SUGAR CHANGED THE WORLD by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos

One of my teaching goals this year has been to promote nonfiction more actively to my classroom of 7th grade readers.  Last summer at ALA, I made it a point to have more nonfiction signed to my students for our classroom library, and I’ve been book-talking those titles more frequently as well. The latest book I’ll be recommending is just out this week from Clarion Books…

SUGAR CHANGED THE WORLD by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos is a fascinating and compelling work of narrative nonfiction that looks at the history of sugar, or rather, the history of the world as it was shaped by sugar. This work of narrative nonfiction starts out with two personal stories about the authors’ ancestors and the way sugar shaped their families’ journeys, but then the camera pulls back to reveal the truly remarkable impact the sweet stuff has had on the world, the spread of slavery, and the exchange of ideas about freedom that would ultimately put an end to it. Fascinating sidebars tell stories that don’t make it into history textbooks — like the one about Palmares, the 17th century Brazilian community of escaped sugar plantation slaves that flourished in the mountains beyond the fields of cane. Extensive back matter includes a timeline and an essay on the research & writing process that the authors used in creating this beautifully crafted book.

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