The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War

by Robert Cormier


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One of the most controversial YA novels of all time, The Chocolate War is a modern masterpiece that speaks to fans of S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and John Knowles’s A Separate Peace.
After suffering rejection from seven major publishers, The Chocolate War made its debut in 1974, and quickly became a bestselling—and provocative—classic for young adults. This chilling portrait of an all-boys prep school casts an unflinching eye on the pitfalls of conformity and corruption in our most elite cultural institutions.

“Masterfully structured and rich in theme; the action is well crafted, well timed, suspenseful.”—The New York Times Book Review
“The characterizations of all the boys are superb.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“Compellingly immediate. . . . Readers will respect the uncompromising ending.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Editor’s Choice
A New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375829871
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 09/14/2004
Edition description: Anniversary
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 40,210
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 8.19(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Robert Cormier (1925-2000) changed the face of young adult literature over the course of his illustrious career. His many books include The Chocolate War, I Am the Cheese, Fade, Tenderness, After the First Death, Heroes, Frenchtown Summer, and The Rag and Bone Shop. In 1991 he received the Margaret A. Edwards Award, honoring his lifetime contribution to writing for teens.

Date of Birth:

January 17, 1925

Date of Death:

November 2, 2000

Place of Birth:

Leominster, Massachusetts

Place of Death:

Leominster, Massachusetts


Fitchburg State College

Read an Excerpt


As he turned to take the ball, a dam burst against the side of his head and a hand grenade shattered his stomach. Engulfed by nausea, he pitched toward the grass. His mouth encountered gravel, and he spat frantically, afraid that some of his teeth had been knocked out. Rising to his feet, he saw the field through drifting gauze but held on until everything settled into place, like a lens focusing, making the world sharp again, with edges.

The second play called for a pass. Fading back, he picked up a decent block and cocked his arm, searching for a receiver - maybe the tall kid they called The Goober. Suddenly, he was caught from behind and whirled violently, a toy boat caught in a whirlpool. Landing on his knees, hugging the ball, he urged himself to ignore the pain that gripped his groin, knowing that it was important to betray no sign of distress, remembering The Goober's advice, "Coach is testing you, testing, and he's looking for guts."

I've got guts. Jerry murmured, getting up by degrees, careful not to displace any of his bones or sinews. A telephone rang in his ears. Hello, hello, I'm still here. When he moved his lips, he tasted the acid of dirt and grass and gravel. He was aware of the other players around him, helmeted and grotesque, creatures from an unknown world. He had never felt so lonely in his life, abandoned, defenseless.

On the third play, he was hit simultaneously by three of them: one, his knees; another, his stomach; a third, his head - the helmet no protection at all. His body seemed to telescope into itself but all the parts didn't fit, and he was stunned by the knowledge that pain isn't just one thing - it is cunning and various, sharp here and sickening there, burning here and clawing there. He clutched himself as he hit the ground. The ball squirted away. His breath went away, like the ball - a terrible stillness pervaded him - and then, at the onset of panic, his breath came back again. His lips sprayed wetness and he was grateful for the sweet cool air that filled his lungs. But when he tried to get up, his body mutinied against movement. He decided the hell with it. He'd go to sleep right here, right out on the fifty yard line, the hell with trying out for the team, screw everything, he was going to sleep, he didn't care anymore—


Ridiculous, someone calling his name.


The coach's voice scraped like sandpaper against his ears. He opened his eyes flutteringly. "I'm all right," he said to nobody in particular, or to his father maybe. Or the coach. He was unwilling to abandon this lovely lassitude but he had to, of course. He was sorry to leave the earth, and he was vaguely curious about how he was going to get up, with both legs smashed and his skull battered in. He was astonished to find himself on his feet, intact, bobbing like one of those toy novelties dangling from car windows, but erect.

"For Christ's sake," the coach bellowed, his voice juicy with contempt. A spurt of saliva hit Jerry's cheek.

Hey, coach, you spit on me, Jerry protested. Stop the spitting, coach. What he said aloud was, "I'm all right, coach," because he was a coward about stuff like that, thinking one thing and saying another, planning one thing and doing another - he had been Peter a thousand times and a thousand cocks had crowed in his lifetime.

"How tall are you, Renault?"

"Five nine," he gasped, still fighting for breath.


