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Author: Mass, Wendy
When four 12-year-olds compete in the Confectionary Association's annual contest, they unexpectedly become friends and uncover secrets about themselves during the process.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 140165
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 24.0 Quiz: 51773
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (09/01/10)
School Library Journal (11/01/10)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (12/10)
The Hornbook (11/10)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/2010 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, CT - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/15/2010 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. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2010 The Confectionary Association’s Annual Candymaking Contest is fast approaching, and four children have been chosen to compete to make the world’s newest candy at the Life Is Sweet candy factory: Logan, the reclusive son of the factory’s renowned Candymaker; Daisy, the irascible young girl with a thing for romance novels; Miles, the shy boy with some very strange allergies; and Philip, the bratty rich kid who also happens to be the son of the man attempting to take over the candy factory. What begins as a mere derivation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? soon turns into quite an appealing mystery as it becomes apparent that a saboteur has infiltrated the factory and is intent on stealing the Candymaker’s secret ingredient. The likely suspect is of course Philip, but none of the children, including Logan, are quite what they seem, and as their secrets are revealed, readers will find themselves questioning the motives of each of the contestants as they piece together the clues to uncover the identity of the interloper. The narrative structure here is key as the story is told in four parts, each focusing on one kid, offering vastly different perspectives on the same events and maintaining an intriguing sense of uncertainty. There is also a fair amount of magic and whimsy, with the Cotton Candy Room and the High Jumping Jelly Beans of the candy factory calling to mind the delights of Willy Wonka’s world. A sweet but not at all saccharine ending ties together the various pieces while offering a rather delectable look at contestants’ candy entries. Mystery lovers and foodies alike will find enough to satisfy their appetites in this tasty whodunit. KQG - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.