Well, evidently trying to do a book review a day is not working out – I’m sorry! However, I will try to consistently release reviews during this quarantine.
That said, today’s review is for The Candymakers, and The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase, which are part of the same series and are both written by Wendy Mass.
These books are written in a neat style where you get to see the story from each character’s point of view (so like four books in one). For example, the first story is from Logan’s point of view – she writes to a certain point and then backtracks and tells the whole thing again, this time from Mile’s point of view. Even though you read the same thing four times, it doesn’t get boring because each character is so different. Even the parts when they’re together are fascinating because of the different things she shares. The second book is also written like this until the climax, when she then switches to writing like a normal story.
The biggest issue with this book is the amount of lying and deceiving the characters do, even though it’s to try and save the factory. One of the characters is a perpetual lier and is extremely rude. His family cheats, thinking it’s okay. His older brother passed him a notebook filled with ways to cheat, lie and scam your way through a contest to win. He doesn’t have great family relations either, and is slightly arrogant. His father is a businessman and his job involves destroying other people’s businesses. This character does change, and comes to realize that this is wrong. Lying is still an issue, however.
Another one of the characters is obsessed with the afterlife, because he thought he saw someone drown (spoiler alert – this is later revealed to not have happened). His version of the afterlife is way different than what the Bible says. This same character is also slightly superstitious. None of what he believes is written in a serious way, as if the author believes it might be true, rather it is portrayed as a quirky trait of
One of the characters is taught that there are two sides to a story, and it isn’t your job to decide whether or not something is good or bad, so don’t question motives. This same character also doesn’t have good family relations because this character doesn’t see her family often.
There are a couple of potty talk comments, and who – likes – who comments, but they are not bad.
All in all, the worst part of these books is the lying, deceiving and stealing the characters do. It was pretty rampant throughout the series, and often it’s portrayed in an okay light. I would say that reading level, these books are large, but not hard to read, so a middle schooler could read them. They are pretty clean books, other than the lying, and they provide some good discussions for your family.
I do enjoy reading this series because it’s lighthearted and an easy read. Warning: it might cause you to want candy. I mean, come on; it’s in a candy factory!
Discussion questions – some may contain spoilers.
What does the Bible say about the afterlife?
Can we do anything ourselves to go to heaven?
What do we need to do to be saved?
What does Hebrews 13:2 mean?
Is it ever okay to lie, steal or cheat?
What does the Bible say about lying, stealing or cheating?
Do you think Daisy was right to try and sabotage her client?
What is wrong with Philip and Daisy’s family situations?
Why do you think that Logan’s scars have never bothered him?
Links to Books (see note about affiliate links here)