"One forty-five," he said, looking the coach straight in the eye.

"Soaking wet, I'll bet," the coach said sourly. "What the hell you want to play football for? You need more meat on those bones. What the hell you trying to play quarterback for? You'd make a better end. Maybe."

The coach looked like an old gangster: broken nose, a scar on his check like a stitched shoestring. He needed a shave, his stubble like slivers of ice. He growled and swore and was merciless. But a helluva coach, they said. The coach stared at him now, the dark eyes probing, pondering. Jerry hung in there, trying not to sway, trying not to faint.

"All right," the coach said in disgust. "Show up tomorrow. Three o'clock sharp or you're through before you start."

Inhaling the sweet sharp apple air through his nostrils - he was afraid to open his mouth wide, wary of any movement that was not absolutely essential - he walked tentatively toward the sidelines, listening to the coach barking at the other guys. Suddenly, he loved that voice, "Show up tomorrow."

He trudged away from the field, blinking against the afternoon sun, toward the locker room at the gym. His knees were liquid and his body light as air, suddenly.

Know what? He asked himself, a game he played sometimes.


I'm going to make the team.

Dreamer, dreamer.

Not a dream: it's the truth.

As Jerry took another deep breath, a pain appeared, distant, small - a radar signal of distress. Bleep, I'm here. Pain. His feet scuffled through crazy cornflake leaves. A strange happiness invaded him. He knew he'd been massacred by the oncoming players, capsized and dumped humiliatingly on the ground. But he'd survived - he'd gotten to his feet. "You'd make a better end." Was the coach thinking he might try him at end? Any position, as long as he made the team. The bleep grew larger, localized now, between his ribs on the right side. He thought of his mother and how drugged she was at the end, not recognizing anyone, neither Jerry nor his father. The exhilaration of the moment vanished and he sought it in vain, like seeking ecstasy's memory an instant after jacking off and encountering only shame and guilt.

Nausea began to spread through his stomach, warm and oozy and evil.

"Hey," he called weakly. To nobody. Nobody there to listen.

He managed to make it back to the school. By the time he had sprawled himself on the floor of the lavatory, his head hanging over the lip of the toilet bowl and the smell of disinfectant stinging his eyeballs, the nausea had passed and the bleep of pain had faded. Sweat moved like small moist bugs on his forehead.

And then, without warning, he vomited.

Reading Group Guide

In Robert Cormier's unforgettable novels, an individual often stands alone, fighting for what is right—or just to survive—against powerful, sinister, and sometimes evil people. His twisty, gripping stories explore some of the darker corners of the human psyche but always with a moral focus and a probing intelligence that compels readers to examine their own feelings and ethical beliefs. The questions that follow are intended to spur discussion and to provoke thoughtful readers to contemplate some of the issues of identity, character, emotion, and morality that make Cormier's books so compelling.

Pre-Reading Activity

Tell students that Jerry Renault has a poster in his locker with the following quote from T. S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: “Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?” Divide students into small groups and ask them to interpret the quote. What is their universe? Who controls their universe? What price does one pay when they elect to disturb the universe?

1. Jerry places a poster in his locker that says, “Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?” At first, he doesn’t understand the meaning of the poster; he just likes it. At what point in the novel does it appear that Jerry is beginning to get the meaning of the poster?

2. Contrast Jerry’s definition of “his universe” at the beginning and the end of the novel.

3. How does Jerry become a martyr by disturbing his universe?

4. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Discuss how Jerry might interpret this quote. How does Emerson promote nonconformity and disturbing the universe? Debate whether Jerry leaves a trail at Trinity.

5. The Chocolate War is one of the most censored books in America. It is under perpetual attack because of Cormier’s “negative portrayal of human nature,” and because the ending appears hopeless. Discuss the objections to the book, and think about how Cormier “disturbed the universe” by writing the novel. Why do people fear a realistic portrayal of life? What is the relationship between looking at the “good and evils” of life to “disturbing the universe”?

6. How do gangs and secret societies like the Vigils use peer pressure to gain power and control?

7. What is the significance of the scene where Jerry encounters the hippies? Discuss how they make him question his place among his peers.

8. How is misinformation about the chocolate sale used to maintain peer pressure? Discuss how this tactic affects Goober, who quit selling the chocolates after 27 boxes.

