Mayor’s Book Review: The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase

candymakers 2

Available: August 2016

Genre: Mystery, Adventure

Age: 8-12 years old

Quick Take:

The much anticipated sequel to The Candymakers by Wendy Mass is totally worth the wait. It’s not out until August 2016, but I couldn’t resist posting this review early.  FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS!!  Definitely add this to your end of summer reading list.


Summary: 

In The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase, we are reunited with Logan, Miles, Phillip, and Daisy.  These four strangers became friends during the candy making contest at the Life is Sweet factory in the first Candymakers book. The mighty foursome heads out on a road trip to promote the musical chocolate bar they invented, Harmonicandy, which turns into the adventure of a lifetime as they unravel a decades-old secret. Puzzles, treasure maps, imaginary worlds, and new relationships abound in this book. This book kept me quickly turning the pages to see what would happen next. We learn more about each of these four kids and their hopes, fears, and dreams.

My Favorite Part: 

I love how the author changes which character is telling the story to showcase different perspectives on the same situation.  I find this technique a great way to unveil new plot points and remind readers of how different people have different feelings and motives even though they are experiencing the same situation.

But, as a huge Wendy Mass fan, my absolute favorite part was how the author weaved in characters from several of her other stories. (At the risk of dating myself, it reminded me of my favorite movie scene. The one in Coming to America with Eddie Murphy where he gives money to two old beggars on the street and they are Randolph and Mortimer from Trading Places, also starring Eddie Murphy.)

I giggled with joy out loud when I realized that the winner of the mutant candy contest was Lizzy from Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life and the girl with synesthesia, Mia, that they meet at the campground is from A Mango Shaped Space.  There’s more, but I’ll let you uncover them yourself 🙂

Why It Mattered to Me: 

While I do love all the dystopian tales and “sad” books that are so popular these days, I feel like there’s a gap of really well written middle grade books with generally happy characters having fun adventures. This book fills that sweet spot with excellent writing, relatable and like-able characters, fast paced action, and an intriguing mystery.  A huge thank you to Wendy Mass for sharing her writing talents with young readers!

Who Should Read This Book:  

I highly recommend this book to 4th-8th grade readers who like mystery, adventure, and realistic fiction with a touch of magic. Wendy Mass fans will be thrilled.  I suggest reading (or re-reading) the first book – The Candymakers – to fully enjoy this one.

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