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The Chocolate Warby Robert Cormier
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Choice
A New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year
"The Chocolate War is number three on the American Library Association's list of the 100 most banned/challenged books — it even beat the gay penguins! — proving that the story retains its dangerous edge after these many years." Chris Bolton, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
Stunned by his mother's recent death and appalled by the way his father sleepwalks through life, Jerry Renault, a New England high school student, ponders the poster in his locker — "Do I dare disturb the universe?"
Part of his universe is Archie Costello, leader of a secret school society — the Virgils — and master of intimidation. Archie himself is intimidated by a cool, ambitious teacher into having the Virgils spearhead the annual fund-raising event — a chocolate sale. When Jerry refuses to be bullied into selling chocolates, he becomes a hero, but his defiance is a threat to Archie, the Virgils, and the school. In the inevitable showdown, Archie's skill at intimidation turns Jerry from hero to outcast, to victim, leaving him alone and terribly vulnerable.
"The Chocolate War is masterfully structured and rich in theme; the action is well crafted, well timed, suspenseful; complex ideas develop and unfold with clarity." The New York Times Book Review
"The characterizations of all the boys are superb....This novel [is] unique in its uncompromising portrait of human cruelty and conformity." School Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Robert Cormier has written a brilliant novel." Children's Book Review Service
"Vicious and violent mob cruelty in a boys' prep school is not a new theme but Cormier makes it compellingly immediate....Mature young readers will respect the uncompromising ending..." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.
A high school student is first a hero and then a victim in this novel of intimidation and the misuse of power. "Masterfully structured and rich in theme. Well crafted, well timed, suspenseful." The New York Times
About the Author
Robert Cormier (1925 — 2000) received the 1999 Margaret A. Edwards Award, honoring his lifetime contribution to writing for teens.
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