Jerry Renault is just a freshman the all-boys Trinity School, but from his first football tryout, he’s tough enough to catch the attention of the Vigils, the most powerful clique at Trinity, and its leader Archie Costello. Jerry is a smart kid, who wants to make a difference, find his own way in the world. When the school’s annual chocolate sale/fund-raiser is announced, he doesn’t think his refusal to sell chocolates is going to be such a big deal, but it immediately divides the school. Some think Jerry’s stand is heroic, but Archie thinks that Jerry needs to be taught a lesson. Needs to be broken. And Archie knows just how to do it.
This classic novel gives a shocking look at the traditions of high school and the psychological warfare of bullying. And the unspoken complicity that adults provide in order to maintain appearances. This unflinching depiction of a boys’ boarding school, The Chocolate War is considered by many to be the first true YA novel.
"The Chocolate War is masterfully structured and rich in theme; the action is well crafted, well timed, suspenseful; complex ideas develop and unfold with clarity."-The New York Times Book Review
"The characterizations of all the boys are superb... This novel [is] unique in its uncompromising portrait of human cruelty and conformity."-School Library Journal, starred review
"The novel is cleverly written with a good sense of the realistic and a good ear for dialouge, qualities which will attract any reader."-Bestsellers
"Robert Cormier has written a brilliant novel."-Children's Book Revie Service
Robert Cormier (1925–2000) received the 1999 Margaret A. Edwards Award, honoring his lifetime contribution to writing for teens.