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Download Sugar Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Sugar, by Jewell Parker Rhodes Click for printable size audiobook cover
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jewell Parker Rhodes Narrator: Bahni Turpin Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For Sugar, life is anything but sweet.

Ten-year-old Sugar lives on the River Road sugar plantation along the banks of the Mississippi. Slavery is over, but laboring in the fields all day doesn’t make her feel very free. Thankfully, Sugar has a knack for finding her own fun, especially when she joins forces with forbidden friend Billy, the white plantation owner’s son.

Sugar has always yearned to learn more about the world, and she sees her chance when Chinese workers are brought in to help harvest the cane. The older River Road folks feel threatened, but Sugar is fascinated. As she befriends young Beau and elder Master Liu, they introduce her to the traditions of their culture, and she, in turn, shares the ways of plantation life. Sugar soon realizes she must be the one to bridge the cultural gap and bring the community together. Here is a story of unlikely friendships and how they can change our lives forever.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sugar is superbly triumphant—both heroine and story. This glorious mainstay opens an underrepresented chapter in American history.”

    Rita Williams Garcia, Newbery Honor award-winning author

  • Sugar is sweet. Sugar is sharp. Sugar is to be savored. With nuanced storytelling, Jewell Parker Rhodes vividly portrays the brutality of the times, as well as the triumphs that arise when a community comes together. Those who read Sugar will be inspired to search deep within themselves to find the true meanings of friendship and freedom.”

    Andrea Davis Pinkney, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award

  • “Rhodes paints a realistic portrait of the hard realities of Sugar’s life, while also incorporating Br’er Rabbit stories and Chinese folktales. Sugar’s clipped narration is personable and engaging, strongly evoking the novel’s historical setting and myriad racial tensions, making them accessible and meaningful to beginning readers.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The author has created a memorable character in Sugar, who is herself a fan of stories from both the African and Chinese traditions. Readers will gain a sense of the upheaval created by war and its aftermath. Above all, they will discover that reaching out to someone new can lead to experiences and friendships beyond their dreams.”

    Children’s Literature

  • “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.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Most Americans are aware of the brutality of slavery, but few stop to consider that the abolition of slavery created a new turmoil for former slaves. How would they make a living? Rhodes exposes the reality of post–Civil War economics, when freed slaves vacated plantations, leaving former slave masters with a need for labor. In doing so, she illuminates a little-known aspect of the Reconstruction Era, when Chinese immigrants were encouraged to come to America and work alongside ex-slaves. Her prose shines, reading with a spare lyricism that flows naturally. All Sugar’s hurt, longing, pain and triumph shine through. A magical story of hope.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 2014 Audie Award Nominee for Children's Titles, Ages 8-12
  • Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books, Best Fiction 2013
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