Thursday, May 31, 2007
36. "The Chocolate War" - Robert Cormier
The first time I read this book, I didn't get it. I yawned at the football practices full of symbolism and rolled my eyes at the male mentality of "shutting down" feelings.
A football player at a private school refuses to sell chocolate for a fundraiser. At first, he is following the demands of The Vigils, a gang-like group that creates pranks and forces younger students to comply.
But then, he decided to not sell chocolates ever. The Vigils take this as a stomp on them. Enter the scenes of teenage angst and pain.
Basically, it is about being popular or following the herd. I think it's a great book to start a conversation with teens about the topic; however, for general reading, it's not anything that you haven't read before.
2.0 out of 5.0 Chocolate Candy Bars.
Banned Book - this is one of the top five banned books. Cormier has gone on the record as being "extremely exhausted" with people who try to ban this book, even 20+ years after it was published. There is the issue of language (171 swear words, according to one diligent parent) and a scene where a character is masturbating, as well as several references to sex. It's a book about 16-18-year-olds. Of course there is swearing and sex. Der.