The Library Lady's Reviews > The Candymakers

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
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really liked it
bookshelves: childrens-fiction

Important note:I got a copy of this at ALA in June, passed it to my 11 year old, and she really enjoyed it. That's a far better recommendation than mine or any other grownups...
This is being compared to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in which 5 kids win a contest to tour a magical candy factory. But here 4 kids are at a wonderful but very non-magical candy factory to COMPETE in a contest, and we see the 2 days they spend together in turn from each child's point of view--and each child's voice is clear and distinct.

Dahl's kids were cartoony--the greedy one, the TV obsessed, the good beyond good one. Bad ones get punished, good one gets rewarded. Mass's kids are much more realistic. Each is not what he/she seems from the initial view. Each has a secret. And each has a chance to reach out to the others and do something wonderful, leading to a very satisfying conclusion.

This is sweet, but it's not sticky-sweet (except for the candy being made)and it's extremely satisfying. Now WHERE do I get the recipe for that chocolate pizza?
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 4, 2010 – Shelved
October 4, 2010 – Shelved as: childrens-fiction

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Marcy (new)

Marcy Slack Now I'm sad I missed ALA this year. ;)

message 2: by Marcy (new)

Marcy Slack Now I'm sad I missed ALA this year. ;)

Alex Wakeham Yeah, I agree with all those points, but would the author have been able to write this story, had they not read Willy Wonka? Pretty big rip off if you ask me.

The Library Lady Every good writer is derivative of those who have come before. Shakespeare took his plots from other writers. JK Rowling is derivative of several other authors. I could mention others, but my point is that there are no new plots under the sun, just good storytellers retelling them. And this is a good retelling. Dahl's characters were cartoonish. Maas's are believably real.

If you want to true example of a ripoff, I'd suggest the best selling "Mr Limoncello's Library" series, which are not only clearly derived from Dahl, they are poorly written!

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