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The Candymakers Hardcover – October 5, 2010
Frequently Bought Together
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.
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
Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book. This book has nothing inappropriate in it so I think it can be read even by third graders. Read morePublished 2 days ago by M. Rogers
This book was incedible I loved it so much if you have a sixth grade girl I recommend this book to youPublished 1 month ago by jlwmlm
I got this book at a yard sale for $1.00, and I loved it. I like her writing. Couldn't wait for No. 2.Published 2 months ago by Michele Petrilli
I liked the idea behind the story and I like the way it was written and the format. I feel like there where new relevations at every turn of the page. I also loved the characters.Published 2 months ago by Danika Brabec
Four-12 year old kids enter candy making contest and solve mysteries. This was a sweet story (pun definitely intended haha) about four kids competing to win a candy making contest... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rebecca W
Another great book by Wendy Mass! Great page turner! Bought for my 10-year-old who couldn't put it down.Published 2 months ago by sss