Wednesday, May 22, 2013

World Wednesday-- Sugar

Excitement! Gathering prizes for the MotherReader 48 Hour Book Challenge. Here’s a teaser of what MIGHT be awarded—still figuring out HOW to award them.

The wonderful Carol Rasco of Reading is Fundamental has once again graciously offered our winners RIF's Celebrations collections to be donated to a school or non-profit of the recipients choice.

Other prizes may include:
·         Five great prizes from Kelly Celia at Walden Pond Press,
·         Four YA titles from  Barbara Fisch at Blue Slip Media 
·         Jennifer Angus' In Search of Goliath Hercules from Albert Whitman Publishing
·         A signed copy of Bot Wars from author Jennifer Rush

A variety of things from:
·         Random House
·         Big Honcho Media
·         Egmont USA
·         Quirk Books
·         Penguin Group

SugarRhodes, Jewell Parker. Sugar.
7 May 2013, Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Sugar is not a slave, but she might as well be. Her father was sold before slavery ended, her mother has died, and the former slaves who have remained at Mr. Willis' sugar plantation in the 1870's work very hard. They are also alarmed when Chinese workers are being brought in. While their work is hard, they don't know anything else, and are reluctant to go North away from everything they know. Sugar is fascinated by the Chinese workers and wants to get to know them, but finds it hard to keep out of trouble. The kindly Mr. and Mrs. Beale watch over her, but she insists on playing with the son of the owner, runs off on her own, and generally has trouble staying within the narrow parameters society has assigned to her. When the owner's son becomes very ill, Sugar refuses to leave his side, and realizes that perhaps heading North would give her more of the freedom she desires.
Strengths: This is an interesting account of Reconstruction, and I didn't know that Chinese immigrants had been brought to the South during this period of history. The plight of African Americans is well covered, and good for students to read about-- just because they were no longer slaves didn't mean that their lives were instantly good. Easy to read, with an engaging main character.
Weaknesses: While it is more interesting to read about spunky women or African Americans at times when they were oppressed, I wonder how many spunky sorts actually survived and prospered. I also wonder how many friendships there were between freed slaves and the children of owners.


  1. I've got a fun post today about a book that takes place in Botswana (Africa).

    Thanks for hosting World Wednesday!

  2. That's an interesting book with multicultural reference points. Did not know the Chinese were brought to the South either! Fascinating!