Copper Sun

Author: Sharon Draper
Finished: February 2nd, 2011
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

The following review is pulled from parts of my EDUT&L656 paper regarding Copper Sun:

Draper’s Copper Sun was another story that was essentially rooted in historical truth. While many of the events that transpired in the story seemed to be far-fetched at times; most of which Draper wrote could’ve occurred and probably did happen to African slaves. This story, I felt, was rather graphic at times, making me question whether or not I’d teach the story at the lower levels (being fifth, sixth, seventh grade). I’m a strong believer in not sheltering children from the harsh realities of the past; however, I believe these realities need to be introduced slowly (and in good time).
Subject matter such as rape, murder, abuse, racism and intense violence is something that needs to be taken seriously. These topics cannot be overlooked and should be thoroughly discussed. My biggest hesitation stirs from the question: what type of discussions a fifth, sixth, even seventh grade class could have regarding this subject matter? Is it appropriate? All things considered, I’m sure the vast majority of these younger students have heard/seen worse things on the news and (possibly) in their homes.

Slavery and war are two very heavy topics. As stated before, these issues cannot be disregarded.When teaching a novel like this, you have to be very careful to address these issues in a sensitive manner.

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One thought on “Copper Sun

  1. >sounds like this book as you really thinking! Some of the best, most authentic learning experiences in a classroom tend to come from things that push the boundaries of what you think is age-appropriate. I agree that children (especially in the area I teach) know too much and are forced to grow up WAY too soon because of horrific life circumstances. However, we've also had VERY profound discussions in our classroom lately based off of things we've learned together about Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Things such as racism, assassination, hate, segregation, and choice… all discussed at the appropriate age level and the information provided was only what I knew they needed to know at this age, but great discussions non the less. I'm sorry the book was so hard to read at times, but I also am glad it got you thinking of how to intro difficult circumstances in less than ideal situations. :)

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