Kieran’s Letter Essay #6: Copper Sun

Recently I have read “Copper Sun.” the book was another novel by Sharon M. Draper. This book was a 302 paged realistic fiction novel.. It was harsh, and happy with a huge journey for the main character Amari. Amari was only 15 when her family was killed and her village burnt down by the white Americans and traitors from African tribes. She was shipped to and sold in South Carolina. There she met a small slave boy, his dog, and a white woman who was being treated like the slaves. They all went through rough days until they found their way to freedom.


Amari, a 15 year old native in Africa with her brother Kwasi, her parents, and soon to be married by her companion Besa. Amari and her brother were gathering papaya for dinner. By the time they went home they heard news about the arrival of men with white skin. There was a feast to celebrate the arrival of gods as they called them. They danced by the sound of Besa’s drums and told stories until the village elder was shot in the chest. Amari’s brother was killed, then her mom dad, and soon the village was burnt down. Few had survived with her, but the white men put them in cuffs on their hands and neck. They traveled for days until they met up with water that never ended. She and others were put in towers for days with very little to eat and drink until they were put on a giant canoe that was on the water. When the boat stopped after several weeks they were in a new world where white men and women seemed to rule the area. Amari was put off board and sold to a man named Mr. Derby who then gave her to his son Clay as a birthday gift. On the way to Mr. Derby’s house a young white woman named Polly was picked up. By the time they reached the house Polly was threatened to teach Amari English or she would be fired. Polly was basically a white slave that got payed, but to her it was not fair (she hated slaves because they were taking jobs away). Teenie was the cook of the house, and even though she was old incredibly small and a slave, nobody dared to question her in the kitchen, not even Mr. Derby. Teenie had a son named Timothy but was normally called Tidbit, and he had a dog that accompanied him through hard times named Hushpuppy. Teenie taught Amari how to cook, Polly taught her English, and Tidbit taught her about fruits and vegetables. Mr. Derby’s wife was pregnant and Amari knew how to help women with birth and when the baby was born, it was black. They sent the baby and Mrs. Derby away from South Carolina, and Mr. Derby never found out but sadly Clay did. He poisoned his father and was about to kill Amari until Polly shot him and then he was snake bitten, Polly, Amari, tidbit and Hushpuppy left without even knowing what would happen to Teenie (if she hasn’t been killed already). They travelled south from South Carolina to Fort Mose which was an area for all races. It took them about a month to reach Fort Mose, where Polly Amari, tidbit and Hushpuppy can finally be free.


This book reminded me of “Maus” by Art Spieglemen. The book was actually a comic but it was based off of his dad’s life Vladek Speiglemen who was from Snosnowiec Poland and was Jewish. The time took place during World War 2 and while he was fighting, he and others were thrown into Auschwitz and then Birkenau. When the war was over all Jews were sent to be killed but he and his friend Mandelbaum had escaped and made it back to Poland. While Amari was being shipped she met with another African named Afi. “Perhaps it is better to die,” Amari told Afi sharply. “If you die they win. We cannot let that happen.” “They have already taken everyone that I have loved.” Amari replied ashamed to look at Afi in the face “And tonight they take the only thing I have left that is truly mine. Death would be a relief.” “You will live and you you must,” Afi said sternly. “I should welcome death, but I cannot-not yet. And neither can you.” (Page 48). This one paragraph of the book seemed really important because Amari did not know what was coming next but all she knew, was to stay alive no matter what. Amari when she was sold to Clay she went through extreme abuse, labor, and seeing people in the rice fields being killed right in front of her as well as a journey to Fort Mose. This was an amazing book, I think Sharon seemed to put much effort to this book and a sad story with a happy ending to it. I would definitely rate this a 9/10 book.


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1 thought on “Kieran’s Letter Essay #6: Copper Sun

  1. Kieran,
    This sounds like an intense book, and I can tell you were into it by the way you summarized the book; you included a lot of detail. You were also very detailed in the beginning of your Reflection, when you were comparing the lives of the characters in this book with those fictional characters set in Nazi-occupied Europe. Remember to explain why you chose the book you read in your letter-essay, and to use those sentence starters in your Reflection. Thank you.
    Mr. Jockers

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