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Copper Sun

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  10,114 Ratings  ·  1,368 Reviews

Stolen from her village, sold to the highest bidder,
fifteen-year-old Amari has only one thing left of her own: hope.

Amari's life was once perfect. Engaged to the handsomest man in her tribe, adored by her family, and living in a beautiful village, she could not have imagined everything could be taken away from her in an instant. But when slave traders invade her village

Hardcover, 302 pages
Published September 20th 2006 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Amari S.

“Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about unbecoming everything that isn't really you, so you can be who you…more

Amari S.

“Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about unbecoming everything that isn't really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”-Anonymous

Many people are confused about the elements in their history, the chains that were attached to our ancestors. Every object is a link in an endless chain and is thus connected with all the other links, (that has changed). My book Copper Sun was written by a woman who was the granddaughter of a slave, award winning, and determined to not make statistics become her reality, Sharon M. Draper. Amari (the main character) once had a perfect life engaged to the man of her dreams. However, when Besa notices strange men approaching the tribe, things go from celebration to devastation in a quick snap of a finger. Sharon M. Draper uses symbolism, descriptive language, and comparisons to teach us the controversial history of African Americans in Copper Sun.

Sharon M Draper uses symbolism such as drums in Copper Sun, to show the significance in villages. They provide stories and a space to share thoughts and feelings. “Playing the drum is my therapy” - Travis Barker. Sharon M Draper tells the audience in different ways how drums were used as therapy sessions to heal mentally challenged individuals.“And so they did,” Komla said, ending the tale with a tapping on his drum. “They walked backward on the dirt path so their footprints looked like the prints of someone arriving into the village, not departing!’’ Symbolism helps evoke powerful imagery in knowing details of the controversial lifestyle Amari and Polly (indenture servant) had to endure over the course of their sale everyday difficulties, to the nighttime.

Sharon M Draper uses descriptive language to deeply tell what's happening and create imagery for the audience. Sharon M Draper created imagery so that we can picture ourselves in the characters shoes throughout the book, she also uses descriptive language to cover all details that need to be understood to process the book and acknowledge one's historical struggles.“The men splattered with the blood of men who had been beaten, as well as the vomit and urine and feces that the men chained above them had no choice but to eliminate where they lay.” Sharon M Draper uses academic and descriptive language to show everything; Amari,Besa,Polly,Teenie, Master Clay,Master Derby mindsets and thoughts throughout the novel Copper Sun.

Sharon M Draper uses comparisons to draw reality preferences that the audience will likely know what they are trying to uncover. Sharon is trying to convey to the audience to help them understand how they were treated like animals and were to be used in atrocious ways, Sharon perceives that the audience knows what animals give to people so these women were basically used as toys, presents, and unworthy animals. “Then strange white men, one of them so tall and thin that he seemed to sway when he walked, looked over each of the women as if inspecting goats for slaughter.”“If all men were born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?” -Mary Astell. In this book it will show the differences on how women and men were treated and how comparisons played a huge way of describing it.

The chains of your ancestors are now unlocked so are you going to change your future based on the facts you discover? Sharon M Draper uses many literary devices to explain the controversial history through symbolism, descriptive language, and comparisons throughout Copper Sun. Amari has to hold her own without her family because of murders by strange men. However, she has survived and will be taken through obstacles. Will she make it ? One can get involved by knowing one’s history and discovering facts that others may not know about or may be too lazy to put thought and effort into digging up the dirt that was once covered.
‘“Life goes on…
Whether you choose to move on and take a chance in the unknown. Or stay behind, locked in the past, thinking of what could’ve been.” -Anonymous
Elizabeth the book is is set in 1738. Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia,…morethe book is is set in 1738. Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619(less)

