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The Candymakers Kindle Edition

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Length: 446 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Grade Level: 3 - 7

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–Children running amok in a candy factory, immortalized by Roald Dahl, is one story line that bears repeating. At the Life Is Sweet factory, four 12-year-olds gather to create new goodies for the annual Confectionery Association Conference. Logan, the Candymaker's son, dreams of winning his family's respect. Miles's parents hope the experience will help him forget a tragic accident he couldn't prevent. Daisy is fascinated by the factory, but for what reason? And Philip scribbles in his secret notebook, determined to win at all costs. When the factory's secret ingredient is stolen, the children find a common purpose: to foil the plot by creating the best candy ever. The tidy conclusion has a few contrivances, but none that will bother children. Mass has crafted a solid mystery dipped in sweet candy-making details. Character development moves a lengthy story forward in smooth increments. As each child's story emerges, the mystery becomes one bit clearer, making this a real page-turner. The characters are intricate, flawed heroes with whom readers will identify. The book's subtle message of teamwork over greed and growth through friendship will resonate with readers and educators alike. A magical setting filled with conveyor belts, chocolate jungles, and beehives makes it clear what the youngsters are attempting to save. Give this mouthwatering confection to children who like Trenton Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society (Little, Brown, 2007) and other quirky mysteries.–Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CTα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

It starts with unmistakable echoes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and eventually features a musical candy a la Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s “Toot Sweets,” but Mass’ latest novel ends up being a treat all its own. Four 12-year-olds gather at a candy factory to participate in the local segment of a nationwide contest to create a new and delectable piece of candy. One contestant is the only child of the factory’s owner, known here as the Candymaker. Another boy is obsessed with allergies and the afterlife, while the third boy is unfriendly and intent on winning. The lone girl, Daisy, seems to be sweetness itself but displays great physical strength as well as odd behavior. Mass skillfully presents the two and a half days of the kids’ apprenticeship from the perspective of each of the four contestants. At over four hundred pages, this is not a lightning-fast read, but it reveals a multitude of mysteries, explaining all the clues about misunderstandings, spies, and sabotage that Mass has dropped along the way. Attentive, candy-loving readers will be richly rewarded. Grades 4-6. --Abby Nolan

Product Details

  • File Size: 1646 KB
  • Print Length: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (October 5, 2010)
  • Publication Date: October 5, 2010
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043D2ETU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,381 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Wendy Mass is the author of "A Mango-Shaped Space" and "Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life," published by Little, Brown in November 2006. She lives with her family in Sparta, NJ.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By James F. Booth on November 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I don't know how she does it, but Wendy Mass just hits it out of the park with every book I read by her. The way she writes her characters make them compelling, realistic, and hard to leave behind when the book is over. Even though the book is 450 pages (it's a surprisingly quick read), I still felt sad when I got to the last page and had to leave these wonderful characters behind.

What's fun about this book is that it's told in 5 parts- the first four give each character to give their own account of the two days spent at the candy factory and then the fifth goes back to Logan for the night before and day of the contest. It was interesting to read what each character was thinking during a particular scene but it also didn't get repetitive as the same scenes weren't focused on in each part. Not only that, but I really enjoyed the callbacks to previous sections and having to piece the puzzle together as the story went on. What was also cool was the various prior connections between the four kids that come out as the novel goes on.

The humor in this book was fantastic. I was laughing out loud many times during the course of the book. It was wonderful. Also, candy will have to be present while reading this novel because the kids take a tour of a candy factory and of course have to make their own candy as well, and Mass doesn't spare on the descriptions. It was sad for me because I was poor at the time of reading it so I couldn't go out and buy some candy to munch on. It was amazing too to read all the fun candy names and descriptions she came up with for the factory to have, as well as the contest entries too.

Overall, this is a wonderful middle-grade novel with a fun and fast storyline but with some great depth to it. A must-read!
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was fabulous! Told from 4 kid's perspective, this book went into every kid's thoughts and ideas. A book about true friendship, finding yourself, and most importantly, CANDY! Wendy Mass has done it again, another fantastic book! This book features three 12 year old kids and one who's ... older, tweens will love this book as have I, an eleven and a half year old :) If you have read this review and are considering buying the book, buy it!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Annual Candymaking Contest is about to get underway, and three hopeful 12-year-old candymakers are heading to the Life Is Sweet candy factory for two days of training before the Region III competition kicks off. Miles O'Leary, Daisy Carpenter and Philip Ransford III will be welcomed to the factory, owned by the Sweet family, and allowed use of the ingredients and facilities there. Already at the factory is the fourth competitor, Logan Sweet, the Candymakers' son and heir to the Life Is Sweet legacy. Between dreamy Miles, clever Daisy, ambitious Philip and candy prodigy Logan, the contest should be fierce. But in THE CANDYMAKERS by Wendy Mass, readers will be surprised as the kids' real motives (and identities) are revealed.

Daisy Carpenter is a bright and cheerful girl but a mysterious one as well. Besides being funny and kind-hearted, she is amazingly strong, reads romance novels when she should be working on her contest entry, is in the habit of talking to herself, and arrives at Life Is Sweet on a horse. Despite her overall confidence, Daisy's contest entry remains an inedible pile of green goo.

About a year ago, Miles saw a girl drown. He was in a rowboat with his parents and saw a young girl, who was being chased by bees, head into the water, never to emerge. Since then he has been obsessed with death and the afterlife, and torn apart by guilt because he was unable to save her. The librarian who works at the library where he spends much of his time (often looking for secret or magical messages in books) suggested he enter the candy contest, and he's excited to get inside Life Is Sweet, a factory once famous for its annual picnics and tours. He's inspired to create a sweet honey bee candy in memory of the girl he never knew but thinks about constantly.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kman on December 25, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is great! I totally recomend it for kids my age Junior High or even sixth graders. The book is split into four parts. Each of the four parts is about each of the kids, each part has excitement in it and a little suspense! I won't tell anymore. I hope you love the book!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was amazing. I am 12 years old and I found that this was enjoyable. I was hesitant buying this book with my own money but believe me it was all worth it. Not to be mean but DO NOT listen to the ONLY 1 star coment on this page. I found it sad finding out Logan's secret, shocked learning Daisey's, and well you get the point, I loved this book. If you are not a fan of mystery, suspense, friendship, laughter, and comedy then you can stop reading this comment. But if you are you should pick this book. I read ALOT of books so I am gonna tell you a secret, I haven't read this book since December of 2011 and I still remember all the characters and the plot, why am I telling you this well it's because that's how good the book is. Candy lovers enjoy:)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Carpenter on December 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
Just finished this book and absolutely LOVED it!! I am a fifth grade teacher with a fair amount of knowledge of children's lit. I read this book because I thought the different perspectives might be interesting to discuss with my students. The book is a little on the slow side until it gets to the section on "Daisy". Once this section is read, you will read non stop to the end!! I love it when this happens in a good read. I do have one student who has read this and also loved it. I can't wait to share this with all my 5th graders and get their perspective/thoughts!!
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