Book Information

Little Brown Books for Young Readers, May 2013
  • Character-Building Curriculum
  • Social Studies Curriculum

I am grateful  for Jewel Parker Rhodes' two young adult novels which sit side by side on my desk.

Sugar just came out just  this week and I read it cover to cover this warm spring evening. Again narrating through the character of an orphaned but determined young girl, Jewell Parker Rhodes here tells the story of survival on a sugar plantation just after the Civil War. Reconstruction is barely different than slavery days in the Louisiana sugar fields, with former slaves still living in shacks, working sun up to sun down tending the sugar operations to which they had been brought as slaves.  But times are changing, and when Chinese laborers are brought in to work the fields, Sugar helps brings a change of attitude to workers and plantation owners alike. Sweet, but not sacchrine, Sugar gives readers a taste of the sharp painful realities of sugarcane  plantation life.

Looking back to my Dec 2010 posting on Ninth Ward I smile at having spotted it as the jewel that it is.  This month, thanks to Ms. Rhodes participation in,  the Gr 3-5 students and almost all thte staff at my school are enjoying reading this story of Lanesha  survival during Hurricane Katrina.  I've gathered  resources about Ninth Ward and Katrina  in a glog that includes various staff members reading various chapters of the book. Included on that web resource are video links to the Katrina survival story from our own staff, of the daughter of the school's attendance secretary.   

285 pages  978-0316043052  Ages 8-12

Recommended by:  Craig Seasholes, Librarian, Washington USA

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