"Copper Sun" by Sharon M. Draper, Parts 6-7

An unflinching look at the brutality of the American slave trade, Draper's novel tells the story of Amari, a young African girl who is enslaved.

Learn these word lists for the novel: Part 1, Parts 2-5, Parts 6-7, Parts 8-11

Here are links to lists for other books by Sharon M. Draper: Tears of a Tiger, Out of My Mind, Stella by Starlight

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. fury
    a feeling of intense anger
    He strode across the kitchen and swept plates and platters to the floor in a fury.
  2. desperation
    hopeless recklessness
    “You must help me,” she said, desperation in her voice, “if the baby is, if the baby is..."
  3. contraction
    a shortening or tensing of a muscle or organ
    When the contraction passed, she said urgently, “I will die, but you must save my baby.”
  4. scarce
    deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand
    “No wonder everybody be scarce as hen’s teeth today.”
  5. impropriety
    a wrong or indecent act
    But Teenie knew that Mr. Derby was probably quite capable of murder and would be within the limits of social acceptability to do so for this impropriety.
  6. genius
    someone who has exceptional intellectual ability
    Of course, don’t take no genius to figger out whose baby this be.
  7. infirmity
    the state of being weak in health or body
    Our daughter, regardless of any infirmity, must be buried with honor in our family plot,” he told her.
  8. despise
    look down on with disdain
    She realized then how deeply her life was entangled with those of the slaves she had once so despised.
  9. insubordination
    defiance of authority
    I told you I would never allow any insubordination in my household.
  10. emerge
    come out of
    She had no more time to argue with him, for at that moment Mr. Derby emerged from the front door of the house, angrily holding up a weak and sobbing Mrs. Derby.
  11. revulsion
    intense aversion
    A look of revulsion crossed Mr. Derby’s face as he stared at the perfect brown features of the infant.
  12. impassive
    having or revealing little emotion or sensibility
    Noah, impassive once more, showed no outward emotion, but tears slipped down his face.
  13. venom
    a feeling or spite, ill will, or maliciousness
    “But you chose to betray me,” her husband said, venom returning to his voice.
  14. unruly
    unwilling to submit to authority
    Unfortunately, she had to witness the disciplining of some unruly slaves, and it proved a bit much for her.
  15. incur
    make oneself subject to
    Polly, Amari, and Teenie looked at one another but did not fight him or object—they did not want to do anything to further incur his anger.
  16. devastate
    overwhelm or overpower
    Amari looked devastated, but she, too, seemed to have run out of tears.
  17. riddance
    the act of removing something
    “It’s good riddance to the lot of them,” Mr. Derby replied, a look of disgust on his face.
  18. expel
    Polly huddled in the wagon, wishing she knew a way to vent the anger that she needed to expel.
  19. soothe
    cause to feel better
    Amari held Tidbit, trying to soothe him, but Polly knew that nothing she could say or do would make the child feel better.
  20. bereft
    sorrowful through loss or deprivation
    Amari, feeling bereft and empty inside, held the child and stared at the thick woods on either side of the road.
  21. defiantly
    in a rebellious manner
    “We not go north—we go south,” Amari said defiantly.
  22. destiny
    a course of events that will inevitably happen in the future
    Even though her feet were bare and the ground was covered with sticks and pine needles, she felt no pain, for this walk was leading her, perhaps, to that destiny that Afi kept speaking of.
  23. fatigue
    temporary loss of strength and energy from hard work
    Amari knew it was hunger, illness, and fatigue that made Polly so upset, but she also knew that Polly spoke what was truly on her mind.
  24. recuperate
    restore to good health or strength
    Her head hurt all the time, and even though the others seemed to have recuperated from the mayapple incident, she didn’t want to tell them that she still felt dizzy and nauseous.
  25. quench
    satisfy, as thirst
    Some nights they crossed small streams, which gave them a chance to refresh themselves, quench their thirst, and soothe their aching feet.
  26. fitful
    intermittently stopping and starting
    Tidbit fell into a fitful sleep in Amari’s arms, his face drawn.
  27. horrendous
    causing fear or dread or terror
    Amari sat close to Polly for warmth and companionship, looking at the fire, thinking not of the horrendous fire that had destroyed her village, but of the smoky cooking fires that decorated the front of each household as the women prepared the evening meal.
  28. trek
    any long and difficult trip
    In addition, Amari figured out a way to catch crayfish in the shallows, the tangy flesh a delicious treat as they began their seemingly unending nighttime treks.
  29. ominous
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    “Yes, the doctor said it was his heart, but I believe he was poisoned,” Clay said ominously.
  30. pity
    a feeling of sympathy and sorrow for misfortunes of others
    She looked at him with pity.

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