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06 August 2014


I gave this book to hapaxson, but only once he was 16 or so. He wasn't "crushed" by it, because it confirms what he already believes: the system is rigged to screw you over, there isn't any hope except to throw yourself under the onrushing wheel, in the hope that instead of being pulverized you can hide in the treads and ride the spin to the top.

Yeah, he's a bit of an black-clad emo nihilist, but I'm pretty sure that's a teen thing. Anyway, it's better than giving him ATLAS SHRUGGED.

[Although I'm probably safe on that last count: his favorite game is BioShock :-) ]

I love your son's hope that we can "ride in the treads." I am going to try very hard to adopt that (actually very positive) outlook.

What was really sad to me about this book was that you could see things changing in the middle from one individual's actions--it was so beautiful--and then of course it all went to hell. I think I'm just more programmed to want a happy-ish ending, but Mr. CR worried that a kid might read it and think, well, why bother with anything if you're just going to get kicked down for it?

Tee hee, Atlas Shrugged, maybe he'll get there in college (as I did, and now it's a part of my reading and other life that I can look back on and LAUGH AND LAUGH AND LAUGH).

I read The Chocolate War as an adult (librarian) and thought it was so much darker than the YA that is considered "dark" now. But I still thought that it made the point that there are beliefs worth standing up for even if everyone around you sees life differently. I could be remembering it wrong by this time, though.

Yes, I too was surprised by the bleakness, not only of the whole story, but of the ending. I didn't remember that, at all. Perhaps I didn't want to.

Although perhaps there was still some positive aspect there--at one point in the book it does look like the main character taking a stand will result in some wonderful things--and just because it doesn't here, maybe YA readers can see past that to think there's still a chance to stand up for something.

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