Community Reviews

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Mar 17, 2008 Terry rated it it was amazing
There are few books I recommend without hesitation, and this is one them. For years, Gary Paulsen's Night John has been one of the titles I try to lead all high school students to. I think Copper Sun is better. As others have mentioned, it isn't a pleasant read at times, but it is absolutely honest in its rendition of a slice of American history. I hope many people, teens and adults, will read it and consider how the past isn't dead; we all live within its long shadow.
Maya B
excellent read! the author made the characters so real. very vivid details. the book is labeled young adult but I felt it's for a more mature audience.
Jun 05, 2008 Hazel rated it it was amazing
Sharon Draper's Copper Sun tells a riveting story of an African girl , named Amari , living in Africa who has everything going her way. She's engaged to the most handsome man in the village , her father is a chief , and she loves her family. It seems that nothing could go wrong until white-skinned strangers arrive in seemingly good intentions of making friends and trading. When there is a bursting sound of a gun shot and everything turns into a chaotic mess of smoke and dust as everyone in the ...more
Aug 18, 2015 Rachel rated it liked it
Recommended to Rachel by: Mariah
Shelves: african-lit
There is no better way to describe this book other than to say that it is a book that really reaches deep down to your core and makes you feel all these things while you read it. I think that is one thing that makes a well-written historical novel. It's not just about doing the research and getting the history facts right; there also has to be something else about it that makes it feel real enough to remind you that the things that you are reading on paper are the same things that once made the ...more
Cana Rensberger
Jan 02, 2010 Cana Rensberger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have been a fan of Sharon 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 b
Jun 21, 2008 Jean rated it liked it
This novel detailing the experience of an African slave in the 1700's was a page turner for me. I sat down to read a few chapters and finished it in one reading. It explores many aspects of slavery beyond the African experience including indentured servants and the status of women in the past. Most of the historical information (much of which is horribly disturbing) was not new to me, but I had never heard of Fort Mose (sanctuary for runaways in Florida) before. Though this was a work of histori ...more
Apr 13, 2017 Denise rated it it was amazing
Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper is a must read novel for everyone. This riveting novel was written by Draper, a granddaughter of a slave. This outstanding novel is about the harsh realities of slavery. But, this novel also demonstrates that there are people in this world eager to do the right thing. The main character is Amari, a 15 year old girl from Africa who was sold in the Carolinas. Amari's character is strong, confident, emotional and determined......a definite role model. Polly's characte ...more
Elena Mills
Apr 22, 2017 Elena Mills rated it it was amazing
Sharon M. Draper is a stupendous author. I am in awe of this book. It was terrifying and powerful and the fact that everything was based on real facts shameful, and makes me look at my ancestry in a totally different way. This book made me laugh and cry and I got so attached to the characters. I think everyone should read this book, and learn not only about slaves, and what it was like to be a young girl as a slave, but also about being an indentured servant and what that form of servitude was l ...more
Sometimes I just stand back and wonder how humanity can be so cruel. Really, the things humans do to each other are revolting. Rape, murder, abuse, an ongoing list that only seems to grow as time goes on. It's the reason I can't watch the news ever. There are just too many bad things happening on this planet, and I don't need to hear about every single one of them. Of course, such a thing was unavoidable while reading the Copper Sun.

My first reaction to the novel was horror. I was horrified by
Emi Guzman
May 04, 2014 Emi Guzman rated it liked it
Copper Sun was the first book I listed for Mrs. Augustine's literature circles. Considering the fact that I am usually too aggravated by the subject of history to even taste some historical fiction, I was impressed. The story is told from two peoples' perspectives (I always appreciate this writing style)Amari and Polly, but is mostly built around a fifteen year old African girl named Amari. Amari once had a perfect life in her Ewe village in Africa. Until one day, white men attacked her village ...more
I devoured this book!! It was so good. I would warn that this book is graphic and doesn't hold back from describing the horrors of slavery. I couldn't help but love the characters and admire their strength. It'd amazing to know that there are children who went through this same thing and survived. There's a lot to learn from this novel and I can't wait to do a full review.
Feb 03, 2008 Terrell rated it liked it
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 visitors arrive. Her world changes forever 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
Gianina Gray
Jun 24, 2011 Gianina Gray rated it it was amazing
this book is very sad,sad,sad in the beginning,but the end is very spirit lifting,with a little bit of a twist.
This book was a hard book to read.

Our PTA recently donated a whole bunch of books. Sharon M. Draper is one of my "gateway" authors, an author I can count on to interest my students in reading. This book was on my list of books to read and to buy for my class but I'd never read it. When I saw it on the stack of donated books, I snatched it up.

It is a book about slavery during Colonial times. It doesn't deal much with abolition or any of the other traditional slave themes. Instead, it begins with
Edward Hernández
Jan 11, 2016 Edward Hernández rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
June Ahern
Nov 22, 2011 June Ahern rated it it was amazing
From the moment the first line was finished, I was captured. This is my first read of author Sharon Draper and will not be my last. The story is an emotional ride, and very hard to read...I was angry, sad, frustrated, happy for any little meager piece of relief and finally I sighed. Not a "feely goodie" time story, but to know what one can endure just to live, is remarkable. Will keep that in mind when I'm whining.

