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  • Published: 15 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9780147515094
  • Imprint: Speak
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $21.00

The Bitter Side Of Sweet




For fans of Linda Sue Park and A Long Way Gone, two young boys must escape a life of slavery in modern-day Ivory Coast.

Fifteen-year-old Amadou counts the things that matter. For two years what has mattered are the number of cacao pods he and his younger brother, Seydou, can chop down in a day. The higher the number the safer they are. The higher the number the closer they are to paying off their debt and returning home. Maybe. The problem is Amadou doesn’t know how much he and Seydou owe, and the bosses won’t tell him. The boys only wanted to make money to help their impoverished family, instead they were tricked into forced labor on a plantation in the Ivory Coast. With no hope of escape, all they can do is try their best to stay alive—until Khadija comes into their lives.

She’s the first girl who’s ever come to camp, and she’s a wild thing. She fights bravely every day, attempting escape again and again, reminding Amadou what it means to be free. But finally, the bosses break her, and what happens next to the brother he has always tried to protect almost breaks Amadou. The three band together as family and try just once more to escape.

Inspired by true-to-life events happening right now, The Bitter Side of Sweet is an exquisitely written tour de force not to be missed.

Praise for The Bitter Side of Sweet:

  • Published: 15 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9780147515094
  • Imprint: Speak
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $21.00

Also by Tara Sullivan

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Praise for The Bitter Side Of Sweet

A gripping and painful portrait of modern-day child slavery in the cacao plantations of the Ivory Coast

The Wall Street Journal

A tender, harrowing story of family, friendship, and the pursuit of freedom

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

In crisp, accessible prose, Sullivan draws readers into a most compelling story of survival under unspeakable hardship, bravery, and teamwork . . . Absorbing and important

Booklist, starred review

[A] heart-wrenching survival tale

Publishers Weekly, starred review

An engaging story that will engender empathy in readers

School Library Journal, starred review

Curriculum connections abound and even reluctant readers will be drawn to the suspenseful plot and distinctive characters

SLC, starred review

First-world readers will learn much about how their pleasures are underwritten by the labor of their third- world peers…The resolution . . . is an as-good-as-it-gets kind of compromise that leaves much room for the activism advocated for in the author’s note that follows

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

This beautiful story of love triumphing over cruelty and profit stands out as an excellent book discussion choice or classroom study

VOYA

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