Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Four children have been chosen to compete in a national competition to find the tastiest confection in the country. Who will invent a candy more delicious than the Oozing Crunchorama or the Neon Lightning Chew?
Logan, The Candymaker's son, who can detect the color of chocolate by touch alone?
Miles, the boy who is allergic to merry-go-rounds and the color pink?
Daisy, the cheerful girl who can lift a fifty-pound lump of taffy like it's a feather?
Or Philip, the suit-and-tie wearing boy who's always scribbling in a secret notebook?
The contestants face off in a battle of wits and sugar, but soon they realize that things are not what they seem, and they find themselves in a candy-filled world of surprises, suspense, and mouthwatering creations.
The cover of this book is so eye catching that when I saw it I just had to pick it up! Plus I love candy. The Candymakers was like a cross between Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Trenton Lee Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society, with some random spy elements thrown in for good measure.
I really liked how the book switched narration between all 3 of the main characters. You got to see the same events through the eyes of each of them and that was interesting. It added a nice depth to the story. My favorite character was probably Miles. He was kind of shy and sweet and I found him really hilarious! I don't know why because he wasn't funny in the general sense but I still laughed at all of the stuff he said and talked about. His slightly random obsession with the afterlife was definitely a real kick.
You can't really go wrong with a book about candy. I was reading this on an extremely long car ride and the whole time I just kept craving candy. Unfortunately the only food near to me in the car was a giant bucket of buffalo ranch popcorn. Not exactly the best thing to sate a candy craving..... This book had me thinking about what kind of candy I would want to invent if I was given the chance! It would probably be a type of gummy candy. I love gummy candy. Hehe. The tour of the candy factory was very wonkaesque, with rooms for each of the different candy elements: a taffy room, a marshmallow room, a tropical room with special candy type trees inside, you get the picture. Wendy Mass definitely did her candy research! There was a lot of cool candy facts thrown into the book along with some obviously fictional concepts. The candy stuff was just really fun.
The overall plot of the story was a little bit cheesy. Somehow all of the kids pasts were interwoven and that seemed a little silly and unrealistic to me. Of course this is a middle grade novel so the plot isn't going to be as heavy hitting as a young adult novel. I haven't read a middle grade book in awhile so I'm probably just not used to the simpler, fluffier, plot.
The main message of The Candymaker was that there is so much more to a person than just their outside appearance. Oftentimes we'll take one look at a person and think "Man they look weird I don't think I want to talk to them!" or what I often think is "Gosh that person is tall and creepy looking run away!!!!" Just because a person might look kind of scary, or doesn't wear "trendy" clothes, doesn't mean they aren't a great person whose worth talking to! I loved that The Candymakers addressed that. It was really awesome to me.
Overall The Candymakers was a really fun read. The characters were unique and quirky and the candy elements were totally awesome! I also loved the message the book had about not judging others. I give The Candymakers 4 out of 5 ice cream cones!
If you LOVE candy then you should definitely pick up The Candymakers. But I warn you! Only read this book if there is candy nearby so that it is easy to satisfy the candy cravings that will surely pop up.