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(The Louisiana Girls Trilogy #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,178 ratings  ·  359 reviews
From Jewell Parker Rhodes, the author of Towers Falling and Ninth Ward (a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a Today show Al's Book Club for Kids pick) comes a tale of a strong, spirited young girl who rises beyond her circumstances and inspires others to work toward a brighter future.
Ten-year-old Sugar lives on the River Road sugar plantation along the banks of the Missis
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,178 ratings  ·  359 reviews

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Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Sugar and her Mama were slaves on a sugarcane plantation in Louisiana. Now slavery has over and Mama is dead but nothing else has changed. Sugar, a ten-year-old girl, works long, hard hours for most of the year planting and harvesting sugarcane. She longs for love and friendship and can't stand the sweet taste of sugar. Her other friends have been sold or moved on so she is the only child. While she enjoys the comfort and stories of Mister Beale, she longs for more. Then her life change
Alex  Baugh
Oct 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
Sugar is 10, an orphan and although she is not longer a slave, she sure doesn't feel free. She has lived on the River Road plantation where they grow sugar cane in Louisiana her whole life, but she really just wants to go north and see what the world is about.

It is 1870 and reconstruction is in full swing and things are changing, or so says Mr. Wills, owner of the plantation. Sugar is secretly friends with his son, Billy, who tells her that his father has now hired some Chinese men to come and w
This is the life of a girl named Sugar. She is an orphan living on a sugar cane farm in the south right after slaves became free. Good story!
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hi! I am 8 years old, and this is the best book that I have read in my whole life! Something about this book, just makes you feel how they treated people that were a different color back then. When I first read this book, I thought that the ending would be sad. But, as I got more and more into the book I learned how much feeling was in the book. I would recommend this book to somebody who likes, drama with a little bit of happy. I was up at 11 o'clock at night reading this book! The more and mor ...more
Dee Dee G
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book, but Sugar being so hardheaded during that time period throughout most of the book was a bit much.
Heather McC
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Sugar works the sugar cane fields during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War and yearns for a taste of freedom that she's heard so much about. She, and her fellow cane workers are stunned when the plantation hires Chinese men to work in the fields alongside the African American workers. Worried about her job and her future, Sugar continues to dream of a better life up North, where she can get a taste of what true freedom is.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was a beautiful blend of happiness, friendship, unfairness, and despair. Sugar was a very complex character, adventurous, sassy, stubborn and friendly. I felt joyful at most times reading the book, but I also had sympathy for Sugar, as both of her parents are dead when she is only ten. This was a wonderful read, and I recommend it to anyone waiting to learn about life back in the 1800s.
This is a touching story about the intersection of the lives of blacks, whites and Chinese on a Louisiana plantation in the latter half of the 1800s. Though slavery is outlawed, the labor, the prejudice, and the mistreatment haven't changed. But times are changing, and this book really highlights that people are people, regardless of color. I didn't even know there were Chinese workers brought over to work on plantations in the south in the 1800s! I had heard about Chinese workers on the railroa ...more
Valerie Lurquin
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mc-literature
This book is well deserving of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. It is a beautifully written story about the survival of slaves, once slavery has been abolished, on a Sugar Cane plantation on the banks of the Mississippi. Sugar, a ten year old, living on the planation works hard in the fields all day, even though she is “free”. She ends up making friends with a boy named Billy, whom is forbidden to be friends with Sugar because he is the white planation owner’s son. The only part I did not ...more
Bryanna Johnson
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
This book follows a young 10 year old girl on her time growing up in the time of slavery. The 10 year old girl's name is sugar, however she hates her name because she hates sugar and the hard work that goes into harvesting it. She is an orphaned child when her mother dies and her father is sold into slavery. She continues to live out her days under the care of chinese immigrant workers, who took over the labor of the freed african american slaves. In the story Sugar befriends the son of the plan ...more
Amy Rae
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a must-read if only for the fact that it sheds light on a little-discussed event in American history: How white plantation owners in the Deep South hired Chinese immigrants in the wake of the Civil War. I had no idea this was something that happened, but Jewell Parker Rhodes breathes new life into this forgotten history. She imagines cultural exchanges that are both fascinating and inspiring to read about.

