The Bitter Side of Sweet

The Bitter Side of Sweet Two young boys must escape a life of slavery in modern day Ivory CoastFifteen year old Amadou counts the things that matter For two years what has mattered are the number of cacao pods he and his youn

  • Title: The Bitter Side of Sweet
  • Author: TaraSullivan
  • ISBN: 9780399173073
  • Page: 358
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Two young boys must escape a life of slavery in modern day Ivory CoastFifteen 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 This number is very important The higher the number the safer they are because the bosses won t beat them The higher the numberTwo young boys must escape a life of slavery in modern day Ivory CoastFifteen 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 This number is very important The higher the number the safer they are because the bosses won t beat them The higher the number the closer they are to paying off their debt and returning home to Baba and Auntie 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 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 they spend day after day living on little food and harvesting beans in the hot sun dangerous, backbreaking work 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 old impulse to run is suddenly awakened The three band together as family and try just once to escape.

    One thought on “The Bitter Side of Sweet”

    1. The dark underbelly of the chocolate industry, an indulgence many of us can't live without. Well, personally I can, I'm more into salty snacks, seems like you are either one or the other. Anyway apparently 40% of the cocoa pods are harvested on the Ivory coast of Africa, large farms and harvested by children in slave conditions. This is the story of three of them. Amadou is 13, his brother Seydou only six when they leave their home in Mali to, work on one such farm. They expect to get paid, make [...]

    2. Fast-paced and engaging story about the dark side of the chocolate industry. For 12 & up.I don’t count how many trees we pass because I don’t count the things that don’t matter. I don’t count unripe pods. I don’t count how many times I’ve been hit for being under quota. I don’t count how many days it’s been since I’ve given up hope of going home.Two years ago, Amadou (15) and his brother Seydou (8) left their home in Mali to find a seasonal job and earn money for their fami [...]

    3. I love chocolate and eat some just about every day. Like most people, I never really gave much thought to where it comes from. I really had no idea. I do now, and it gives me grief to know what so many child workers, who are basically slaves, go through to harvest those cacao pods so we can all have a candy bar or a cup of cocoa, something they may never get to enjoy in their possibly short life, since most of them are beaten, starved, and overworked 7 days a week. I will keep eating chocolate, [...]

    4. Unbelievably good book! I couldn't put it down and read into the wee hours of the morning to finish it. Such a gripping tale of two brothers forced to work on a cacao farm harvesting the cacao pods. The treatment of these kids broke my heart and I couldn't breathe at parts were punishment was about to happen. I think everyone should read this. I will certainly look at chocolate a different way from here on out.

    5. Would recommend for realistic fiction lovers, those who are interested in different parts of the world, and young social activists. The story of Amadou, Seydou, and Khadijah is striking and brings to light the untold horrors of the chocolate industry. This book makes you think about the real costs of what we consume.

    6. I love Golden Boy, but it's always a bit of a hard sell -- I usually have to explain what albino means, and then why Habo is threatened as an albino in Tanzania, and by that point the kids have given up. The idea of hunting a child as a magical talisman is just such a foreign situation. Bitter Side of Sweet won't have that problem. "It's about kids who work as slaves on a chocolate farm, until their daring escape" is a quick soundbite for standing by the shelves. Not all middle schoolers want to [...]

    7. Amadou and Seydou have been sent by their family to work on a cacao farm, but once they are there, they are mistreated and no money is sent to their family. They are regularly beaten for not picking their quota, and Seydou, who is only 8, is badly wounded in an accident. With the help of Khadija, an educated girl from the city who is also brought to the farm, the brothers escape and make it back to Khadija's mother, who is trying to expose the horrors of the chocolate industry. It is because of [...]

    8. Amadou and Seydou are two young Malian brothers enslaved on a cacao farm on Africa’s Ivory Coast, the origin of much of the world’s chocolate trade. When another kidnapped worker arrives, the first girl among the enslaved children, her “wildcat” tendencies challenge the overseers and lead to horrific consequences for the children. Although clearly written for younger readers, author Tara Sullivan masterfully conveys the brutality of the children’s situation without being graphic. Terri [...]

