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The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War - Robert Cormier

The chocolate war is one of the most banned books among school libraries.  However the book's themes, plot, and insight to the teenage boys' psyche is what has made this book relevant among young adult readers for almost 40 years. Freshman Jerry Renault has accepted his first assignment as part of the Vigils by accepting the task of refusing to participate in the school chocolate sale for 10 days. Every day when his name is called he is expected to announce the number of boxes sold. His classmates' anticipation builds as each day the wait to for his announcement. On the eleventh day, Jerry surprises the Vigils by continuing to refuse the chocolate sale.This upsets Archie, one of the leaders, because Jerry has not complied with the Vigil's assignment. However, Archie does not take immediate action, but he will make sure that Jerry participates in the biggest most successful chocolate sale the school has ever had. Jerry becomes the target of his classmates' bullying and is physically aggravated for his defiance. The book's protagonist is forced to participate in a boxing match, therefore participating in the chocolate sale. As a result Jerry learns that life isn't always fair, and that standing up for your beliefs does not always provide you with the best results.


Cormier, R. (1974). The chocolate war. NY: Delacorte.