The head of Trinity College asks Archie Costello, the leader of The Vigils, a secret society that rules the school, to sell 20,000 boxes of chocolates in the annual fund-raising effort. Archie sees the chance of adding to his power but newcomer, Jerry Renault, refuses to sell them. Enormous mental and physical pressure is put on him but he will not give in - the result is an inevitable, explosive tragedy. The story continues in "Beyond the Chocolate War". As the school year closes, many students look forward to leaving but Carter and Obie, leading members of The Vigils, can't contemplate the future until they have destroyed Archie Costello. Robert Cormier's hard-hitting novels make compulsive reading.
Does Jerry Renault dare to disturb the universe? You wouldn't think that his refusal to sell chocolates during his school's fundraiser would create such a stir, but it does; it's as if the whole school comes apart at the seams. To some, Jerry is a hero, but to others, he becomes a scapegoat--a target for their pent-up hatred. And Jerry? He's just trying to stand up for what he believes, but perhaps there is no way for him to escape becoming a pawn in this game of control; students are pitted against other students, fighting for honor--or are they fighting for their lives? In 1974, author Robert Cormier dared to disturb our universe when this book was first published. And now, with a new introduction by the celebrated author, The Chocolate War stands ready to shock a new group of teen readers.