9. Discuss the relationship between peer pressure and conformity.

10. Compare and contrast the peer pressure at Trinity with peer pressure in your own school. Brother Leon actually promotes peer pressure at Trinity. Discuss ways a school administrator should deal with peer pressure. What should students do if they feel they are the victims of extreme peer pressure?

11. Archie Costello, one of the leaders of the Vigils, doesn’t believe in violence. How does this make him different from the typical school bully? Which character in the novel best fits the typical school bully profile?

12. Discuss the difference between physical and psychological bullying. Which is more damaging?

13. How is Brother Leon a bully? Describe his quiet tactics, and his obsession with getting revenge on Jerry.

14. Why is Jerry Renault an easy target for bullies like the Vigils and Brother Leon? Why doesn’t Archie give “assignments” to most athletes?

15. Discuss why Jerry never explains the phone calls, the missing homework assignment, or the vandalism to his locker to his father.

16. Describe the power of the Vigils. How do they control the social order of the school?

17. Archie Costello is a legend at Trinity High School because he is the “Assigner” for the Vigils. How does this position give him power over the entire student body? How does Archie use manipulation to gain power? How is his power recognized and used by Brother Leon?

18. Brother Leon becomes drunk with power when he is named acting headmaster of Trinity. How is his desire for power in conflict with his training as a priest?

19. Discuss the relationship between power and corruption. How might Goober describe the corruption, or the evil, at Trinity High School?

20. How is Brother Leon’s corruption revealed?

21. How does the opening scene on the football field foreshadow Jerry’s courage?

22. Archie Costello is considered courageous and gutsy. Debate whether he is as courageous as he appears. Why does Archie fear that he may pick a black marble from the box? How might a black marble change his image and position among the Vigils?

23. Discuss how Goober deals with his fear. How might Goober describe Jerry’s courage?

24. How are the Vigils affected when Jerry doesn’t succumb to their fear tactics? Discuss how this leads to his ultimate downfall.

25. Discuss how Jerry might reflect upon his own courage at the end of the novel.

26. The first sentence of this book is "They murdered him." In what ways does this small sentence apply to the book as a whole? Who is murdered, metaphorically, in the book? By whom?

27. There are no main female characters in this book, partly because Trinity is a boys' school. Yet the Trinity boys often discuss girls. Jerry wishes he could talk to the girl near the bus stop. Janza watches girls as they walk by, and Archie won't let anyone touch him except certain girls. What function(s) do you think girls play in the novel?

28. Why do you think Archie is repulsed by human sweat? What do you think this says about Archie as a person?

29. Archie's greatest strength is in exploiting other people's weaknesses. Why do you think Archie does this? Why do you think he needs to manipulate every situation?

30. Discuss the significance of the title. Why is it a chocolate "war"?

31. Why do you think Jerry decides not to sell the chocolates even after his assignment is over? Have you ever dared to "disturb the universe"? What happened?

32. How do you feel about how Brother Leon treated Bailey? At the end of the class Brother Leon says that the students had allowed him to turn the class into Nazi Germany. Do you think this is a true statement?

