Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Halloween has me thinking candy!   In honor of this sugar laden holiday, I thought I would share two candy filled reads that I discovered recently.  No brushing after reading required, well unless it’s right before bedtime, and then you know the drill!

In the upcoming weeks I will include selections for Preschool through 8th grade, so check back or join my twitter account for new and inspired selections!

Title:              The Candymakers
Author:         Wendy Mass
Target:         Grades 4-7
I really had a hard time putting this book down.  I was surprised how well written it was.  It started off very much like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Four kids are selected to participate in a candy making competition and are allowed into a chocolate factory that was closed to visitors long ago.  However, this is where the similarity ends.
The fun of this book is that the story is told in five parts, the first four are from the perspective of each of the participants.  You see the story from the first child’s perspective, and then low and behold, when you get to the next child, your perception of the events are thrown on their head.  I loved it each time my son got to a new revelation, he looked up at me just as amazed as I had been.  The story gets richer and more interesting with each child’s version. 
I will say that some of the scenarios are bit far fetched, but it is a children’s book, set in a candy factory for goodness sake, so I will certainly allow the author the whimsy that the books subject conjures up.  Once I was into this story, I found it difficult to stop reading (kind of like a bag of M&Ms, you can't take just one handful), which I think is the best kind of recommendation!

Title:              The Candy Shop War
Author:         Brandon Mull
Target:         Grades 5-8
Rock candy that makes you weightless, chocolate balls that change your appearance, all sounds like the makings of a sweet little tale, but don’t be fooled.   This story is alot darker than I expected, so it makes a good read for an older child.  Candy Shop War is a story of magicians who are trying to find a hidden treasure.  Their magic candy only works on children, so they use the kids to do assignments for them with the promise of more mysterious candy as a reward.  The children don’t always make the best choices as the assignments become progressively more dangerous and test their moral compass.  However, in the end, it is up to the kids to put an end to the evil deeds. 
My oldest son read this book in two days and barely put it down!  However, this is definitely not a book to be judged by its cover!  The title and cover art seem quite a bit sweeter than the actual story that follows.  As the danger grows, so does the action and suspense in the book.   All in all, an exciting read with a dark twist.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for doing our homework Freya! This is a great idea and I'm excited to keep reading. Paula