The story is of Amari a 15 year old African. Ms. Draper gives only a short read, b
Sep 04, 2007 Toughlove rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any who is going throygh a hard time
Copper Sun by Sharon Drapper, is an exciting, intense, and very descriptive book. The main character is a girl named Amari. She was taken from her village in Africa, after all her friends and family were killed by slave hunters. The only person, who watched over her, was an old woman which she called Afi. This is a story that tells about what Amari had to go through, and how she dealt with it. I loved this book, I couldn’t put it down, it told about the journey from the village, to the ship, ac ...more
Fran Prather
Mar 05, 2009 Fran Prather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-read
I attended Draper's session at the International Reading Association National Convention last week. She mentioned that Copper Sun is being taught in conjuction with Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, which I have used with sophomores in World Literature, so I was intrigued.
The book follows Amari as slave traders destroy her home, she survives the trip over on the slave ship, and how she manages to survive as a slave in the US in the 1700s. It refers to her constant rape by white men, though it
Erin Isgett
Feb 19, 2015 Erin Isgett rated it really liked it
Another fantastic historical fiction story written for young adults, but that I would suggest everyone read. The story of an enslaved African girl and a white indentured servant are told and entwined, and I was tied to both of them quickly and intensely. There are many very difficult issues addressed in the book, but they are things that actually happened to people who were enslaved. I think it is extremely important to be aware of atrocities that people both inflicted and experienced, instead o ...more
I read this because it's on a high school summer reading list in Philadelphia this summer. It captured me from the start! Both heart-breaking and inspiring, this book of historical fiction follows Amari, an African girl from her life in Africa to her life as a slave in the South. The story is also interesting because it includes Polly, an indentured white girl. While critics have stated that the bond Amari and Polly eventually develop is unrealistic, I, for one, believe that racial reconciliatio ...more
Shelagh Rice
Aug 18, 2015 Shelagh Rice rated it liked it
I wavered between a 3 or 4 stars. This book is a very good depiction of the Southern States in the 1700's where Slavery is the norm. A young African girl grabbed from her village and shipped to America and sold. Along the way she befriends an indentured white girl (one step up from a slave only because she is white). The characters are well rounded and believable and the story feels authentic from the very beginning. This period in history always makes an uncomfortable read, but these stories mu ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Chanice rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books of all times. There are no words but amazing.
This left me heartbroken. It was amazing.
Feb 21, 2014 morgan rated it it was amazing
This book was really good! I though it was going to be very boring, based on past experiences with school books handed out in humanitites, but this book trumps them all.
Asher Lafferty-McGill
Mar 19, 2017 Asher Lafferty-McGill rated it it was amazing
In the small village of Ziavi, Amari, a 15 year old girl has never been happier. She is engaged to the love of her life, and everything seems that it is as it should be. Until one day, when new strangers enter her village, and everything falls apart. Amari gets thrown into a world she has never known before with a language she is forced to learn in order to survive. As her new life in slavery continues, Amari goes from chains to boats, to different names and places, and meets new friends who sho ...more
Nov 19, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
Copper Sun
By Sharon M. Draper

Death. Betrayal. Calamity. A fate too terrible for most to imagine, especially in gorgeous eighteenth century Africa. In this historical fiction novel, a pleasant village is brutally attacked by a group of strange men- men with skin the color of goat’s milk.
Amari is fifteen and so far, she’s lived a life of luxury. Her family is understanding and fun, her village is kind and familiar, and she is going to marry the most handsome man in the village in one years’ time.
Angel Lopez
May 26, 2011 Angel Lopez rated it liked it

I would give copper sun 3 out of 5 stars. Many things made me to give this book this rating, one thing is that the book doesn’t really have a lot of action in it, and action is what really motivated me to keep reading a book. Even though I enjoyed various parts of this book, like all the true and relative content that gave me flash back of a lot of things I learned about slavery before.
The beginning of the book, Amari which is the protagonist of the book went through a lot of struggles, like
Feb 05, 2014 Jacquie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a compelling and well-researched story about slavery for young adults, exceptional in its scope and realism. It begins in Africa and includes the Middle Passage and a slave auction to give full context in the telling of a story about slavery in the South. Amari, fifteen years old and from a small village in West Africa, ends up on a rice plantation near Charles Town in 1738, where most of the slaves are worked to death in conditions that kill them in a short time. This was not unusual fo ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for

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 ne
Austinn Dalton
Feb 26, 2014 Austinn Dalton rated it it was amazing
Spoiler alert! This novel takes you on an adventure from an African village, to a ship full of Africans, to a rice plantation in South Carolina, and finally to Fort Mose a place where everyone is free. The story begins with a young African girl named Amari. She is a couple of days from being newly wed with her true love, but a sudden visit from a group of pale faced men arrive at their village things go wrong. They opened fire on everyone except all of the young and strong people. Before Amari k ...more
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Play Book Tag: Copper Sun / Sharon M. Draper. 3.5 stars 3 8 Mar 18, 2017 11:31AM  
RDNG 636 Fall 2015: Copper Sun 1 1 Oct 04, 2015 08:08PM  
Time Out Book Club: June CHANGE OF DATE 10 10 Jun 17, 2015 11:03AM  
Is it normal to have a small hatred for whites after reading this book? 5 60 Aug 05, 2014 02:50AM  
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Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator as well as an accomplished writer. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award, and is a New York Times bestselling author. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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“Long as you remember, ain't nothin' really gone.” 1 likes
“Freedom is a delicate flower, like a pretty leaf in the air: It's hard to catch and may not be what you thought when you get it, she observed quietly.- Polly from Copper Sun” 0 likes
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