Recommended ages: Grades 4-8 (though this is a very fun read aloud for younger children, too!)
I'm currently trying the "eat-no-refined-sugars-thing". It's a challenge! If you are trying it too, you will probably NOT want to read this book--too much temptation! :)
But for everyone else, this book is delightful. It teaches about candy making-which is fascinating! (Some the candy processes are fictional, but some is true!) It also tells a mystery from the viewpoints of four different children- each with a physical, emotional or other type of problem that they are struggling with. It shows the kids clashing terribly and then coming together with understanding and acceptance.
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Anyway, back to The Candymakers by Wendy Mass. It is such a fun book.
We loved it. It is the story of four very different 12 year olds who have the privilege of entering a candy making contest. This is a BIG deal, almost Willy Wonka style-ish. The four kids are brought to the local candy making factory, given a tour, an explanation of the process and then set loose to individually create the best candy ever. Some of the kids are willing to work together, and some of them are not. One of them has a noticeable scar and other issues, one has severe allergies and fixates on the afterlife, one is just plain mean and secretive and the other...well, I'll let you figure that out. Plus, mysterious things are happening...and the outcome will surprise adults as well as children!
In the end, everything is worked out and the kids become friends. They learn to look past exteriors and value the person inside. Teamwork overcomes greed and the children learn to be true to themselves.
After you read the book, take some time to look up Youtube videos on how candy is made today! It is fun and gross at the same time. We enjoyed this video about licorice, this one about Junior Mints, and this one about Milky Ways.
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