Review: The Candy Shop War

The Candy Shop WarTitle: The Candy Shop War
Author: Brandon Mull
Published: 16 September 2008
Author’s Website: http://www.brandonmull.com
Genre: Fantasy, Youth

Review:  Nate, the new kid in town befriends three small town kids, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon, when he moves in shortly before school starts.  He almost instantly  becomes a member of their “club” when he stands up to the bully’s the locals have had to deal with for years.  As the school year starts, the group checks out the new candy shop, finding the owner to be a kind, grandmotherly woman who promises them magic candy if they help her find some special ingredients.  The kids are skeptical, of course, but have nothing to lose so they follow her instructions and, Voila!, everything happens just like she said.  Once they get to try out the magic candy, they’re hooked.  She promises more candy in exchange for more favors.  Each progressively more questionable than the last until they finally draw the line which leads to Mrs. White, the candy shop owner, “hiring” the bullies.  A race for the treasure Mrs. White is after ensues with the kids having to decide which adults to trust.

Over the course of their dealings with Mrs. White, the kids learn that there are “magicians” and magic, strange creatures and sidekicks, that everything isn’t as it seems, and most importantly, that all decisions have consequences.

Bottom Line:  A fun adventure for kids involving magic candy with names like Moon Rocks, Shock Bits, Creature Crackers, and Flame Outs, among others.  In all the excitement, the reader gets to see kids have to make moral choices, show intestinal fortitude, and use their brains to survive and save the day.  This book also has a section for guided learning at the back for use by classrooms or home schoolers.  I highly recommend this book.  The target age may be late elementary school based on the age of the protagonists, but older kids will enjoy it, too.

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