Children's - Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
272 p. ;
Make Way For BooksWhen Sugar, living as an orphaned child cared for by fellow plantation workers, decides to befriend the Plantation owner's son, she is rebuked by her "family." When Chinese immigrants arrive to share the workers' responsibility, tension escalates until Sugar's determination deconstructs barriers. Just as healing begins, a dark reminder of selfish unforgiveness rears its ugly head. This time, it takes a united front to conquer. The inclusion of the Chinese laborers' story that parallels that of a newly-freed people makes this a compelling read.
Publisher SummaryTen-year-old Sugar lives on the River Road sugar plantation along the banks of the Mississippi. Slavery is over, but laboring in the fields all day doesn't make her feel very free. Thankfully, Sugar has a knack for finding her own fun, especially when she joins forces with forbidden friend Billy, the white plantation owner's son.
Sugar has always yearned to learn more about the world, and she sees her chance when Chinese workers are brought in to help harvest the cane. The older River Road folks feel threatened, but Sugar is fascinated. As she befriends young Beau and elder Master Liu, they introduce her to the traditions of their culture, and she, in turn, shares the ways of plantation life. Sugar soon realizes that she must be the one to bridge the cultural gap and bring the community together. Here is a story of unlikely friendships and how they can change our lives forever.
From Jewell Parker Rhodes, the author of Ninth Ward (a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a Today show Al's Book Club for Kids pick), here's another tale of a strong, spirited young girl who rises beyond her circumstances and inspires others to work toward a brighter future.
In 1870, Reconstruction brings big changes to the Louisiana sugar plantation where spunky ten-year-old Sugar has always lived, including her friendship with Billy, the son of her former master, and the arrival of workmen from China.