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Taste of Salt: A Story of Modern Haiti

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  186 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Every Life
Makes a Story

Djo has a story: Once he was one of "Titid's boys," a vital member of Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide's election team, fighting to overthrow military dictatorship in Haiti. Now he is barely alive, the victim of a political firebombing.

Jeremie has a story: Convent-educated Jeremie can climb out of the slums of Port-au-Prince. But she is torn between he
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by HarperTeen (first published October 30th 1991)
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Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean RhysBreath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge DanticatThe Dew Breaker by Edwidge DanticatThe Farming of Bones by Edwidge DanticatIsland Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
Caribbean Literature
117th out of 314 books — 123 voters
In Darkness by Nick LakeAnacaona by Edwidge DanticatHold Tight, Don't Let Go by Laura Rose WagnerSerafina's Promise by Ann E. BurgTonight, by Sea by Frances Temple
Children's Fiction set in Haiti
15th out of 21 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

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Taste of Salt is a fascinating read about the rise of Jean Bertrand Aristide in Haiti from the perspective of two of his followers from the slums whose paths and lives intersect meaningfully. Djo and Jeremie's circumstances as children in poverty show two (of many) different paths available to those who sought to do something different: either try to "climb the ladder" through education as Jeremie did, seeking to escape Haiti through education, or embrace an education by and of the people as Djo ...more
It took me about 20 pages before I was really caught up in this novel, but once I was hooked, I couldn't put it down! Set in Haiti, at the time of the revolution, Taste of Salt is told through the first-person perspectives of two teenage revolutionaries.

Djo lies in his hospital bed, the victim of a political firebombing that also killed his best friend, and he is now fighting just to stay alive. Jeremie is a poor, but well-educated young woman who has been assigned the task of recording Djo's st
Andrea Blythe
In a time when Haiti in the process of political change, Djo has been brutally attacked and beaten and lies close to death. Jeremie, a young woman from a local convent school, has been assigned to come sit with him and record his tale, so that it will not be lost. As he tells her his story -- how he became one of "Titid's Boys", became a car washer, and was dragged off to the Dominican Republic to cut cane -- an affection and friendship grows between them.

This is the kind of book I would have re
Grade/Interest level: Middle School
Reading level: 650 L Guided Reading: W
Genre: Multicultural Fiction
Main Characters: Djo, Jeremie
Setting: 1980's Haiti
POV: Djo, Jeremie
The Taste of Salt: a story of Modern Haiti is written by Frances Temple and Illustrated by Mina Greenstein. It is fiction but many of the events in the book are factual. The book takes place in the 1980’s in a country called Haiti. It is about a young man named Djo who wakes up in a hospital after being brutally beaten in a Macou
Liang Lin
This book is quite romantic because in this story, Jeremie falls in love with Djo. Jeremie did not just want sex, she really wanted love in her life. She gave up her good future to stay with Djo until he recovers at the hospitals. Who knows why Djo just fainted, but he knew Jeremie would always be there for him, and he knew Jeremie loved him. I give this book 3 stars because it`s not very descriptive of the areas the characters are in and sometimes they even skip some parts. This book also has 2 ...more
Nov 04, 2007 Sandra added it
Shelves: advisory2007-08
It was written in the point of view of a Haitian boy, Djo. He tells his story to Jeremie, a smart girl that is sacrificing her school time to stay with Djo in the hospital. This story is about Djo growing up in the poorest area of Haiti where this place was under dictatorship. He was accepted into the caring of a well known priest, Jean Bertrand, like many other little boys that couldn’t be supported by their own families. Until one day, he was kidnapped to the plantations where he was forced in ...more
This YA novel about Haiti is engaging and appropriate for both boys and girls. However, I didn't love the ending - it was too abrupt for me.
L. P. Simone
While I enjoyed this book for the truth it told about life in Haiti, it didn't reel me in emotionally. I felt it did a lot of telling, rather than actually allowing the reader the opportunity to experience it what the characters felt. That may be the fault of the vehicle the author chose to tell the story. Djo, one of the two pov characters tells his own story into a tape recorder of a girl sent by the newly elected President Aristide for her own education. The heartbreaking story felt glossed o ...more
This book was really good because the author, Frances Temple was able to tell the story of the haitian people and their turbulent times during the early 90's. Personally I was also able to connect to the book because as a haitian, I could really visualize the things that were happening, and the culture of Djo and Jeremie [the main characters of the story]. It was fast reading, but overall, I didn't put it down much because I was able to learn more about Father Aristede and his journey to power a ...more
Marisa Padelli
I really disliked this book I found it slow depressing and overall boring
Jul 31, 2007 Monday rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: high school ELA teachers
This book is great to teach with high school kids because it's a fictional account of real events. What I love about this book is that it lets classes have discussions about power and authority, about using your voice for good or evil, about the right choice v. the easy choice, about the power of education. And I never feel beat over the head with it. Nor do I feel like I'm beating my students over the head.