    9. I had a love-hate (90% love, 10% hate) relationship with this book. The reason for hate? "The Bitter Side of Sweet" was SO sad!! I even cried once and almost cried a billion times). But, there were so many amazing things in this book. Once I would start reading, I couldn't put the book down. The story is action-packed and fast paced, with a beautiful fluency to everything, plus in-depth characters.

    10. My review (originally published at Read, Run, Ramble)The Bitter Side of Sweet is the first and only book I read in December. Yes, you read that correctly – first AND only. I’ve been in a horribly hard to shake reading slump. For months I’ve gotten very little pleasure from the books I’ve read and just generally haven’t felt up to reading. That feeling has left me scared to pick up books because I’m worried the slump will affect how I feel about the book and I don’t want to ruin any [...]

    11. I received a free ebook in exchange for an honest review."The bosses said we could leave when we'd earned out our purchase price." I add. "But they wouldn't tell me how much we owed, and in all the time we worked there, I only saw boys arrive or die, never leave when they wanted to. And we never once got paid."This book tore me apart and glued me back together. Several times. I become attached to this book after just 50 pages and i neglected the other 3 books I am currently reading. I would defi [...]

    12. So many great things to mention about The Bitter Side of Sweet! First of all, I loved the relationship between brothers Amadou and Seydou, specifically how the reader can see them grow and develop over the course of the novel. They are always there for one another, as family should be! I was very thankful that, although we learned about life on the farm, we didn't not have to endure the brutality through a first hand account. It was bad enough to imagine these things happening to children let al [...]

    13. Loved it! "The Bitter Side of Sweet" was written with such depth and eloquence that I simply couldn't put it down. The characters' emotions were represented in such a beautiful manner, so real, so rich. This book is a must read for anyone. It brings to life the struggles of kids who don't have a voice, and are so often forgotten. I didn't expect to fall into this story, but I ended up savoring every last word. "The Bitter Side of Sweet" has definitely earned its place on the Rebecca Caudill 2018 [...]

    14. Chocolate has been one of my besties for a long time now, but this book kind of made me feel like it should be removed from my diet! Amadou and Seydou are characters who I just felt so deeply sorry for and I loved the fierceness of Khadija throughout the story. it did drag at some points and felt like it was much longer than a ten day journey but I liked how other people stepped up and brought some closure to the brothers. This one will definitely get you thinking!

    15. The book The Bitter Side of Sweet was an eye-opener. Just one little cheap piece of chocolate can cost so much to someones lives. Amadou and his little brother Seydou are stuck in a fruit farm where they grow and pick cacao a fruit used to produce chocolate. Amadou is finding it hard to keep going as they get beatings regularly and Amadou had to take care of his little brother. Then wildcat arrives. Amadou finally realized how to save his little brother by trying something that seems impossible [...]

    16. Nonfiction pair with Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World's Most Seductive Sweetby Carol Off

    17. I love it! I just finished this book and I still can't get my mind off of it. Sullivan understands the human's thinking process in the best way anyone could ever understand. Then, she takes it one step further by making a book with it using lyrical and expressive writing. This book will help you understand why we fear the unknown, why we hesitate to trust, and what family and friends really mean to you.

    18. **Find this and other reviews, plus fun stuff, on my blogs! Booklikes or Blogspot**Basic InfoFormat: Audio Pages/Length: n/aGenre: Young AdultReason For Reading: CoverAt A GlanceLove Triangle/Insta Love/Obsession?: no Cliff Hanger: NoTriggers: n/aRating: 3 starsScore SheetAll out of tenCover:7Plot: 7Characters: 6World Building: 5Flow:6Series Congruity: n/aWriting: 7Ending: 7Total: 7In DeptBest Part: A nicely written female side character. Worst Part: Wasn't too clear that they were little kids ( [...]

