As a ginormous bookworm, I thought a monthly article series would allow me to share my love of books and recommend amazing books to a lot of people! The book that I am about to list is one of my all-time favorites, and it became my favorite very recently. I’m ecstatic to share this young-adult novel with everyone!
Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper
Here is the official summary from the author’s website:
When pale strangers enter fifteen-year-old Amari’s village, her entire tribe welcomes them; for in her remote part of Africa, visitors are always a cause for celebration. But these strangers are not here to celebrate. They are here to capture the strongest, healthiest villagers and to murder the rest. They are slave traders. And in the time it takes a gun to fire, Amari’s life as she knows it is destroyed, along with her family and village.
Beaten, branded, and dragged onto a slave ship, Amari is forced to witness horrors worse than any nightmare and endure humiliations she had never thought possible–including being sold to a plantation owner in the Carolinas who gives her to his sixteen-year-old son, Clay, as his birthday present.
Now, survival and escape are all Amari dreams about. As she struggles to hold on to her memories in the face of backbreaking plantation work and daily degradation at the hands of Clay, she finds friendship in unexpected places. Polly, an outspoken indentured white girl, proves not to be as hateful as she’d first seemed upon Amari’s arrival, and the plantation owner’s wife, despite her trappings of luxury and demons of her own, is kind to Amari.
But these small comforts can’t relieve Amari’s feelings of hopelessness and despair. With strength and dignity, Amari first learns to survive, then yearns to escape to a most unlikely destination. When the opportunity to escape presents itself, Amari and Polly decide to work together to find the thing they both want most–freedom.
I first found this book when reading it was required for Module 5 in my Language Arts course on FLVS. I remember the Monday when I started reading it. The lesson said that I was to read one fifth of the book before every lesson. That Monday, I sat down on the comfortable couch in my living room, flipped to page one, and read.
After the first five chapters, I officially rated Copper Sun, “Demon Book.” I despised it with every fiber of my being because of how dark it got and how sad it made me to read it. I had to force myself to even turn to the next page. How has this become one of my absolute favorite novels? I’m still confused about that concept myself.
The day after I started reading Copper Sun, I glanced at my reading schedule and it stated that I needed to read another fifth of the book. I didn’t want to, of course, but I knew I had to as it was required if I wanted to finish the class.
I read approximately ten chapters that day. It became just slightly less dark, but it still made me want to hate it.
A thing that I like to do before I go to sleep is to lie down in my bed and read a book. At the period of time where I was reading the “Demon Book,” I hadn’t been able to visit the local library and therefore I had no book that I was interested in reading. I surveyed my bedroom until my eyes landed on Copper Sun. “What the heck,” my mind said. “You have no other books to read right now.” I grabbed the book off my dresser and began to read.
I read over half of the entire book and finished it in that one night. I began to understand why my Language Arts teacher loves this young adult novel. It’s funny how opinions can change so quickly, because that night, Copper Sun became one of my favorite books.
The next day, I spent hours contemplating on how I adored this book so much. It made no sense to me. The story was so intense and sometimes disturbing, how did I enjoy it? After those few hours of contemplation, I came to the conclusion that I love this book, even though I have no idea why. I might never know, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is an amazing and compelling story. I would highly recommend it.
This quote from the book addresses how Amari endured throughout her horrible struggles: “As long as you remember chile, nothin’ ain’t ever really gone.” – Teenie, Copper Sun
Post by Elsa Christensen, 8th Grade