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Sugar Hardcover – May 7, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 282 ratings

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From the Publisher

Paradise on Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Paradise on Fire Black Brother, Black Brother Ghost Boys Towers Falling Bayou Magic Ninth Ward
Discover more inspiring reads from Jewell Parker Rhodes! A timely coming-of-age survival tale exploring issues of race, class, and climate change. A powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black. A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history. A powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks in a classroom of students who cannot remember the event but live through the aftermath. A magical coming-of-age story, rich with Southern folklore, friendship, family, fireflies and mermaids, plus an environmental twist. A heartbreaking and uplifting tale of survival in the face of Hurricane Katrina.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-Through the sharp eyes of a 10-year-old, readers experience the hardship of life on a Louisiana sugar plantation after Emancipation. Clever, courageous, and perceptive, Sugar is basically an orphan. Her mother died, and her father was sold five years before the story begins. She lives alone next door to Mister and Missus Beale, who have become her surrogate parents. Sugar wonders why she still can't do what she wants and why she still must work and live under miserable conditions. When she becomes friendly with Billy Wills, the son of the plantation owner, she can't understand why their friendship must be secret. Her feistiness and sense of loyalty shine in the poignant scenes when she insists on being with Billy when he is sick. When Mr. Wills hires Chinese workers to fill the void left by former slaves going north, Sugar is fascinated by their ways and their stories. She loves the Br'er Rabbit trickster tales Mister Beale tells in which Rabbit outsmarts the seemingly more clever hyena. As in Ninth Ward (Little, Brown, 2010), Rhodes has created a remarkable protagonist as she artfully brings American history to life. She shines a light on bigotry and the difficulty former slave owners and former slaves had adjusting to "freedom," and her skillful prose creates vibrant images of the story's milieu. Above all, though, this beautiful novel instantly grips readers' attention and emotions, holding them until the last word.-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Ten-year-old Sugar, named after the cane she sharecrops with other freed people, hates her name. It makes her think of her father being sold off into slavery, her mother who died from the hard work in the fields, and her own life of toil. She would rather be playing, but she is the last little one around after all the other young people left the plantation to live in the North. However, her own way of life is threatened once she learns through her verboten friendship with the plantation owner’s son that his father plans to bring in labor from China. Rhodes creates a unique cultural snapshot of Reconstruction Era Louisiana by introducing Chinese immigrants to the mix. Drawing inspiration from Lucy M. Cohen’s Chinese in the Post–Civil War South (1984), Rhodes creates a cross-cultural exchange that includes trickster tales, food appreciation, and good old-fashioned friendship. Sugar is an appealing, adventurous heroine full of curiosity and joy, an element sorely needed in light of the heavy subject. Grades 3-5. --Courtney Jones

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0316043052
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316043052
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 - 12 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 430L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 - 7
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.3 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 282 ratings

About the author

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Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author and educator for both youth and adults. She is the author of seven books for children including the New York Times bestsellers Ghost Boys and Black Brother, Black Brother, both named Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of the Year. Her other books include Paradise on Fire, Towers Falling, and the Louisiana Girls Trilogy: Ninth Ward, Sugar, and Bayou Magic.

Jewell is the author of six adult novels: Voodoo Dreams, Magic City, Douglass’ Women, Season, Moon, and Hurricane, as well as the memoir Porch Stories: A Grandmother’s Guide to Happiness, and two writing guides, Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors and The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Non-Fiction.

Jewell has won the American Book Award, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, and the Jane Addams Peace Association Book Award.

Jewell regularly visits schools, a speaker at colleges and conferences. The driving force behind all of her work is to inspire social justice, equity, and environmental stewardship.

Jewell is the Founding Artistic Director and Piper Endowed Chair at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Carnegie-Mellon University. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Seattle.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
282 global ratings

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