There’s nothing bitter about ‘The Bitter-Sweet’


Taylor Bourgeois, Staff Reporter

“Hard work is the key to success, thus, neither are easy.”

That line is found in The Bitter-Sweet, a children’s book written by Northlake freshman Jackson Fontanille. Hard work and success are not only themes of the story, but of Fontanille’s journey into writing and publishing this book.

Fontanille was in his English class with Mrs. Michelle Marullo when the idea to write this book came to his head. He had been assigned to a group project to write a short story with fellow Northlake freshmen Ross Shaw and Nathan Mitchell, when he realized the potential of their story.

“I noticed that the way I set up the story was very elaborate and could go on further,” noted Fontanille. “I took some days at home, finished it, and it came out to be what it is now.”

The Bitter-Sweet is about a boy named Bill, and the story of how he becomes a successful multi-millionaire. The book consists of three parts, each focusing on different stages in Bill’s life, and how he managed to work hard to achieve his wealthy following.

“It tells you if you work hard and have that mindset, you will excel,” said Fontanille.

In order to get The Bitter-Sweet into the hands of others, Fontanille turned his focus into finding a publisher. After passing on a publisher with a high charge, he found a website where he could upload the text files and book cover along with purchasing an ISBN, which is the copyright for his book.

“It wasn’t that hard, and it only took about a day or two of my free time,” Fontanille mentioned, surprised at the ease of the process.

Since the publication of the book, The Bitter-Sweet has sold over sixty physical copies, not including the sales of the Kindle version available on Amazon.

“I’m really glad I did it, it has been a success so far,” Fontanille exclaimed.

The book sells for five dollars, making the book costs about two dollars, and the retailer takes away about a dollar from every sale. As nice as the sales figures are, Fontanille stressed it was not a big deal for him.

“I wasn’t really into making the money that much, I just enjoyed writing the book and wanted to get it out to people.”

Fontanille wanted to get this book out to many people because he feels the message of The Bitter-Sweet is an important lesson for every kid to learn where hard work and perseverance can take you.

“My wish is that this story impacts [kids] and motivates them to work harder at everything they do,” Fontanille stated. “I think that kids will be able to have a better outlook on the way they do things.”

The process of writing and publishing his story has been enjoyable for him. He believes he could see himself going further into the writing field.

“I think I would enjoy writing in the future. I have never been an essay-type or writer, but I always did like writing my own stories and having that freedom. That way, you can convey a message you want to share with the reader,” Fontanille explained. “It’s an enjoyable hobby I can see myself pursuing more.”

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Bitter-Sweet for your Kindle, you can go to or contact him at [email protected] to buy a physical copy.