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Short Synopsis
Tara Sullivan, the award-winning author of the astounding Golden Boy, delivers another powerful, riveting, and moving tale of children fighting to make a difference and be counted.

Full Synopsis
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. 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 Moke 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. 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 more to escape.

"Absorbing and important." ---Booklist Starred Review

"A tender, harrowing story of family, friendship, and the pursuit of freedom." ---Kirkus Starred Review

"Sullivan shines a harsh light on the horrors of modern-day slavery…" ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Narrator Jackson creates
convincing voices for
the teens, eight-year-old Seydou, and
various adults they encounter." ---Booklist

"Tara Sullivan's latest novel is heart-wrenching, with the power to leave a bitter taste of memory with every bite of chocolate." ---BookPage

"Jackson expresses Amadou's anger as he struggles to deal with everyday life, but also his softness when he shows his deep love for his brother. This powerful story of suffering and pain juxtaposed with family and friendship makes a lasting impact on the listener." ---AudioFile

"J.D. Jackson's narration relays the intensity of each day faced by the children. VERDICT Readers of Copper Sun by Sharon Draper will especially enjoy this title, as it sheds light on a true problem on the Ivory Coast." ---School Library Journal Audio Review
Booklist Review

Kirkus Review

Publishers Weekly Review

The Bitter Side of Sweet

Author Tara Sullivan

Narrated by JD Jackson

Publication date Feb 23, 2016

Running time 9 hrs 22 min

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