Cormier, R., & Pantheon Books. (1974). The chocolate war: A novel. New York: Pantheon Books.
Young Adult / + 14yrs
I would not be lying when I say I did not care for this book. It was based around bullying to me and some of the mischief was just up front wrong! I wouldn’t be surprised with this book being a challenged book. The author overall did a great job with plot and setting. When I first started reading I was very interested but as the kids starting getting meaner I became uninterested. My predictions were wrong, because I thought this book would keep me entertained. Although I did like the message of disturbing the universe and not giving into the peer pressure, although I just couldn’t get over the poor tormenting.
Although the book itself wasn’t about chocolate per say, but rather about what the chocolate represented. I give the author credit for making a mind twisting book. The chocolate alone represent so much but not for them being chocolate. For some it stood against conformity, and standing up for oneself, but to others it showed defiance and lack of respect. Something else I liked, well hated but the fact that the author could make me hate this character is in itself showing his literary capabilities, was the character Archie. He was the mastermind behind all the mischief. He was the ring leader of the Vigils! He didn’t even bother with physically bullying kids he would just find ways to make their life a living hell.
I suppose this book would be fine for reading aloud within the class given the students are old enough. The fact that it touches on bullying and peer pressure make it a great book to bring about such issues. I could have students write five ways they have seen bullying and five ways they have seen peer pressure both from their personal experiences and from within this story, and then I want students to write what they should do given the circumstance.
Objective: students will create a list of 10 different cases of bullying(5)/peer pressure(5) they have personally seen and from within the book. Students will then provide an appropriate reaction to each ten circumstances.
Have you ever been bullied? How did it make you feel?
What should you do when you see someone being bullied?
Do you have to do what your friends are doing? Or do you have a choice?