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The Bitter Side of Sweet av Tara Sullivan

The Bitter Side of Sweet (utgåvan 2017)

av Tara Sullivan (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
20315101,561 (4.26)9
"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"--
Titel:The Bitter Side of Sweet
Författare:Tara Sullivan (Författare)
Info:Speak (2017), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


The Bitter Side of Sweet av Tara Sullivan


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I debated rather to include this title in LEARNING WITH CHOCOLATE: A Homeschool Curriculum for the Whole Family. It was a haunting tale that stayed with me and I would only recommend it to a more mature reader and then allow for discussion afterwards. The life on a cacao plantation is very brutal, dismal, and depressing but also a subject that needs more of a spotlight. This story takes place in our modern world and to know that a boy could be stolen from his homeland, made to work for free, and be deprived of decent food and shelter is something that is not often discussed. The story does find a better ending which gives a brief glimpse of what a fair-trade cacao plantation looks like. Although the main characters are two brothers, Amadou and Seydou, there is a strong female character, Khadija, that makes this title good for both male and female readers. The version I had did include a list of discussion questions.

I like how the three characters learn to trust each other and help each other out and become some sort of a family unit to survive their ordeal and to survive the after effects of their traumatic experience. That is what I think made the characters so memorable and likable and why I ended up buying a copy of this book.

NOTE: There is a debate as to whether Khadija was sexually assaulted by the guards.

2018 Rebecca Caudill Nominee ( )
  pjburnswriter | Dec 11, 2020 |
Child slaves working chocolate plantations today, omg. Disturbing. This YA book ran fairly obviously, especially in the first half, but as soon as we started to know more about the mysterious girl who spurs the escape attempt, I was held rapt. The conclusion felt solid to boot -- not impossibly perfect, but still a reasonably feel-good ending. Recommended, especially for YA audiences. And I'm extra careful to look for Fair Trade labels on my chocolate now.... ( )
  pammab | Jan 25, 2020 |
In The Bitter Side of Sweet, author Tara Sullivan tells the story of three children who escape virtual slavery as they break away from the Ivory Coast cacao farm where they have been forced to work. Amadou and his younger brother, Seydou have been in captivity for two years but the newcomer, a female, Khadija helps to provide the spark that ignites Amadou to get them all away safely.

This is a disturbing story, set as it is in modern times. Countless children are being held in these farms, providing cheap labor in order to provide an ingredient that the rest of the world considers a treat. The two boys were tricked into coming to the farm, they were told it was seasonal work, but once there, they were forced into meeting quotas, being beaten, deprived food and locked into a shed every night.

The Bitter Side of Sweet is an excellent YA survival story. This emotional story imparts a lot of facts about the harvesting and processing of chocolate without interrupting the flow of the narrative. It certainly makes one think about the cost of this indulgence. The Bitter Side of Sweet is a fast moving, interesting and moving story. ( )
1 rösta DeltaQueen50 | Oct 20, 2019 |
I was amazed to find that it is classed as a children's novel or YA for ages 12 and up. I was hesitant to read The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, which is an adult novel because I thought it would be too graphic. It is not, but this supposed YA novel is. Bitter is about forced child labor in the cacao farms in The Ivory Coast in Africa. The main characters are children - 15-year-old Amadou, his eight-year-old brother, Seydou, and the wild 13-year-old girl, Khadija who is dropped into their midst. Sullivan doesn't hold back much when recounting the starvation, beatings, and inhumane punishment these children are subjected to. I think this is too strong a book for most children. It is, however, very well written and very realistic in discussing poverty, classism, and inhumanity. She does a great job of characterizing these children, their coping mechanisms, defeatism, and the willingness to fight. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Oct 14, 2019 |
I love [b:Golden Boy|16099325|Golden Boy|Tara Sullivan|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1351041876s/16099325.jpg|21908750], 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 read about painful social issues -- but the ones who do, really do, and Sullivan's books are so specific in their research and settings, and so relatably human, and full of so much satisfying adventure. I taught [b:Iqbal|264447|Iqbal|Francesco D'Adamo|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388296339s/264447.jpg|256357] in a 7th grade summer program two years ago, and I wish I'd had this as a child slavery connection for the kids who were absorbed by Iqbal's story. Other read-alikes: [b:Trash|7740772|Trash|Andy Mulligan|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320441680s/7740772.jpg|10549345], [b:Endangered|13591678|Endangered|Eliot Schrefer|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1339453693s/13591678.jpg|19179750], [b:Sold|201114|Sold|Patricia McCormick|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1442850952s/201114.jpg|3231932], [b:Words in the Dust|8452801|Words in the Dust|Trent Reedy|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328838203s/8452801.jpg|13316875], [b:Chanda's Secrets|782384|Chanda's Secrets (Chanda, #1)|Allan Stratton|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1429583785s/782384.jpg|497799].

Content note: Khadija is gang-raped by the bosses on the cacao farm, and Amadou witnesses it. The scene is presented so that if a reader doesn't get what's happening, they'll probably just think it's a worse beating. ("They don't stop at beating her" is the only indication, with later references to "what happened in the shed." There are no ripped clothes or specific sounds, and the only physical description of her injuries focuses on her swollen face.) It wouldn't have been an honest testament to the horrors of real child slavery to show the only girl treated like all the other boys on the farm. Still, I know that will influence the way some teachers recommend the book, so I think it's important to mention. ( )
  SamMusher | Sep 7, 2019 |
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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"--

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Medelbetyg: (4.26)
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4 18
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