Customer Reviews

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The Chocolate War 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 259 reviews.
alewis25 More than 1 year ago
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is an ok book. It is easy to follow, but the plot is not that good. I thought it was a boring book. Basically, the book is about a boy named Jerry Renault who plays football for Trinity High School. There is a group of boys called The Vigils, led by Archie Castillo, and they give assignments to people to cause destruction to Trinity. Things were going good in Jerry's life until he met the Vigils. Jerry's assignment was not to sell the chocolates for a few days at the annual Trinity chocolate sale. After his deadline is up he still refuses to sell the chocolates. He turns the whole school against him by doing this. This book has a little bit of violence in it. There are some gross parts and a lot of curse words. A couple reasons why I did not like the book was the author did not tell enough about the characters, so I could not really get into it. The settings at times were confusing, like they were in the wrong place for certain parts. I also did not really understand why he said some of the things he said. It is a decent book, pretty boring in my opinion. It needed to explain more things. Robert Cormier could have taken a few things out and the book would not have changed that much. A few things were just pointless to write. I would not recommend this book. It is an easy read but it is also a very boring read. It is hard to get into the book and want to read it. It did not matter how many times I forced myself to pick it up I just could not pick it up to read for fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Chocolate War is a great book for anyone i would recomend being older than 10, but thats just me. I could read this book a million times. This story has a great. This is my favorite book of all time and in my life i have read The catcher in the Rye and Lord of the flies no disrespect this book is 100 time better than both of those books combind. Jerry Renault is a high school boy who's mother has just died. Jerry tries out for the football team and the coach likes Jerry's toughness. Then he gets involved in a secret society called the virgils. The leader of the virgils gets pressured into selling chocolates. Jerry sells the chocolates and becomes a hero. Archie gets angry at Jerry and takes him from a hero to an unwanted loser, and makes him vulnerable. In the end Archie gets what he deserves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a very signifacint book. It has many twist and turns to it,and it like it a lot. It has an amazing plot to it too that is very original. The title of the book is just amazing to. The chocolate war is a title that you could go many ways with. And when you actually read it, it surprises you. I love this book and i think everyone should read it. Its an amazing book, that has a great plot. There are many twist and turns and at sometimes i was confused, but there was always a resonable explanation to it. And it was also easy to understand. So even when i didnt get it they would explain it later, and i thought that that was really nice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an good book to read on your spare time.
TeenAtHeart More than 1 year ago
Review originally posted at Bettering Me Up. If I had read this book a few years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of a group of kids excluding a single student. But times have changed--or social media is allowing for more publicized accounts--and this book is highly relevant in today's culture. Even though it's relevant, I didn't like it. Teenagers who torment their fellow classmates. Adults who turn a blind eye or encourage such actions. Kids who don't stand up for their friends. Throughout the book, I expected a certain outcome, and I'm disappointed in the one that was delivered instead. Not that it's the wrong ending, but it's not what I wanted; it left me feeling like there was something missing. There is a sequel, and maybe that answers some of my niggling questions, but I have no desire to read the second book.
jadldfjkla More than 1 year ago
The Chocolate war by Robert Cormier. This book is a very significant book. It has many twists and turns to it and it like it a lot. It has an ok plot to it too that is very original. The title is stupid though chocolate war. It starts an all catholic high school in about the 1960s. Jerry Renault is a freshman who is trying to play football. But is spotted by a group of boys named the vigils. They run the and cause havoc to teachers and class mates. Archie Castillo is the leader they give out things called assignments you have to do. Jerry is family is so happy to get in to trinity and has a good life until the vigils meet him and his best bud goob. So jerry gets an assignment to not sell in the annual school sale and his principal goes crazy. He starts to get little popular then everyone turns on him. The book has barely any of violence. He does not tell about the characters very well. It was not a book that was exciting but it has its part. The book is ok not great but pretty boring. But it is confusing and he needed explain about things that happened. Like for example he told nothing about jerry's best friend goob. Or about what happened to the principal did he die or is he alive. It does not surprise u at all it is not that good of a book. There is not even a war between any one not even the bullies were really fighting they just intimidate people. I think Robert Cormier could have done a lot better in what he was trying to explain to readers like me but it was ok.
