The Candy Shop War
Shadow Mountain, 2007
From the dust jacket, “Welcome to the Sweet Tooth Ice Cream and Candy Shoppe, where the confections are a bit on the … unusual side. Rock candy that makes you weightless. Jawbreakers that make you unbreakable. Chocolate balls that make you a master of disguise.
“Four young friends—Nate, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon—meet the grandmotherly Mrs. White, owner of the Sweet Tooth, and soon learn about the magical side effects of her candies.
“In addition, the ice cream truck driver, Mr. Stott, has arrived with a few enchanted sweets of his own. But what about the mysterious man in the dark overcoat and fedora hat? Why are all these “magicians” trying to recruit Nate and his friends? Who should they trust?
“The mystery deepens and the danger unfolds as the four youngsters discover that the magical strangers have all come to town in search of a legendary, hidden treasure—one that could be used for great evil if it fell into the wrong hands. The kids, now in over their heads, must try to retrieve the treasure first. And so, the war begins…”
The four friends (Nate, Summer, Trevor and Pigeon) go on quite an adventure in the space of a week or so. Because they believed in someone they thought was trustworthy, they commit several crimes – breaking and entering (not once, but twice!), grave robbing, and car theft. Along the way, they had some doubts about performing these ‘missions’ but went ahead anyway – to mostly disastrous results. The theme of good versus evil is prominent but shows there’s a lot of gray areas when it comes to determining who is good and who is evil. But the kids eventually figure it out and with a super surprise twist in the end (one that I didn’t see coming!), good wins the day. Expect some fantasy violence, but nothing gruesome – no one is killed outright, magic abounds as does lying and ineffective adults. Elementary-age kids will love it!!!
Rating 4 out 5 paws for non-stop action, excitement, mystery, and a really good conclusion to the story.