A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
What's the story?
Amari lived a beautiful life once. She was engaged to be married to a kind and handsome man, she had the love of her family, and she lived in a peaceful village. After strangers arrive, her life becomes something she could have never imagined -- not in her worst nightmares. Now Amari must try to live long enough to find freedom.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about slavery's impact on America. Why does it continue to be important to read books like Copper Sun? How does reading one person's story -- even a fictional story -- bring history to life?
This book describes violence and inhumane treatment. How do these details impact you? Are these descriptions necessary to bring Amari's story alive?
For kids who love reading about the African-American experience
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.