The Bitter Side of Sweet

The Bitter Side of Sweet

Book - 2016
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"Kept as forced labor on a chocolate plantation in the Ivory Coast, Amadou and his younger brother Seydou had given up hope, until a young girl arrives at the camp who rekindles the urge to escape"-- Provided by publisher.
They only wanted to make some money during the dry season to help their impoverished family; instead they were tricked into forced labor on a plantation in the Ivory Coast. For two years what has mattered are the number of cacao pods Amadou and his younger brother, Seydou, can chop down in a day. Then Khadija comes, the first girl who has ever come to camp, and she's a wild thing. She fights, but the bosses break her. Now the three band together as family and try just once more to escape.
Publisher: New York, NY : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2016
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780399173073
0399173072
Characteristics: 299 pages ; 22 cm

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isaksea
Sep 07, 2020

This book wrecked me. It’s technically middle-grade but was an emotionally-difficult, but important, read. With so much discussion of child trafficking, it’s important that we evaluate how our individual choices perpetuate child slavery and trafficking.

The story begins on a small cocoa farm where young boys are being held as slaves to do the dangerous work of harvesting. The main character, Amadou, believes he and his then-six year old brother, have come to work to send money home to their family. After their arrival, they learn they will not be leaving. We meet them two years later when a young girl is dropped at the plantation and over the next week, they manage to escape. While the characters are fictitious, the reality of the setting is not.

I highly recommend it for the adults as much as the kids.

m
maitha
Jan 06, 2017

For Gillian, 1/16/2017

j
joywolf83
Aug 24, 2016

Was there any doubt this author could write a bad story? Nope. Just like Golden Boy, Sullivan brings to life REAL issues. Tugging at your heart strings and begging you to think about someone other than yourself. Top pick. Highly recommend.

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isaksea
Sep 07, 2020

isaksea thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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