xiiMdudeuramarb More than 1 year ago
This book is about a boy that plays football at Trinity H.S., named Jerry Renault. There is also a group of boys called the Vigils, which is lead by a bully named Archie Castillo. Jerry was a good kid, until he met the Vigils. Jerry was supposed to sell a bunch of chocolates for his school, but he didn't. Almost the whole school hated him for doing that. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier is an o.k. book. I didn't really like reading it. I thought it was boring most of the time. I didn't really understand the plot of the book either, so that made it worse for me to read. There were some good-ish parts of this book, but not a lot. One part that I Thought was bad was that the author didn't give a good description of the characters. This book was really boring, but it's not too bad. I wouldn't read this book again, for fun.
tray23 More than 1 year ago
Jerry Reunalt is a freshman at Trinity High School,he also plays for the football team.Jerry is an average kid that mom died and now lives with his dad. Goober is Jerry friend and also plays for the football team. Archie is the vigils leader and basically runs the whole school. When jerry become an outlaw and dont sell the candy,archie and the vigils threaten him. Janza also an freshman beats up Jerry to make him sell the candy. Jerry stands his ground and still doesnt sell the candy. Archie then gives Jerry another shot to get his revenge on Janza, by goin 1 on 1 verses Janza. This book was exiciting from beginning to end. What really got me in this novel was when Archie said "this school is divided into two groups victims and victimize". I liked how they put that quote in this book. Another quote was from Jerry when he said "do i disturb the universe or helped it". When he was fighting Janza he figured out that Archie set him up for this, and he caught himself before he became something he's not. He figured by fighting Janza wasnt helping the universe. Archie also said that "this school is all animals,Jerry want revenge, the crowd want to see blood and Janza was just a beast.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess that this book is ok if you like violence. It is really graphic also.The main point of this story is that you do not to go crazy with power. Also to not disobey the rules.I think that you should read this book if you like a book that will tell you what really goes on in schools. You should not read it if you do not like violence or thoughts of kids coursing or getting in trouble at school. this is why I think you should or should not read this book. Also I gave u some facts on it I think you should read this book but that's for you to decide.I did like this book but I don't know if you will. I know that many people did like it.
stotty More than 1 year ago
The book The chocolate war was a very interesting book. I had no clue they way the ending it was going to be. I personally got confused a little bit in the beginning to a whom was talking. The only place i got bored at was the beginning. There was not enough action for me. The book is not really a hard book to read not many big words. There is some weird spellings for names though like brother Jacques sounds like (when pronounced it sounds like Jock. This book is about a freshman guy named Jerry and his troubles through his freshman year for deciding not to participate in the annual chocolate sale.This starts out as a joke (made up by the vigils) not to take the chocolates from Mr Leon,but then he goes to far and causes everyone a great deal of pain. In the end some people would say he got what he deserved.
ZachDriggers More than 1 year ago
Jerry is a kid that goes to the school, Trinity High. There he tries out and makes the Junior Varsity Football Team as a quarterback. At this school there is a senior named Archie. He is in charge of the secret fraternity named the Vigils. They put together assignments that terrorize the students their mentally. The school is becoming in bad shape, and the annual chocolate sale is coming up. Brother Leon, the school's dean, needs to sell all the chocolate, so he goes for the aid of Archie. Archie assigns Jerry not to sell any chocolate for ten days, then must sell his chocolate after the tenth day. Jerry refuses this demand from the vigils, and does not sale any chocolate. After this other people at the school decide to side with Jerry, and stop selling chocolate. Brother Leon becomes aware of this, and gets the vigils to make Jerry an outcast. They go on to bully him, and have many assorted punishments. However Jerry does not sell any despite the punishments. As the sales fall short, Brother Leon becomes desperate, and sales raffle tickets to a fight at the end of the book.
This book was amazing I would recommend it to all of those who are oppressed and are looking for inspiration.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
This is a horrifying story about a boy's school where there is literally a chocolate war.

