Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Hardcover: 404 pages
From Goodreads: "What if there were a place where you could get magical candy? Moon rocks that made you feel weightless. Jawbreakers that made you unbreakable. Or candy that gave animals temporary human intelligence and communication skills. (Imagine what your pet would say!) Four young friends, Nate, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon, are befriended by Belinda White, the owner of a new candy shop on Main Street. However, the gray- haired, grandmotherly Mrs. White is not an ordinary candy maker. Her confections have magical side effects. Purposefully, she invites the kids on a special mission to retrieve a hidden talisman under Mt. Diablo Elementary School. However, Mrs. White is not the only magician in town in search of the ancient artifact rumored to be a fountain of youth. She is aware that Mr. Stott, the not- so- ordinary ice cream truck driver, has a few tricks of his own."
My kiddo is an avid Fablehaven fan and asked me if we could read one of Brandon Mull's other books together, who can refuse that request? I have read the first Fablehaven book, so I was familiar with Mull's writing style. Fablehaven has all of these wonderful magical creatures, but The Candy Shop War has magical candy! Candy that gives these four friends super human powers to jump really high, iron strength and even enhanced skills in anything physical they try to do. We decided that the candy was our favorite thing about the book, and even came up with a few ideas for candies of our own. The action always seemed to keep us interested and there are plenty of twists and turns in the story. Maybe because I've been thinking a lot about fairy tales lately, but Belinda kind of strikes me as the witch from Hansel and Gretel. She creeps me out with how she entices the kids to do things that they wouldn't normally do, in exchange for some of her candy. No, just no, kids should not take candy from strangers. We did have some great conversations though about how the children trusted the adults more than they should have. The Candy Shop War is a great conversational book, seeing as the story includes things like sneaking out at night, sneaking into buildings, stealing, and robbing graves. My kiddo loved the book, I on the other-hand still like Fablehaven best.