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 that 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.
Also by Jewell Parker Rhodes:
Black Brother, Black Brother
Paradise on Fire
"[Rhodes'] 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, starred review
"Sugar is superbly trumphant -- both heroine and story. This glorious mainstay opens an underrepresented chapter in American history." - Rita Williams Garcia, Newbery Honor author of One Crazy Summer
"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