Winter Branch's Reviews > Copper Sun

Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper
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Aug 18, 09

bookshelves: fiction, youngadult
Read in July, 2009

Historical fiction is tough to write, it is probably even more challenging to write with the young adult in mind. An author has to try to keep the story compelling while pacifying the fact checkers and history police. Sharon Draper seems to have focused less on the latter and more on crafting a fast-paced, interesting narrative. I guess when your audience is primarily youth this is probably a wiser and more lucrative decision.

The pace of Copper Sun is nonstop. The narrative never has a change to drag because it is constantly moving forward, rarely giving the reader any down time. It easy to see the appeal many young people might have for the book. However the novel is far from perfect and suffers because of Draper's decision to always keep things exciting. For example, the slaves seem to undergo every scenario imaginable or ever linked with slavery (no matter how plausible), the dialog (especially for the whites) is extremely forced, heavy handed and unnatural, characters are usually flat with little or no grey area, and the escape/journey seems a bit far-fetched. However, the story is an interesting one, even if a bit exaggerated, and could serve as a good starting point for the studying/discussion of slavery.
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