"Copper Sun" by Sharon M. Draper, Parts 8-11

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. urgency
    pressing importance requiring speedy action
    With great urgency, they hurried through the darkness, Amari clutching one of Tidbit’s arms, Polly the other.
  2. cajole
    influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
    Many times he had to be carried or cajoled into continuing the journey.
  3. vigilant
    carefully observant or attentive
    Even he knew to be ever vigilant and quiet.
  4. cocky
    overly self-confident or self-assertive
    Again her father’s special name for her was spouting from the mouth of a cocky young man.
  5. bawdy
    humorously vulgar
    Polly dreamed of her father for the first time since his death—his bawdy jokes, his weakness for ale, and the soft grin on his face whenever he looked at her.
  6. appease
    make peace with
    “Let me explain, sir,” she began, trying to appease Nathan’s father.
  7. motley
    consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds
    I’m going to make me some money on this motley lot.
  8. outskirts
    outlying areas, as of a city or town
    Just before dawn they reached the outskirts of Savannah, but they made a wide detour to avoid the populated areas.
  9. ruddy
    inclined to a healthy reddish color
    She was a large woman, with ruddy cheeks and stony blue eyes.
  10. chortle
    laugh quietly or with restraint
    Fiona erupted in laughter once more, smacking her large thighs with her hand as she chortled, “Little one speaks true, but there be no telling what my Patrick might do if he finds you here."
  11. interfere
    get involved, so as to alter or hinder an action
    “It’s like this: If my Patrick brings home a new slave like he did last week, for example, that’s his right as master and man of this house, and I dare not interfere."
  12. stoop
    carry oneself with head and shoulders bent forward
    The barn door opened then, and a thin, stooped black man limped over to them.
  13. modulation
    rise and fall of the voice pitch
    Amari knew the perfect modulation of that voice, the deep bass edged with gold.
  14. ordeal
    a severe or trying experience
    Her stomach churned as she listened to his ordeal.
  15. vast
    unusually great in size or amount or extent or scope
    But the distance between them had become so vast that she knew she could never touch him again.
  16. severe
    extremely bad or unpleasant in degree or quality
    “At the end, she was in severe pain, but she was so brave, never complaining, only worrying about what would happen to me.”
  17. garrison
    a fortified military post where troops are stationed
    Amari did see in the distance, however, occasional garrisons of soldiers the farther south they traveled.
  18. illuminate
    make lighter or brighter
    The next morning brought the sun, brightly illuminating not only the road, but also Amari’s spirits.
  19. anticipation
    an expectation
    She could barely contain her nervous anticipation, with images of neatly cobbled streets surrounded by safe stone walls dancing in her head.
  20. amble
    walk leisurely
    Amari felt comfortable as the horse ambled slowly through the thick stands of palm trees that shadowed them, for they reminded her of the palm trees in her homeland so far away.
  21. bedraggle
    make wet and dirty, as from rain
    The man nodded to Inez, looked over the tired and bedraggled new arrivals, and said in an officious tone, “Welcome to Fort Mose."
  22. convey
    make known; pass on, of information
    She was amazed at how easily she was able to convey her thoughts in English.
  23. profound
    far-reaching and thoroughgoing in effect
    “There is a profound need for education for the children here,” the captain said, his brows furrowed as if he were deep in thought.
  24. apprentice
    work for an expert to learn a trade
    “And you, little man,” the captain said, turning to Tidbit, “your job here will be to learn to read and write, but I shall apprentice you to the carpenter, so that you can learn to be a builder as well."
  25. ponder
    reflect deeply on a subject
    Amari knew that Polly had much to ponder as she gazed at the flames.
  26. lethargic
    deficient in alertness or activity
    Suddenly, it all made sense—the nausea, the dizziness, the feeling of being heavy and lethargic.
  27. disconcerting
    causing an emotional disturbance
    The most disconcerting image was the look of genuine affection he occasionally showed her.
  28. ancestor
    someone from whom you are descended
    This child carries the spirit of my mother, Amari realized suddenly, as well as the essence of her father, little Kwasi, the murdered people of her village, and the spirits of all of her ancestors.
  29. incredibly
    not easy to believe
    Amari also said a prayer of thanks for Polly, who was, incredibly, her friend.
  30. refuse
    show unwillingness towards
    Amari refused to think of Clay any longer, for she knew his evil spirit could never touch the love she was already beginning to feel for the child within her.

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