a white girl indentured to the same rice grower. The two girls from different ends of the earth bond together in order to survive, and their friendship just might help them fight their way to freedom.

Sharon Draper is the granddaughter of a former slave, so this tale must hold a special place in her heart. She tells the story of Amari with such powerful description that it almost feels as if the reader was right there in the nightmare. It is so hard to comprehend how humans were once bought, sold, owned, and degraded in a country that stands for freedom. This painfully honest novel brings back the past so that people will never forget.

--- Reviewed by Chris Shanley Dillman, author
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VEEEEEEEEEEERY Good!, March 30, 2006
This review is from: Copper Sun (Hardcover)
Copper Sun was an exceptional book. I completely fell in love with it. The characters were well developed, the plot wasn't very predictable, and it gave me a sense of awe and wonder when I finished it. The book is under the genre of historical fiction and is about a 15 year old slave girl who was captured and sold into slavery from her native home in Africa. However, this isn't your typical fly-away-to-freedom slavery book. Amari, the main character, was raped and brutally beaten before she escaped to freedom with her white friend and a young boy. Sharon Draper offers two perspectives-that of Amari and of her white comrad Polly. Ironically instead of escaping to the North, they escape to the South where a non-discriminatory fort exists. There all are free and equal which is extremely uncommon during the year 1738. I won't tell anymore-you have to read it for yourself!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, August 10, 2007
This review is from: Copper Sun (Hardcover)
I have been a fan of Sharon M. Draper for some time. She is a master at writing realistic fiction. COPPER SUN is her first historical fiction and it is amazing -- as well as frighteningly authentic.

This book follows the trials and tribulations of Amari, a fifteen-year-old African maiden. After witnessing the slaughter of both the old and young in her African village, including her parents and her young brother, she is chained, by feet, hands, and neck, lined up, and herded miles on foot to the ocean by pale skinned visitors with fire sticks. She watches her fellow Africans suffer incomprehensible humiliation and death at the hands of their captors as they are shipped like animal cargo across the ocean. The life that awaits her is nothing like she could have ever imagined.

Amari must adapt to life as a purchased slave on a rice plantation, a life that includes atrocities committed upon her by her white owners. She meets Polly, an indentured servant who has dreams of making it to the big house and being a fine lady of standing. Instead, Polly lives in the slave quarters and finds she's given the chore of civilizing Amari, now called Myna, and teaching her enough English to work. After witnessing murder, the two girls find themselves thrown together in a desperate run for freedom.

This is not just another book about slavery. This is a book about something real and tangible. Ms. Draper's writing is so vivid that you can smell the rank odors beneath ship. You can feel the pain of being lashed with a whip. Your throat will constrict at the heart-wrenching pain of a mother and child being forced apart. You will also celebrate the strength and spirit of Amari and those she inspires.

COPPER SUN won the Coretta Scott King Award. This is a book I will make sure goes on my classroom shelves. I give COPPER SUN a gold star!

Reviewed by: Cana Rensberger
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fight for Freedom, May 17, 2006
This review is from: Copper Sun (Hardcover)
This book has a very powerful message to it. This made me think about all the things that I take for granted. With Amari being fifteen, I can relate to her. Usually you can not find books like this now a days. This book makes me think more about how lucky I am and how there are kids in the world that aren't as fortunate as I am. Sharon knows how to grab the readers attention. My friends and I are not big readers and we thought this book was good, and it is one of the very few books that we can stand to read. Drapers knows how to catch your wondering eye because when I saw this book on the amazon website I wanted to read it and I was not really interested in reading any other books.

I recommend this book to all of those people out there that do not like to read. Even though this book is a long one you do not get board with it you are interested with in the very first paragraph and Amari talking about her homeland Africa and about her family.

This book is a good one to read and I hope all of you enjoy my review, and reading this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Cried for Her Loss in Innocence, June 12, 2007
This review is from: Copper Sun (Hardcover)
Powerful, life-changing, and a must read, "Copper Sun" gives a vicarious account of what life must have been like during the slave era.
For Amari, her life in Africa was peaceful and happy until she was kidnapped to be sold as a slave. Upon arriving in America, she was bought as a "birthday present" for the plantations sixteen year old son--what an OUTRAGE! She begins life on the plantation helping cook, among her "duties" for Clay. "Copper Sun" gives insight to the hardships that all slaves endured and this books accounts are heart-wrenching.
This story will keep your adrenaline flowing, at times your eyes crying, and renew your belief in the power of the human spirit--I couldn't put it down--I read it from cover to cover.
Sharon Draper has become my "new" favorite author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Read!!!, January 31, 2007
This review is from: Copper Sun (Hardcover)
THIS IS A MUST READ!!! Mrs. Draper has true writing skills that worked magic throughout this book. This book is classified for young adults but everyone should read it young and old alike. Mrs. Draper takes you from the very beginning with Amari playing with her brother in Africa, to being captured at the hands of her own neighboring tribe. From the horrible boat ride to America, (in vivid detail) to Amari being sold to a plantation owner for his son's sixteenth birthday present. Amari is left in the hands of a white indentured servant girl about her age to be made "civilized." You will have to read it for yourself to see what happens from here, you will not be disappointed! I was full of so many emotions, happy, sad, angry, I found myself ranting aloud a couple of times. This book is not predictable by far; I found it hard to put down. I rarely take books to work with me in fear of reading them and I just could not leave this book at home! This book offered me knowledge and understanding and for that I am grateful.

