This post contains affiliate linksCopper Sun by Sharon Draper was an emotionally difficult book to read, but it was also one of the books I’ve enjoyed most in the last year.  Draper gives an unflinching look at the horrors of slavery, and if it weren’t for a few parts that stretched believability, this would have easily been a five-star book.

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

About Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

Amari is a 15-year-old African girl engaged to Besa when white men visit her village. So naturally, Amari’s village welcomes them.  They have dinner and dance and prepare to talk with the white men after the celebration.  But, unfortunately, they never get that far;  the men kill most of the villagers and enslave the rest.

Soon, Amari finds herself in shackles. What follows for her in the next few months is heartbreaking. She’s physically abused and raped. Her life is not her own; she also sees other enslaved people brutalized.

This book is not for the faint of heart. Draper depicts slavery in its ugliest forms.

My Thoughts on the Book

I appreciate that this book is unflinchingly honest.  Too many books about slavery try to sugarcoat the horrors.  However, some parts were too contrived.  Draper clearly wanted the book to go one way, and she had to bend the bounds of believability to get the story headed in the right direction.  Unfortunately, this happens in the last 1/3 of the book, which I found disappointing.

Still, I learned something I didn’t know about slavery and freedom, and that information sent me on a rabbit hole of research.  (I can’t reveal what it is without giving the book away.)  I recommend this story for high schoolers on up, though sensitive readers might want to wait longer to read it.

Beyond the few contrived parts, this is an excellent book that I highly recommend.

I give Copper Sun by Sharon Draper 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

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