Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos were inspired to write this book when they discovered that they each have sugar in their family backgrounds. Those intriguing tales inspired this husband and wife team to trace the globe-spanning history of the essence of sweetness, and to seek out the voices of those who led bitter sugar lives. As they discovered, the trail of sugar runs like a bright band through world events, making unexpected and fascinating connections.
Sugar leads us from religious ceremonies in India to Europe’s Middle Ages, when Christians paid high prices to Muslims for what they thought of as an exotic spice, then on to Columbus, who brought the first cane cuttings to the Americas. Cane–not cotton or tobacco–drove the bloody Atlantic slave trade and took the lives of countless Africans, who toiled on vast sugar plantations under cruel overseers. And yet the very popularity of sugar gave abolitionists in England the one tool that could finally end the slave trade. Planters then brought in South Asians to work in the cane fields, just as science found new ways to feed the world’s craving for sweetness. Sugar moved, murdered, and freed millions.
Finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction AwardA Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist"Eye-opening."--The Washington Post"A bountiful feast."--Chicago Tribune
"What schools need isn't more nonfiction but better nonfiction"--Sara Mosle, The New York Times,"What Should Children Read?"See the authors on Book-TV
EXTRAS!For more information about the book and to view film clips, hear music from the sugar lands, or download a Teacher's Guide, please visit www.sugarchangedtheworld.com