Sharon Draper

Author and educator Sharon Draper will talk about Copper Sun, her historic novel for young adults, on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. at Princeton Public Library. Her appearance is the centerpiece of a series of programs presented this fall at the library as part of Princeton University’s Princeton & Slavery Project.

Copper Sun is the story of 15-year-old Amari whose happy life with her family in Ghana is destroyed when she is stolen from her village, imprisoned under horrific conditions and ultimately sold as a slave in America. Despite unspeakable humiliations and grueling labor, Amari finds the strength to survive and never stops dreaming of escape.

“I am very honored that the library has chosen Copper Sun for this project,” Draper said. “When I read about the [Princeton & Slavery] project, I was both amazed and impressed. Amazed that the topic would be discussed so honestly, and impressed that significant value has been placed on acknowledging and understanding the past. I hope that young readers learn that slavery is not just a chapter in a history book, but was a horrible reality for actual human beings.”

During her visit, Draper, a five-time Coretta Scott King Book Award-winner and 1997 National Teacher of the Year, will give an overview of Copper Sun, talk about her visits to Africa and share her inspiration for the book. There will also be a short video presentation and a question-and-answer session.

For more Princeton & Slavery events at the library, visit princetonlibrary.org/humanities. Additional information about the Princeton & Slavery project, including the full schedule of Nov. 17-18 symposium events, can be found at slaverysymposium.princeton.edu.