More than a sweet mystery ... a realistic journey of friendship, too.

Summary:

Four kids have entered the Annual Candymakers Competition. An opportunity to create the newest and tastiest candy, win some money, and have your candy marketed around the world. Logan is the Candymaker’s son. He is compassionate and selfless but secretly doubts his ability to succeed his father. Miles is a timid boy who dwells constantly on the afterlife and the memory of someone he failed to save. Daisy, a bright and animated girl, is a talented actress who is also hiding a family secret. Philip is an arrogant son born into wealth. He has a hidden passion for something his father always disapproved of.

Even though Logan, Miles, Daisy, and Philip want to win for different reasons, they all have one thing in common: they will use this moment to prove something to the world. There are just a few days before the final competition, and the four contestants are studying the art of candy-making at the Life is Sweet candy factory. While here, they develop unique friendships with each other. When a secret is revealed about plans that would jeopardize the candy factory, the competition becomes even more significant and competitive than ever.


BTSYA / Teen Reader (17):
The Candymakers exceeded my expectations. At first, I didn't think much of this book, but now I can see why my friends recommended it to me. It is a story I would have enjoyed more in elementary school, and I’m surprised by how much I love it as a teenager!

When I started reading Miles, Daisy, and Philip's personal accounts, I was taken aback. Their accounts highlight their individual lives and backgrounds leading up to the candy competition. Once I could see the significance that each of these characters played, the plot weighed so much heavier and held so much more meaning. Character and plot development were really well-done. It was fascinating to see their internal differences, as compared to how they acted around their peers. I never would have realized that seemingly trivial details would be so meaningful. Like Miles' “allergy” to merry-go-rounds and the color pink, or Daisy always reading romance novels. I liked that the sections written in different perspectives converged into one significant point in the plot. That really strengthened the moment so much more.

Though they started out as rivals, the four characters earned something so much more rewarding in the end. I was really happy that we got to see so much change in each of the characters, as they opened up about their flaws and faults to each other,

The Candymakers is suitable for readers ages 8 to 14. In the novel, the kids are around 12 years old, but because the premise is all things candy, younger audiences will take great delight in reading it. It is a wholesome, realistic fiction novel. 


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

More than a "sweet" story. Readers will enjoy spending time with Logan, Miles, Daisy, and Philip as their mysteries unfold and come together for a tasty finish!

Content Awareness Factors:

None noted.


Type of Book:
This is a mystery adventure that has lots of realism to it.
Educational Themes:

Part mystery, part fantasy, part adventure ... there are lots of questions to be asked along the way. If you have a foodie in the house, talk about some of the treats and what they would create as their own original entry in the competition. Go beyond the book and see if it's possible to get a tour of a factory or local candy-making shop. 

Reading Level:
5.0
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
8 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 17
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. A fun story to read and one that contrasts well with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Title The Candymakers
About

Candymakers, Book 1 of 2

Author Wendy Mass
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers © 2011
ISBN 9780316002592
Material Paperback
Cost $9.99
Genres Friendship, Mystery
be the star you are Cybils
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