CANDYMAKERS by Wendy Mass
For parents who would like to know a little more, it's hard for me to tell you without giving away some of the surprises that make this book so great. I'll expand my review more below but be aware SPOILER ALERT!
The story is first being told my Logan, a candymaker's son. Logan has lived a secluded life in the factory and is eager to meet some kids his own age. Logan is a big of a butter fingers and uses aloe and is a super nice kid. We follow the story through Logan's eyes until we get to the spot in the story where he sees someone trying to steal the factory's secret ingredient. Then the story is told from Miles' point-of-view starting at the very beginning. Through Miles' eyes we find out that Logan drops things a lot and uses aloe because his hands, arms, and part of his face are disfigured from severe burns. We see the story from Miles' point-of-view until he sees someone trying to steal the secret ingredient. Then the story starts over again from Daisy's perspective. (And we find out that she's actually a child spy!!) We notice new things from Daisy's perspective and some mysteries are explained and some more evolve until, you guessed it, she sees somebody trying to steal the secret ingredient. There the story stops and we start over again from Philip's viewpoint. The story is actually not repetitive but layered. For example, at one point Miles hears music. When we read from Philip's perspective we find out about the music Miles heard. With each person we learn more rather than rehashing old news. Some of the time when we discovered information about a previous mystery, I had to point it out to my kids, but other times they caught it and that was always neat to see.
Each of the four children have something to overcome. Logan wants to show his father than he can be the best candymaker and overcome his isolation, Miles is haunted by a death he believes he witnessed though no one else saw it, Daisy has conflicting feelings about her spy mission, and Philip has a painful family situation. And these four kids find that with help from each other, they can overcome. Can they also win the candymakers' competition?