Thursday, September 12, 2013
Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Sugar's comes from a family of slaves. Her father was sold off before the Civil War and even after the war her mother refused to leave the plantation in hopes that he would come back to them. But he hasn't. Then Sugar's mother dies. Now Sugar is by herself on the plantation with the other former slaves who have stayed to work. Unfortunately, it is mainly the older slaves who are tired and didn't think they could resettle somewhere else. Change is hard. The overseer doesn't want to accept that the workers are no longer slaves, the plantation owner still needs to make a profit, and Billy, the plantation owner's son just wants to be friends with Sugar. In an attempt to boost production, the plantation owner hires some Chinese workers. Together they all learn important lessons about friendship, acceptance, and change,
I really enjoyed this book. I had never heard that Chinese workers were used during Reconstruction. It was a fascinating look at the changes that started to occur during that time and how the children led some of that change.