The Chocolate War

Cormier, Robert. 1974. The Chocolate War. New York, New York: Dell Laure-Leaf. ISBN 0-440-94459-7. $7.50.  Mass Market Paperback—Reprint.


*ALA Best Books for Young Adults

*School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

*Kirkus Reviews Choice

*A New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year

Jerry Renault fights against the secret society at his private school, the Vigils by refusing to sell chocolates. This leads to an internal struggle between the powers at the school.

Jerry Renault is just a typical teenage boy trying to survive at his private boy’s high school. He is struggling to make sense of his mother’s death and find his way in the world. The school itself is run by the Brothers but the underlying power is in the group called the Vigils.

Archie Costello is the leader of the Vigils and he uses psychological warfare to intimidate the rest of the school into fear and reverence for the Vigils. When Jerry receives his “assignment”, at first he follows it just to not cause trouble. Then he asks himself “Do I dare disturb the universe?” and fights back against the Vigils and the school in a simple act. This act leads to The Chocolate War.


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