The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan
Amadou and his little brother Seydou have worked on a cacao farm for over two years, abused and unpaid in the cycle of modern-day slavery. They are not alone in their struggle for survival. There are other boys who work the farm, but none of them could have anticipated the arrival of Khaija, a fierce girl determined to escape from day one. Together, Amadou, Seydou, and Khaija may be able to accomplish what the brothers have never been to do alone–be free of the farm and find their way home.
Sullivan tackles a very real (and scarcely talked about) problem in today’s society with an enormous amount of heart and talent. The book is well-written, the characters are real enough to touch, and Sullivan’s passion for the rights of child laborers is inspiring. Amadou, Seydou, and Khaija represent the countless number of children forced to work in deplorable conditions, in this case within the chocolate industry. Theirs is a simultaneously heart-wrenching and uplifting story of family and friendship, as well as a look into the shocking world of modern-day slavery. The Bitter Side of a Sweet is a summer reading must.
For more, visit Tara Sullivan’s site: https://tarasullivanbooks.com/