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The Chocolate War (Lions Teen Tracks) [Paperback]

Robert Cormier
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Library Binding 10.68  
Paperback 6.39  
Paperback, 12 May 1994 --  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 11.51  

Book Description

12 May 1994 Lions Teen Tracks
Jerry's one of the best: honest, straightforward and hardworking. He's just scraped into the football team at his new school, and things are looking good. Then he meets Archie, leader of The Vigils, the school Mafia.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; New edition edition (12 May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006717659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006717652
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11.2 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,101,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The Chocolate War is uncompromising and unsentimental. It is doubtful, and finally irrelevant, whether Mr Cormier was writing for adolescents or for adults, any more than William Golding was concerned with a specific audience as he wrote Lord of the Flies, with which this novel stands comparison (TES )

Getting inside the souls of adolescents seems to be Cormier's particular gift (Publishing Weekly ) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover


Jerry's one of the best: honest, straightforward and hard working. He's just scraped into the football team at his new school, and things are looking good.

Then he meets Archie, leader of the Vigils, the school Mafia. Archie can see straight away that Jerry's not going to fit in with the Vigils – and if you're not in with them, you're very definitely OUT.

Jerry wants to be out when the school sale comes round. Who says he has to sell chocolates? But Archie's help has been enlisted by one of the masters, and Archie has his reputation to uphold. Jerry MUST conform…

"A quick-firing journalistic exposure of the more atrocious processes of growing up. Can't happen here? It can and it does. Daily."

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Chocolate War 13 Oct 2003
By tanner
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I never read books. The only time that I like to read books is if I have to for school, or I really love the book. In this case The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier was one of them. My tutor recommended me to read this book. In the beginning of the book I was not sure that I wanted read it, but when I read more and more of the story it got more and more fascinating. I have never finished a book in one day but when you read this book you will never want to put the story down.
The story is about this new kid named Jerry Renault who goes to this school called Trinity. The school is pretty much ran by a gang. Jerry gets caught up in this game that ends up making Jerry's life a living hell. Jerry must over come harassment, ostracization, and many more horrible things. All through the story one saying is going through Jerry's mind and that is "Do I dare disturb the world?" The author uses these simple words to make you keep on reading the story till you finish. One great part I really enjoyed in the story was when ten people jumped Jerry. The author writes the book as if it was a movie. For example, you get to see each and every character in depth just like in the movies. The author also uses a lot of descriptive words to explain every event happening in the story.
I would recommend this book to everyone. This book will probably the best book that you have ever read. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. I give the book three thumbs up. I hope that you enjoy the book as much as I did.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a great book, very dark, very serious. It takes some hard looks at social and moral issues about community, forced community, and forcing schoolchildren to pimp goods door-to-door to help pay for their education, in this case, chocolates. Set in a US Catholic all-boys parochial school, for anyone that didn't attend this kind of school, the background may seem surreal; trust me, it's as real as it gets. Brother Anthony made the hair stand up on the back of my neck in recognition.
P.s. don't waste your time on the Hollywood movie, they rewrote the ending to appeal to some mythical "American sensibility" which I as an American, find ludicrous and repellent. The rewritten version *completely* destroyed the message of the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do I dare disturb the universe? 9 Aug 2012
Every year, Trinity High School raises money by recruiting its students to sell chocolates. One year, Jerry Renault says `no'. At first, this is on instruction, the result of a unique kind of bullying instigated by a select clique known as The Vigils; but soon Jerry is making a stand of his own - although he is not quite sure why. Warped Vigil mastermind Archie is behind Jerry's initial refusal, but his power is challenged when Jerry refuses to stand down. Can Archie regain control of the situation; and if not, will Jerry have proven or achieved anything? A war that is much bigger, and much more explosive than a box of chocolates has begun...

The Chocolate War could easily have been a straightforward exercise examining the fears and humiliation of peer pressure, bullying and conformity with a side-order of positivity and the championing of self-esteem, self-belief, self-awareness (etc), but Cormier goes much further in this chillingly human story, full of challenging ideas. There is a bleakness in the inherent corruption of the school and the lost innocence, or contamination of those who encounter it for the first time. Awareness dawns that life is not always happily ever after, and standing up for something that matters will not change the world - although it may change your perspective or perception of it. This novel asks more questions than it answers.

Cormier has an uncanny way of getting under his characters' skin, in prose that is clear and accessible, without excess. A `simple' school story about a boy dealing with the loss of his mother to cancer becomes a complex question of good versus evil. The refusal to offer pat solutions makes this young adult novel stand out from the crowd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 15 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This is a really good book and it is a ingenious idea for this good but strange book on a chocolate sale in america. The vigils give it a sleaky thought.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 4 Jan 2008
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is a horrifying story about a boy's school where there is literally a chocolate war.

A secret society of boys, which the administration has always turned their back on, takes over a school chocolate sale. The boys are all asked to sell fifty boxes at two dollars apiece instead of the normal twenty-five at a dollar. And the leader of the secret society is one of the students who is pushing the sale. And he tells one student to refuse to sell the chocolate for ten days, but on the eleventh he is to take them. And he doesn't.

This book is interesting, and has a lot of twists and turns. I can see why a lot of schools use this book to teach with. There are a lot of moral lessons and many things that can be learned. I enjoyed reading this, and would recommend it to anyone who has ever had bully problems.

Reviewed by: Taylor Rector
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Chocolate War and how it started. 3 Jan 2004
By Zafron
After I read the book The Chocolate War i was really amazed about how Robert Cormier was not afraid to speak his mind and talk about things even print them to public which other people would not dare do in there lifetime. I also enjoyed reading his book, which had a very strong, and sturdy plot that you could always relate to, he also made very interesting characters that had very distinct attributes, which people of many ages could relate to. The story also gave you a new sense in the ways you should react to things and it helped you understand a little more about life. Overall I really enjoyed reading this phenomenal exhilarating educational story. One other very interesting thing about Robert Cormier is that his writing style is so different he can get you all into this one part of the book and just jump to a whole new scene in the same chapter now that's what I call daring.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
Got this after reading 'Heroes' which is on my children's GCSE syllabus. If anything, it was even better than Heroes.
Published 4 months ago by Rebecca Lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
I bought this for my teenage Godson who thinks that books are soooo last year. However, he absolutely loved it
Published 5 months ago by JOB.311
5.0 out of 5 stars Do I dare disturb the universe?
"Bleak", "violent" and "realistic" aren't words we normally associate with young adult fiction, which is why Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War, from 1974, is refreshing. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jack Heslop
5.0 out of 5 stars Bullying... (not) your cuppa tea?
Did you ever wonder about bullying and being bullied? Maybe it has never happened to you but did you ever wonder what it would be like? Read more
Published on 14 April 2007 by Plop
4.0 out of 5 stars Bullying!

"The chocolate war", is a book about bullying. A buy named Jerry is bullied by a group named `The vigils'. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2007 by Anika
4.0 out of 5 stars The Chocolate War
The chocolate war

The chocolate war is a book about a boy named Jerry who does not want to take part in an assignment that the Vigils, a group at his school, told him to... Read more
Published on 1 Mar 2007 by Kitty
5.0 out of 5 stars How Power Corrupts
The Chocolate War is a cruel but not entirely unrealistic study of school life at Trinity school for boys. Read more
Published on 22 July 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This is a fantastic book. It's like 'Stalky and Co' without the glory - here the same exciting & manipulative power games are going on, but the justification for Archie (the... Read more
Published on 8 Oct 2001
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