A secret society of boys, which the administration has always turned their back on, takes over a school chocolate sale. The boys are all asked to sell fifty boxes at two dollars apiece instead of the normal twenty-five at a dollar. And the leader of the secret society is one of the students who is pushing the sale. And he tells one student to refuse to sell the
chocolate for ten days, but on the eleventh he is to take them. And he doesn't.

This book is interesting, and has a lot of twists and turns. I can see why a lot of schools use this book to teach with. There are a lot of moral lessons and many things that can be learned. I enjoyed reading this, and would recommend it to anyone who has ever had bully problems.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jerry is a boy who goes t trinity high school and plays on the schools football team. Goober is a fried of Jerry who is also on the football team. Archie is the leader of a group of kids called the vigils. Brother Leon is the principle of Trinity High school.Brother Leon ¿I need your help Archie¿. Archie ¿my help?¿ ¿Leon didn¿t need Archie¿s help he needed help from the vigils¿. Archie ¿but how can I help¿. Leon ¿by getting behind the sale. As you said Archie twenty thousand boxes that¿s a lot of chocolates¿. Leon ¿the price is doubled to. Two dollars a box instead of one. This passage is important because it helps to understand the book. The vigils are the ones who are leading the chocolate sale and not Brother Leon. The vigils are a powerful group of kids. The vigils have a lot of influence on what goes on around the school. They gave an assignment to jerry to not sell the chocolates for ten days but on the eleventh day jerry still would not accept to sell the chocolate for the fundraiser. There are some points that I would disagree with in the book. Like when Brother Leon hit one of his students I would think he would get fired if he did that at a real school. There are some unusual ideas in this book as well. When Archie told goober to go and unscrew everything in the classroom would not usually happen. This book does not relate to me or anyone else that I know.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jerry Renault is a student at a prep school called Trinity High school. The first chapter he is dreaming of becoming a quarter back for is high school football team. There is a local school gang called the Vigils, a gang that doesn¿t really engage in violence but mentally harms kids that are not as strong and mentally able to stand up for themselves. The Vigils get a kick out of making fun of people that is the main propose of there gang which is lead by Archie Costello a senior at Trinity High. The vigils sale chocolate at the high school. Jerry new they do this chocolate saleing and his assignment was not to sale the chocolates. One day the vigils come to jerry for an assignment to sale chocolates, jerry says no during the chocolate sale roll call. He did this because there is a poster in his locker that states a comment (Do I dare disturb the universe). Brother Leon stood up to jerry and was outrage that he would say something like this after the 10-day period. A day goes by and jerry is asked to sell again and he still refuses. A couple of days go by and the sales go bad/the teacher brother Leon spent all the money on chocolates/and the vigils and brother Leon start to get more upset and worry that there chocolate saleing organization is done for good. The next day Archie and Leon sit down for a meeting. Archie accuses Leon of sabotaging the assignment. They come to a conclusion that to make jerry an outcast and to make the sales popular. All of a sudden the chocolates are saleing like crazy. While all this is happening the vigils are making jerry¿s life a living hell¿by doing pranks such as prank calls and taken his homework and messing up his locker and finally the vigils made his life such a living hell by getting a gang to beat jerry up after football practice. Finally at the end of the story the school has raffle tickets for a fight between Emile Janza the leader of the vigils and jerry and that turns in to a big disaster. I recommend this book to all students that have gone through stuff in there life. This review has been written by Pierre thank you for reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story takes place at a private school named Trinity High School. It is an all boys¿ school. The main character of the story is Jerry. Jerry is a freshman football player. He is trying to go out for quarterback but the coach does not thinks he is the guy for it. Goober is his only friend and he plays football with him. Brother Leon is a teacher that is a corrupt person that does not like the kids. The Vigils are a gang at Trinity High Schools that is lead by Archie. The president of the vigils was Charter he sets up everything for them. The black box is a box that has all white marbles and one black one. If you pull the black one you have to do something. The vigils also give out assignments to all the freshmen and they have to do it or else. Brother Leon set up the chocolate sales he borrowed money that he was not suppose to. Ever kid has to sell 50 boxes each. The Vigils give Jerry an assignment to not sell the chocolate for ten days. After the ten days was up he still did not sell. So the other kids decided they were not selling the chocolate either. Goober starts to sell then he stops to support his friend, Jerry. The Vigils start harassing Jerry for not selling the chocolate. They do that by destroying a poster in his locker, cutting his shoes into pieces. Then at football practice he got hit from behind and got hit in the kidneys. In the classroom this artwork got destroyed. One day after footballs practice Jerry was walking. A kid named Emile Janza stopped him and started talking to him. Suddenly four boys jumped out of the bushes and started beating him up. Then they took off. The Vigils did not want Jerry to make them look like fools so they took the chocolate sales into there own hands. They had people start selling the chocolates so all the chocolates got sold and they did. Archie set up a fight for Jerry and Emile Janza to get even. The fight did not turn out how it was suppose to. Read the book to find out what happens