Cormier, Robert. The Chocolate War. New York: Laurel Leaf Books. 1974. Print.
The Chocolate War
Recommended Reading Age: 13–18 years.
Go with the flow, don’t step out of line, and sell whatever they tell you to. Those are the invisible but very strictly enforced rules of Trinity private school. Keep your head down, don’t do anything unless you’re told to, and when given an assignment, do it. That’s how the students are to survive. Don’t try to make a point, don’t speak your voice, don’t stand up for someone when they’re being punished, and don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever disobey brother Leon! And definitely, most certainly, under no circumstances should you even breathe the name of the Vigils!
With the exception of brother Leon, a corrupt teacher who gets what he wants when he wants it in any way he wants, the Vigils are the cruelest and most powerful force in the whole school. Though technically to most teachers they do not exist, when they give an assignment it is always done, no matter how terrible it is. Students fear the scheming Archie Costello who gives out the assignments–no one wants to be assigned to something horrible or worse, get on the Vigil’s bad side. No one dares to disobey. Until one day, a freshman named Jerry Reynault does. Tired of the unjust system of the school, Jerry disturbs the universe and refuses to sell chocolates for the school. The action: small–the result: disaster.
Told from the veiwpoints from various Trinity high school students, the story unfolds its suspenseful events. The life of Jerry’s best friend, Goober, is turned upside down, the students begin to fight the system and the Vigils, Jerry is turned from a nobody trying out for football to a hero respected by even the seniors to another victim of the system, and the Vigils get really, really, really mad–mad enough to take a step too far. It all ends in a thrilling way that no one suspects. Should you disturb the universe? Or should you go with the flow, even when it’s wrong?