Parents' Guide to

The Chocolate War

By Monica Wyatt, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

A kind of "Dangerous Liaisons" for teenagers.

The Chocolate War Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 16+

There's so much bad in the world, I don't understand a book that adds to it.

I guess I'm Sally Sunshine, but I don't care for books that are negative throughout. I didn't see anything redeeming in this book. Its message seems to be: Bullies gonna bully, and if you stand up to them you'll get beaten. Violence, manipulation, disrespect, unhappy kids and adults throughout the book. There's enough of that in the world, why do kids more of that? No thanks.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 10+

I love this book and so will your 10 year old.

this is one of the best books I have ever read and I know your child will love it as much as i did, its such a good book I cant even express it.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (23 ):

This difficult read deals with life's cruelty, and deals with complex issues with intensity. Evil in all its ugliness pervades the story, which Robert Cormier sets in a private Catholic school, presenting evil as something that can invade even our own protected lives.

Only a few villains cause all the mayhem, and the book exposes them early. However, Cormier won't spare us from life's nasty truths. Readers might wonder, "Would any of us have done better, or would we make the same easy compromises as Cormier's characters?" For that reason, this book remains relevant: It forces readers to face the reality of evil, and examine how to confront it.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate