Friday, September 3, 2010

The Candymakers by Wendy Moss

Meet Miles, Daisy, Phillip, and Logan. They are the four lucky twelve-year-olds chosen to compete in a contest of sugary goodness. At the end of a large factory tour, all candidates have to submit a brand new confection they invented themselves and the winning selection will be mass-produced for the whole world to enjoy! Logan has a leg up, being the head Candymakers son. But even though he can tell when the honeybees in the Life is Sweet factory are happy or depressed, he is not quite sure he wants to take over his Dad's business. And there's something a little bitter tasting about the other three kids, too. One thing's for sure, this contest if going to be a whirlwind ride!

Kids will be quick to compare this book to the Johnny Depp re-make of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but that may work in this book's favor. Most importantly, it will get them to pick the book up and start reading, diving into the mouth-watering concoctions of the Life is Sweet factory. From there, it doesn't take long for Wendy Mass to branch out and make this story completely her own. I thought some aspects seemed a little far-fetched (especially when it comes to Daisy's backstory) but middle grade readers will eat up the fantasy. Not to mention all of the whimsical junk food possibilities! Mass made a good choice in deciding to switch between the character's voices, as it was what really kept the book moving along. Staying on any one kid for too long began to get stale. Plus, the mystery grew exponentially each time the read learns what someone else was doing at the same moment as another. A clever and cute book! Also a good one for parents to read out loud to younger kids before bed at night.

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

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