Sugar

Parker Rhodes, Jewell.  Sugar. Little Brown & Company, 2013. Sugar is the name of the crop that dominates plantation life in post Civil War Mississippi. It is also the name of the spirited girl, who tells us her story. The War is over, but little has changed in Sugar's life. Most of the former enslaved people have moved away, leaving only those too elderly to travel. With insufficient workers, the plantation owner hires Chinese immigrants to bring in the crop. The work is brutal and exhausting. Yet Sugar builds a relationship with the Chinese men, and with no other children around, builds a tentative, forbidden friendship with the plantation owner's son. Based on a historic reality - the tale of the Chinese workers, the white boy being trained as a plantation owner, and the intrepid Sugar determined to claim her place in the world - the book is moving, enlightening, and powerful. This is the wining Award Book for Older Children, 2014.


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