at the end. I thought the book was ok, at times it was slow but it picks up at the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this story there is a high school under the power of a gang called the Vigils. This gang does plot that attack mentally. One of the plots that do is undo the entire desk and classroom materials in a classroom so when you just touch it, it will all fall part. After that happen the teacher left the school. The way the vigils work is there are people in control that make the plans for some one to do. Before they carry out the plan they have to reach in a black box that has marbles in it if you pull a white you don¿t do and they guy that was picked has too. But if you pick up a black one the guy that made the plan has to do it himself. The leader of the Vigils is Carter the guy that makes the plans is Archie. That is the main people in this gang. During this book there is a big school chocolate sale going on and every one is in it The head master is out sick and a guy named Brother Leon is taking his place. Leon is a messed up guy that black mails people to do his doing for him, one point of the book he blackmails a 'A ' student to be the Treasurer for the Chocolate sale. The Vigils get in on this and help sale the chocolates when one of the guys in the vigils are not selling the chocolate because he just does not want to so a little war goes on. Archie make a big plan on how to sell and make Jerry the guy that is not selling look dumb and left out. Leon bumped up the prices because he took some money from the school and getting it back from the sales. Jerry gets attacked and his locket attacked because he is not selling. People call his home and just laugh and hang up over and over. The Whole book there is mind games going on between people. One of the Mind games is Obis showing up before the fight in the book and making Archie draw from the black box to get pay back but sadly dos not work because he pulls a white two times. Jerry dos not sell the stuff and gets a mind game going on with Leon and after a while it ends from him stop caring and being happy about the people that are selling. Carter takes a picture of Janze with a camera in the bathroom and Janze to get the picture but there is not picture because the camera had not film. Obie plays a mind game with Carter by having the meeting in the gym because he really hates the gym, because of the smell. Janze has one with Jerry by calling him gay and fairy but he was told what to say by Archie. This book is a good book it shows the stuff people go though at school some people know and shows how some people can be so corrupted. I really like this book and I think other people should check this out because you may learn something form this book. I liked how this book went but not the ending though but you can¿t get what you all ways want.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jerry Renault goes to Trinity High School. Trinity High is a private school for boys. He is trying out for freshman football. But other things are on his mind when he is playing. Not to long ago Jerry¿s mother died. Him and his dad are not really close like they were. There is a group of guys that are called ¿ The Vigils¿. They are secret group that runs the school and puts pranks on everyone. Archie is second in command of the Vigils, Carter is the leader but doesn¿t do much, and Obie is the secretary. The Vigils love freshman, so they can recruit them and make them do the pranks and they become one of the vigils. When Jerry was practicing on the field Archie and Obie was making a list of assignments for the new Vigils. They really like Jerry and his friend Goober, so they got the assignments. But Goober gets his first. Goober has to unscrew everything in a classroom. Then Jerry gets his, which is to not sell the chocolates. Which brings us to brother Leon. Brother Leon is a teacher, and in control of the school. Brother Leon wants to sell even more chocolates this year. Jerry¿s assignment was only to last for up to 10 days, but he decided not to sell the chocolates on the 11th day. The Vigils found out that Jerry wasn¿t doing what they wanted him to do. So they took drastic measures to fixing him. Then Archie began taunting a guy named Emile Janze. Emile is the meanest guy in the school he loves to beat up kids. Archie wanted Emile to beat up Jerry to make him sell the chocolates. Brother Leon new what was going down, but he wanted his chocolates sold at any cost. But nobody new that Brother Leon took money from the school and didn¿t tell. He new that the chocolate sell wasn¿t doing well, so he told the Vigils to do what they want. Things lead to one another and something bad happened. I really like this book it keeps you on your feet. It¿s hard to get into at first but once you¿re in your stuck till the end. I think that you will like this book as much as I do
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jerry Renault is a freshman that is trying out for the football team. Jerry Renault has one friend, and his name is Obie. Jerry Renault and his dad don¿t get along that much any more, because his mom just died. Archie Costello is a mean heartless senior who runs a gang, The Vigils. Archie Costello passes out assignments to chosen people. Archie¿s buddy Carter helps Decide who should get the assignments. Brother Leon is a staff member at the all boys¿ school that Jerry Renault and Archie Costello go to. Brother Leon is a cruel, and mean teacher at Trinity. For instance there is this kid who has never gotten an F on anything in his live. Brother Leon gave this kid his first F and only gave it to him because he wanted information out of the kid. Brother Leon also lies and steals. Brother Leon stole money from the school to buy the chocolate for the chocolate sale. Jerry Renault gets assigned an assignment from Archie Costello. Jerry¿s assignment was to not sell the chocolates at first. After the assignment was over Jerry Renault still refused to take the chocolates. After Jerry Renault refused the chocolates some things started to happen to him. When Jerry Renault did not take the box of chocolates everybody at his school thought it was unfair. So The Vigils decided to help out with the chocolate sale. The Vigils went in big groups to sell