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Download Sugar Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Sugar Audiobook, 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 (3 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: May 2013 ISBN: 9781469274003
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For Sugar, life is anything but sweet.

Ten-year-old Sugar lives on River Road Plantation along the banks of the Mississippi River. Slavery is over, but working in the sugarcane fields all day doesn’t make her feel very free. Thankfully, Sugar knows how to make her own fun, telling stories, climbing trees, and playing with forbidden friend Billy, the plantation owner’s son.

Then a group of Chinese workers arrives to help harvest the cane. Sugar wants to know everything about them—she loves the way they dress, their unfamiliar language, and, best of all, the stories they tell of dragons and emperors. Unfortunately, other folks on the plantation feel differently—they’re fearful of these new neighbors and threatened by their different customs. Sugar knows things will only get better if everyone works together, so she sets out to help the two communities realize they’re not so different after all.

Sugar is the inspiring story of a strong, spirited young girl who grows beyond her circumstances and helps others work toward a brighter future.

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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

  • Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books, Best Fiction 2013
  • Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jlq | 11/30/2016

    " I been reading this book since the third. "

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About the Author
Author Jewell Parker RhodesJewell Parker Rhodes is an award-winning writer and acclaimed educator and speaker. She is the author of Ninth Ward, a Coretta Scott King honor book, Sugar, winner of the Jane Adams Peace Association book award, and Bayou Magic. She has also written many award-winning books for adults
About the Narrator

Bahni Turpin has won seventeen AudioFile Earphones Awards and three prestigious Audie Awards for her audiobook narrations, and Publishers Weekly magazine named her Narrator of the Year for 2016. She is an ensemble member of the Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles. She has guest starred in many television series, including NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, Cold Case, What about Brian, and The Comeback. Film credits include Brokedown Palace, Crossroads, and Daughters of the Dust. She is also a member of the recording cast of The Help, which won numerous awards.