The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, was a great story about corruption and rebellion. Every year, Trinity High School has a chocolate sale to make some additional money for the school. This year’s sale is extra important though, because it could be the difference between one of the main antagonists, Brother Leon, getting a promotion and losing his job. The general consensus is that you just sell your chocolates and don’t make trouble. There is extra motivation to follow the rules this year because the school’s evil secret society, The Vigils, are helping Brother Leon to sell the chocolates. The main character, Jerry, a student at Trinity, is a freshman with very few friends. He doesn’t like the way that things are working at Trinity with The Vigils and Leon being very powerful. With that in mind, he decides not to sell his chocolates. Normally, this would not be a very big deal, but Leon needs to sell every chocolate he can because he paid out of his own pocket for half of the chocolates. After Jerry begins to rebel, other students begin to rebel as well. With a massive decline in sales, Leon and The Vigils have to go to incredible lengths to sell their chocolates. The results of their actions are disturbing, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what really happens.
Overall, I thought that The Chocolate War was very well written. I enjoyed the story and thought that the characters were very interesting and that they truly grabbed my attention. Also, I think that the book had a very good lesson on corruption and learning where to fight the power and where to follow the unwritten rules. The ending of the story was satisfying to me, and I think that it fit the rest of the book. I would recommend this book to all young adult readers, and to many adults, especially teachers.