After that, you should be reading this book for its spirited, incredibly lovab
Sherry Philippus
I enjoyed this book more than a three-star rating might indicate. Historical fiction is my favorite genre because I often discover something new, or just learn a little more about some obscure historical I did in this book. How interesting to learn of the capture and import of Chinese workers after Emancipation...who knew! Sugar is likable, although she does get on my nerves occasionally, and some of the supporting characters are interestingly developed, like Billy. But too many plot ...more
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blm
This was an honest, sweet story about a young girl surviving on a sugar plantation just after the Civil War. Slavery is no more, but Sugar's life isn't much better than when she was a slave--she still cuts cane all day, lives in a shack, and isn't allowed to play with her best friend Billy, who happens to be the plantation owner's son. The relationships between the former slaves, the new Chinese workers , and the white owner's family grow and change as Sugar tells her story, and it's a beautiful ...more
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm not usually the kind of person to say omg, but... oh... my... god! I had never heard of Jewell Parker Rhodes, but now she's one of my favorite authors. I simply have to read more! Sugar was a very believable character, and I the friendship between Billy and Sugar was simply adorable. Overall, a terrific book that I will reread. At some point. After I read all of Jewell Parker Rhodes other books.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love this book because of how it gives an insight into post slavery and how it shows that not every white person was unkind and evil. I love the inside stories about Billy and Sugar and the Chinese and Africans becoming friends. I just wish that the fire had never happened so that everyone would continue living together. A sequel to this book about how Sugar had grown up and maybe later finding Billy and Biue would be the best thing ever.
Ten year old Sugar lives on the sugar cane plantation in the years following the end of the Civil War. She's free, but that doesn't mean she can play and run free like the white children. She's a worker just like the adults, planting, weeding and cutting the sugar cane. When the owner of the plantation brings in some Chinese workers, sugar finds herself in the middle of the worker racial divide.
May 13, 2015 rated it liked it
A gentle historical fiction for children set in reconstruction Louisiana, interesting because it explores an aspect of this time period I had never heard of before. The setting is very real but the characters are more stereotypes than fully rounded individuals.
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! I had no idea that Chinese immigrants were brought to the south to work on plantations. I really liked Sugar's voice and enthusiasm for life, given all of her misfortunes. It proves that family doesn't have to be blood related.
Nikki Edgar
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is fabulous! It is set in the time period after the Civil War. It gives you a great understanding of tolerance and respect for others. We need to be open to learning from everyone we come in contact with including children!
Edward Sullivan
Jan 29, 2013 rated it liked it
An elegantly written tale set in early 1870's Louisiana.
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I like how she gets out of River Road
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
this is an amazing book. it really speaks to your heart. very heartwarming
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
In 1870, slavery had already been abolished in the U.S. But many people who were formerly enslaved didn't have the means or the motivation to go north in search of other opportunities, and so they continued on in the only life they had ever known, living in the same shacks they lived in as slaves, and working for the same man who owned them as slaves. Sugar is a 10-year-old girl who lives and works with other formerly enslaved people on the River Road sugar cane plantation in Louisiana.

With a g
Mrs. Lassen's Class
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Sugar is a good book its about a girl named Sugar she is about 10 years old. It takes place at River Road Plantation along the Mississippi river (and slavery over.) But Mr.Wills, the owner, still bosses them around because of their skin color. Sugar and everyone else that is a different skin color then Mr.Wills have to work in a sugarcane field. Sugar has a big wonderful spirit. Sugar also has a good relationship with Mr.Wills son Billy. In one of the parts when Sugar meets Billy. Billy
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my last book for the library reading for my child's school. I liked this book. Supervising adults should know that there are some descriptions of the violence and sadness families experienced under slavery (nothing sexual, but things like whipping, working while sick, withholding pay, family separation, not knowing the fate of family members, extreme poverty. etc.). The main character is an orphan, cared for by another family (the female figure in that family is not especially warm, but ...more
Kori Morris
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Sugar is about the life of an orphaned black girl in the South just after the end of slavery - when former slaves were being held in wage slavery. I enjoyed the book, but thought the journey was a bit emotionally simple for such a complex topic, even for young readers. I think it will tie in well with a background day on civil rights for late elementary.
Arianne Padilla
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet story

I really enjoyed Sugar, I liked how she broke barriers and formed friendships despite the odds being against her. I did feel that the story could've kept going and it ended abruptly. But it was a quick and easy YA read.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an in between books book. This book was amazing and very good. I started to not like it, but then it got really good and thought provoking. It's an easy pick up and read and be done. The only thing is I didn't care much for the ending, but it had to be the way it was.
Sugar was cute and a handful. Cute book.
Havebooks Willread
Kiana found this at the library and asked me to preread it for her. The protagonist is a 10-year-old Black girl living during the Reconstruction era. I thought it was very well done. The story is engrossing, the characters are well-done, and it beautifully illustrates that prejudice is ridiculous and damaging. The little girl, Sugar, leads the way in forming relationships among Black, white, and Chinese people even in the face of ignorance and racism, and the author accomplishes this with enough ...more
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Sugar Dissolving in Water 1 13 May 16, 2014 09:52PM  

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Jewell Parker Rhodes has always loved reading and writing stories. Born and raised in Manchester, a largely African-American neighborhood on the North Side of Pittsburgh, she was a voracious reader as a child. She began college as a dance major, but when she discovered there were novels by African Americans, for African Americans, she knew she wanted to be an author. She wrote six novels for adult ...more

Other books in the series

The Louisiana Girls Trilogy (3 books)
  • Ninth Ward
  • Bayou Magic

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