Thursday, August 1, 2013


by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 7, 2013)
Review copy from the public library

This book is about an African American slave who is named Sugar. Sugar and her mother get freed and her mother dies shortly thereafter. Sugar’s dad was sold. She cuts cane in Louisiana and gets taken care of by the Beales who live next door. Sugar is wild and often gets in trouble and she and the ex-master's son end up being friends. Mr.Wills, the ex owner, doesn’t approve it and arguments break out.

One day people from China called Chinaman come to work on the cane fields. They and the ex-slaves soon become very close friends and look after one another. Soon Billy gets really sick and the Wills had to let Sugar in so she can make Billy feel better. After a couple of days he gets well and the master treats his workers well while they work on cutting cane. Mr. Will fired Mr. Peter the one who whips slaves. He got fired because he smacked Beau, a Chinese man. He got revenge by starting a fire and burning all the cane. Mr.Will had no money for the next year’s crops so he sold the farm to someone else and left for New Orleans. Sugar and the Beales go north in hopes to find their daughters. --SR

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