A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This book can help teens explore the impact of slavery and why it continues to be important to read books like this today. The author provides a note detailing the facts she drew upon for her story. Simon & Schuster's reading group guide can help teens delve more deeply into the book's plot.
Readers will be moved by strong characters like Amari, who faces overwhelming circumstances and yet keeps fighting for a better tomorrow.
Positive Role Models
Amari is a striking, strong character who will leave an impact on readers and help them connect to an important time in American history.
Violence & Scariness
Women are repeatedly and systematically raped and fondled. There are hundreds of deaths, a shark attack, beatings, and two murders. The violence of the African slavery trade is detailed and horrific.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adultery is discussed.
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Racial name calling is prevalent, which was common for the time period.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
People drink wine and smoke, common for the time period.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this powerful novel takes an open and unveiled look at slavery in America through the eyes of a young African girl. The common brutalities of the trade -- rape, murder, kidnapping, beatings, and other inhumane treatments -- are described in detail for readers. Parents should be prepared to answer questions or read this novel alongside their teens.
Is It Any Good?
COPPER SUN is a beautiful, gritty, horrific story. The characters that author Sharon Draper introduces are complex but still real and relatable. Families may find the violence, habitual rape, and cruelty described here a challenge to read about, but the story does succeed in connecting modern teens to a period in time that many view from the jaded distance of a textbook.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.