Continued success to you Mrs. Draper.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharon Draper's Newest Won't Disappoint, February 22, 2006
By 
haan (Cleveland, OH) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Copper Sun (Hardcover)
I bought this book because

a) I love Sharon Draper (Forged by Fire is my favorite!)

b) I bought it when Sharon Draper came to Cleveland for a book signing

Ms. Draper has been writing this book for about 10 years. Unlike her other books, this one is historical fiction. It follows Amari, a 15yr old from West Africa, specifically the Gold Coast/ Ghana, who is sold into slavery in the Carolinas before the revolutionary war.

It also looks closely at Polly, an indentured servant for the same man that owns Amari. (Amari has been bought specifically as a toy for a 16yr old boy.)

Through the sharing of painful experiences, Polly and Amari become friends and decide to escape together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read for Middle Schoolers and You'll Learn a lot too!, May 11, 2008
By 
J. Thompson (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Copper Sun (Paperback)
Title: Copper Sun
Author: Sharon Draper
Publisher and Date: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006
Flesh Kincaid Reading Level: 6.6
Pages: 302
Genre: Historical Fiction

Copper Sun is the story of a 15-year old girl named Amari who lives in an African village named Ziavi. She enjoys spending time with her eight-year-old brother Kwasi and her boyfriend Besa. She is very happy with her life until her village is invaded by pale-skinned men accompanied by warriors from another African tribe, the Ashanti. Her village is burned down and many of the villagers are slaughtered, including her whole family. All the while, Amari is astonished that people from her own land could be helping the pale strangers destroy her village. She sees the shame in her boyfriend's eyes as he is shackled and taken aboard a slave ship. She experiences a feeling of intense loss as she realizes her family has been taken from her and now she is being sold into slavery. She deals with abuse and cruelty in numerous ways, and at times feels as if all hope is lost. However, Amari is a fighter and she endures all of the cruelties of slavery without giving up.

The story follows Amari as she is captured, taken on a ship across the Middle Passage, and brought to America as a slave. When she arrives in South Carolina she is auctioned off and sold to a plantation owner as a birthday present for his son. While at the auction, the plantation owner also buys a young, white indentured servant named Polly. Polly imagines her life as a servant in the main house of the master and is disappointed to find out she will be working with Amari in the fields and living in the slave quarters. Polly initially is prejudiced toward Africans, but over time she and Amari become friends. They also build close relationships with the plantation cook, Teenie, and her son Tidbit. Teenie helps Amari through the difficult times on the plantation, including being abused by Clay, the plantation owner's son.

Clay's stepmother is the only white person on the plantation who shows any sympathy for the slaves. Soon Amari finds out that she has a relationship with one of the slaves. This begins a plot twist with so many surprises that I do not want to spoil it for you! Soon Amari, Polly and Tidbit get a chance to escape from the plantation. The last third of the book follows them on their journey to find Fort Mose, where there is a community for runaway slaves.

Chapter's alternate between Amari's perspective and Polly's perspective which gives the book an interesting twist. Although the book may seem long for some young adult readers it has so many plot twists and surprises that it will keep you reading. Draper's story provides a detailed and realistic description of life during slavery with fictional characters that draw you in and a fast-pace that makes the story readable for any young adult, whether studying slavery or not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book About Slavery, April 10, 2008
By 
Michelle (Somewhere, USA!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Copper Sun (Paperback)
There has never been a better book about slavery than Copper Sun, though you go through some disgusting times with Amari you find the most painful thing is that actual people were treated like that! Draper is so wonderful in her writing, telling us exactly what it was like for Amari and I really felt like I was standing right next to her through the whole experience. Speaking of whole experience that's exactly what it is...the book starts in her home in Africa and we travel with here through the capturing of her and family members, the trip over seas, the slave action and her new home and ***spoilers (sort of)*** her final desicion! Great book HIGHLY recommend it to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book with inspiring story, April 28, 2013
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This review is from: Copper Sun (Paperback)
Coppersun takes you on a journey about a girl in a village in Ghana.It talks about her whole life and how her life has changed.In this aspiring story you learn about Amari and her challenges as a slave in an aspiring way.Throughout the story Amari finds peace and strenth through the Sun that she looks at.She learns what true courage and bravery is and she overcome her challenges.Readers get to see first hand how she survives her voyage to America and how she finds strength and courage as a slave.Readers will experience her steady quest for freedom and redemption.
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Copper Sun
Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper (Hardcover - January 1, 2006)
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