Multiple award-winner

The Other Side of Freedom by Cynthia T. Toney

When the reward is the most costly sacrifice of all.


In a southern farming community in 1925, thirteen-year-old Salvatore and his Italian immigrant father become involved against their will in a crime that results in the murder of an innocent man and family friend. Will Sal keep the secrets about that night as his father asks, or risk everything he and his family cherish in their new homeland, including their lives? 

Amidst bigotry, bootlegging, police corruption, and gangland threats, Sal must discover whom he can trust in order to protect himself and his family and win back his father’s freedom. Sal’s family, their African-American farmhand, and the girl who is Sal’s best friend find their lives forever changed as dreams are shattered and attitudes challenged in a small community called Freedom.



"... a powerful story that will resonate with readers of all ages. Recommended for home and school libraries.”

—​ Children's Literary Classics Book Reviews, Seal of Approval

"... a truly compelling coming-of-age story. The setting was beautifully described ... one felt oneself being drawn back to the era of gangsters,

the G-Men, and bootlegging across the south. The feel of the story was authentic ..." 

—​ Readers' Favorite, 5-star review


“Young adults will love this novel full of adventure and risk ... about a difficult period of American history when one law

had such violent and negative consequences for innocent Italian-American families." 

—​ Historical Novel Society

"The story is powerful. It evokes strong emotions in readers. I could hardly put the book down.” 

—Steven R. McEvoy, Book Reviews and More, “Top 10 Fiction and Non-Fiction Books First Quarter 2018”


"Suspense and tension blend well with interesting and diverse characters. The relational twist at the end also made for a satisfying read.” 

—Christian Books for Tweens and Teens, “Top 10 Fiction Pick of 2018”

“Toney’s writing is brilliant for its descriptive prose and believable characters … 

[The book] takes the reader on a journey that opens doors of discovery historically and for a teen in today’s world.”