Thank you Adolescent Lit class in my M.Ed program for introducing me to this book.
This is a great young adult novel about 2 young people growing up in Haiti. It takes place in a hospital room where a young man lies at death's door and a young woman is sent to record his story but ends up also telling her own. Among other things he gets kidnapped and brought to the DR to pick sugar cane, and she witnesses some violent incidents surrounding an election. It is very simply written but engrossing and interesting, and the stories feel real.
Am I really that out of it? Am I really that unaware? As I read stories of the lives of others in places so unlike America, I am shocked by the cruel brutality that has taken place. Why? Why is there so much hatred, anger, and violence? This beautifully sad, inspiring, and heartfelt story made my fingers itch...desiring to google Haiti and learn more. I am once again thankful for all that I have.
I enjoy this book because it's about a story in Haiti and it seems real. It's about 2 connections of people wich have been in a lot of trouble in Haiti because of political actions.
The author is Frances Temple and I didn't know him until this book.
I choose it because it was attractive and I like the fact that it's about a story in Haiti.

I think that this read could interest people who like
Liked how this book taught me more about Haiti especially about Aristide before his presidency and the boys of Cite d'Soleil. I also learned about the slave system in the Dominican Republic. Crazy. Okay overall. My students are reading Danticat's "Children of the Sea" and in terms of literary merit, Taste of Salt doesn't hold a candle to the beauty in that short story.
This book clearly showed how the lives of children was affected by the political situation in Haiti. Djo, growing up in one of the poorest part of Haiti had to go through a lot of struggles. That area also was controled by dictator leader. Djo, later gets kidnapped and was forced to work, but soon he escapes.
An engaging story of the St. Jean Boscoe massacre and the election of Aristide through the eyes of two fictional Haitian teenagers. Their voices are simple, powerful, and very affecting, especially when they speak of the suffering they endured. I enjoyed the use of dialect in the writing as well.
This was a very touching story about the Haitian revolution, told through the experiences of two impoverished teenagers who get caught up in the political movement and, against all odds, find each other.
I very good study in p.o.v that engaged my students in the political turmoil of Haiti.
YA 1st person narratives of 2 teens in Haiti during the rise of Aristide.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Children's lives affected by the political situation in Haiti in the 1980s.
Really well-done story. Appropriate that it is for children/teens.
It was pretty amazingly GREAT!!!!!!
Feb 13, 2008 Carol added it
An amazing look into Haiti
Erin Ramai
Jane Addams Peace Award
A beautiful story.
B-, 3 stars.
pretty good
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Frances Temple grew up in Virginia, France, and Vietnam. About her third book she wrote, "The Ramsay Scallop is about our need for adventure and motion, for throwing in with strangers, trusting and listening. The story began to take form in northern Spain along pilgrim trails; was fed by histories, stories, letters, by the testimony of a fourteenthcentury shepherd, by the thoughts of today's pilgr ...more
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