The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan
This middle school novel tells the story of three children caught in the cacao industry in the Ivory Coast. Although hard to read because of the brutal treatment of the children, the book tells a worthwhile story. The three children of the story are two boys mislead to believe they would be working only for a season for wages. Instead they were neither paid nor allowed to leave. They worked under very harsh primitive conditions. The third child was a girl kidnapped and forced to work the cacao fields because her mother, a journalist, was exposing the slave-like conditions of the workers. The story of the children’s eventual escape is both heartbreaking and thrilling.
The afterword offers a way to affect the harvesting of the cacao pods and the mistreatment of the children.
Not recommended for tender hearted , younger children.
5 of 5 stars