boxes and boxes of chocolates. This book has a few assignments that were given out. The book also has many twists and turns. I thought the book was kind of slow at the beginning but then it was pretty good in the middle. I was very surprised at the way the book ended. I wish this book had ended differently. Over all I enjoyed reading ¿The Chocolate War,¿ and I would definitely recommend this book to other people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jerry Renault is a typical high school student who does his best to get by. Until one day when he is asked to do a ¿job¿ for a vicious gang of students known as The Vigils, the gang is run by a heartless and mean senior, Archie Costello. Jerry is pressured into standing up to Brother Leon, another mean and heartless monster, and refusing to sell chocolates in the school sale. The book takes a drastic turn for the worst when Jerry finishes his ¿Job¿ but still refuses to sell chocolate for the school. Jerry is soon known as the outcast of the school instead of the hero that stood up to Brother Leon. What I liked about this book was that it seemed very realistic about what can happen in high school, people you might have to face and what you may have to stand up against, such as bullies and pressure. There was nothing that I found wrong or distasteful in the book. I would recommend this book to others, even though it wasn¿t my favorite book of all time it was defiantly worth it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a junior at Clinton-Massie High School. For my English II Class i was to choice an independent novel that had to do with bullying and i chose the Chocolate war. This book was an alright book. It goes good with the theme of bullying. Its kind of confusing at the begaining of the book cause it seems to go back-n-forth like it's a flash back, but you aventualy catch on to what is goimg on. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to be on their toes while reading. Cause it WiLL keep you on your toes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. I guess most people liked Jerry and I did too, but I had a soft spot for Archie, strangely enough, his weird control issues had me hooked. As for the ending, I think it was fitting. Most books end with the 'good guy' triumphing over the 'bad guy' which almost never happens. The ending was just reality.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book was one of the best I've read. It's real. That's what young people want to read, realistic fiction. Teachers and parents say how much we need to read, right? These kind of books we are interested in. I don't know why parents get so offended or mad because these books are being published. Even though they don't write about 'a perfect world' they do use some advanced grammer in here and really need to have an expanded vocabulary to understand the story. I'm not up for the parents taking them off the shelves. That isn't fair for other, older, and/or more mature people who would like to read them. I think these parents are just mad because it may be true for their child(ren). Or maybe, because their just scared they didn't raise their kids right and are scared they'll go off doing that. Hopefully, this isn't true! If you parents don't like the book, fine! Just don't go taking them off the shelves. If you don't want your kid reading it, tell them you don't want them reading it. Or ask the librarians at the school or local library you don't want your child checking them out, ok. Some kids are mature enough to not take this personally and/or offensive. I really recommend this book to all the mature kids in this world witout crazy, easily offensive parents. Hi Stone!!!! I'm not afraid to say what I think. I hope i get published in the newsletter, Ms.Hellmann.
alyssama121 More than 1 year ago
I was not a fan of this book. Many people cite it as being too violent, which wasn’t the problem I had with it. It was definitely violent, but not to the extent that it made me like the book any less.When it comes down to it, I just didn’t like the story. The message and the theme are worthwhile — individuality, peer pressure, violence. These are all issues that are still relevant today and that kids need to read about so they can learn to deal with them. I like that Cormier made all characters susceptible. It wasn’t only the students that were putting pressure on one another, it was the teachers as well. I appreciated that he didn’t made the teachers above immorality, since I don’t think they are. However, the way Cormier told The Chocolate War just didn’t interest me. The characters were all over-the-top. They were caricatures rather than representations of real teens. For me, this hurts the book because I wasn’t able to engage in the message and the theme since I couldn’t connect to the characters. I also felt that the ending was forced. It didn’t seem natural, and it just seemed like another cartoonish type thing Cormier added to beat the message in. With all that said, this is still a classic. It is still banned (I really don’t know why), which is a big reason why I wanted to read it. I do think there are better books worth spending time on, but some readers may get something out of it. It just wasn’t for me.
aprilcm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book tells the story of young men at an all Catholic HIgh School that all have individual hardships and must deal with the consequences of living by somebody else's rules. There is a group on-campus called the "Vigils" and they basically call the shots at the school by hazing boys and mentally abusing teachers. One boy at the school defies the Vigils and sure enough suffers the consequences. There are a couple of very nasty fight scenes that you must have a strong stomach for. There are also multiple sexual references and profane language is also used. Finally, defying authority is another theme in the book, but honestly the other things might affect you passing the book on to a child before you really consider holding it back because of the authority issue.
PigOfHappiness on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I hear it's a classic but I just can't wrap my head around it. I found it to be poorly constructed and delivered. Appropriate for high school and beyond...