    19. This book is what I would call an eye opener. And I'll explain why in a moment.The writing is intriguing enough to keep you captivated, and the story lineWell, it's kinda different from anything else I've ever read before. There's no romance (Sorry romance lovers. :/ ) but there is action, heartbreak, and incredible acts of heroism. I don't want to put in too many spoilers, but lets just say, my heart expanded a little when Khadija jumped onto one of the "bosses" back (Evidently giving herself t [...]

    20. The ending was different from what I thought It would be. I thought that the book would just end with them escaping but it was with them getting to their "sisters" house and with them having to get out because the men were there. I like how they spiced it up in the end with them having to run away again. Also really like how the boys decided to work on another cocoa farm and how the little brother is a genius in school. Though the girl should have stayed too bad:(. I wonder what happened to Yuss [...]

    21. Amadou and Seydou are cutting the pods from the cacao trees, for this has been their job for more than two years. They must make their quote for the day or endure their punishment for failing. Amadou takes care of his eight-year-old brother Seydou, the responsibility sometimes overwhelming for the fifteen-year-old. They’re just waiting for the day that their debt is paid off, for Amadou feels that, when that day arrives they will be allowed to return home to their parents. Day in and day out, [...]

    22. After reading The Bitter Side of Sweet, the less and less I want to eat chocolate. Once you hear the story of Amadou, Seydou, and Khadijah, it's striking and brings to light the hidden scenes of making the chocolate we all adore. This book makes you think about the real costs of what we consume. The adventures of the three kids are heart-wrenching and sometimes hard to read knowing the cruel punishments awaiting them if they do not meet a quota. Throughout the book, there is action, heartbreak, [...]

    23. Books like "The Bitter Side of Sweet" make me sympathize and empathize with children who have endured hardship so that I can live my (not so) luxurious life. "The Bitter Side of Sweet" is a fictionalized tale of what is the reality for boys and girls throughout many less developed countries who are just trying to keep shelter over their head and a little food in their stomachs. There are so many layers in this book, which is centered on the harvesting of cacao: class, gender, country of origin, [...]

    24. Wow. What a gut-wrenching and powerful story. A young boy working on a cacao plantation in the Ivory Coast spends all day every day trying to make his quota to avoid being beaten while simultaneously doing everything he can to keep his younger brother safe. A wildcat of a girl suddenly joins their crew, who awakens hope, fear, and frustration in the boy's hearts. The three children attempt to change their fate and the entire story reads like a sad, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will make you n [...]

    25. "The Bitter Side of Sweet" is a story about two brothers, Amadou and Seydou, who live in a forced labor camp near Mali. Their job is to chop cacao beans all day, they are not payed, and they live in poor conditions with other boy who are also forced to work. Later on, a girl named Khadija arrives at the camp. She persuades the boys to run away with her and go to Ivory Coast, where Khadija is originally from. Their adventures together express the need of friendship, trust, and the importance of h [...]

    26. A fantastic story about what life is like for two boys working on a cacao farm. I was a little worried that this story would be info dumpy but I didn't find it that way at all. It would be great to see this one in classrooms. I think this is a good story to hand to readers who like realistic stories but want something that's set outside the US, and also a great story for readers who want something fast paced.

    27. Well written, kinda heart breaking. It may go over the target audiences head a bit, but you have to start somewhere. Definitely making me think twice about the chocolate I eatd the clothes and shoes I wear, and the phone I'm typing this review on. Child slave labor is everywhere.

    28. Three child slaves try to escape from the cacao farm on the Ivory Coast they were sold to. Middle-grade age characters, but it's a great read for anyone ages 12+. This book was a great reminder that child slavery is still absolutely an issue, especially in the chocolate industry.

    29. This was a very intriguing book from the start to the finish. This book just makes you want to keep reading. One of my favorite books ever. I highly recommend you read it.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *