Rhodes, Jewell Parker Sugar, 272 pgs. 2013. Hachette Book Group, $16.99. Language: G; (No swears) Violence: PG; Mature Content: G.
10-year-old Sugar works on a cane plantation in post Civil War Louisiana. Freed by the Emancipation, but orphaned as her mother has died and her father was sold years ago, Sugar must work as hard as the grown ups. But will Sugar’s friendship with the plantation owner’s son cause trouble that will get her and the Beales who take care of her kicked out, and what about the Chinese men who Mr. Wills has brought to work on the harvest?
This historical fiction tells the story of the introduction of Chinese workers to the south. It’s a great story about making friends and becoming a family. Although Sugar is only ten, the story and historical setting will also interest middle school readers. EL MS ESSENTIAL Lisa Librarian