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The Chocolate War

Cover of The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War

Chocolate War Series, Book 1
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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...More
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...More
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Description-
  • 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


    From the Trade Paperback edition.
Excerpts-
  • From the book

    THEY MURDERED HIM.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--

    "Renault!"

    Ridiculous, someone calling his name.

    "Renault!"

    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.

    "Weight?"

    "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...

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.

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    Random House Children's Books
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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The Chocolate War
The Chocolate War
Chocolate War Series, Book 1
Robert Cormier
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