rgz

readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February: Can You Imagine Being Sold?












The very first page of Copper Sun, just before chapter one, tells of a slave sale and how it must feel to be fifteen years old, stripped naked, and standing on the auction block. Imagine the emotions of the girl being sold. How would you feel, or how did you feel just reading this scene?




8 comments:

Melissa Walker said...

I had trouble even getting through reading this scene, let alone putting myself in those shoes. The opening of this book drew me in, beat me up and left me breathless.

Liz Gallagher said...

I think the only thing you could really do would be to try and turn off your brain. To me,that's what makes Amari such a brave character -- she stays present in the moment. I have no idea how a person would get through that.

Shelf Elf said...

I think you're right Liz. The only way I can imagine surviving that would be to go somewhere else in my head, to a memory of something or someone I loved. I'd try to disappear into that. Staying present would be too terrible.

drapersharon said...

Hello group!
In order to write that scene, I stood in the hot sun in South Carolina at the place where slaves used to be sold. Of course, I had my clothes on, and I could leave any time I wanted, but I closed my eyes and tried to put myself in Amari's place. It made me tremble.
I hope to share lots of ideas with you this month. Feel free to ask me anything.

Sharon M. Draper

Melissa Walker said...

Sharon, I love that you went right to that spot and stood in the sun. It must have been insanely emotional research, but it helped you create a riveting and terrifying scene.

drapersharon said...

I went to most of the locations that are in the book.
--I went to Africa, where there really is a village called Ziavi. I actually went to Africa several times for research.
--I went to Cape Coast Castle where Amari was held.
--I walked the paths of her village and the paths that led to the prison.
--I walked the path in South Carolina where the wagon took Amari and Polly to Derbyshire Farms.
--I went to Fort Mose (or the place where it used to be.
Research is serious business!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

That is amazing, Sharon. I'm so glad you were able to travel for this work. It truly shows.

I can't imagine being sold. Just can't. *shew*

Janet Lee Carey said...

Going all those places to experience Amari's story, her pain and strength! It's wonderful to hear what you did to bring her story alive, Sharon,