Article Title

The Chocolate War


Abigail Packard


Excellent, Young Adult, High School, Gangs, Fundraising, Bullying

Document Type

Book Review


At Trinity, an all-boys Catholic high school, the word of the Vigils—the secret society of cruel and manipulative pranksters—is law. Each year at Trinity the students are asked to sell chocolates to raise money for the school. Participation is optional, but everyone does it. When Jerry Renault, a freshman, receives the assignment from the Vigils to refuse to sell chocolates for ten days, Jerry refuses to sell chocolates. But when the eleventh day comes, Jerry still declines to sell. Thus begins the chocolate war: a war of unspoken, cruel power plays between the Vigils headed by Archie Costello, vice-principal Brother Leon who is behind the fundraiser, and Jerry Renault, the rebel on his own. The stakes escalate as Brother Leon reveals that the chocolates must be sold or he may be fired for the debt he accumulated in purchasing them, and Archie’s hold on the Vigils weakens. The story culminates in a final battle in which Jerry is pitted against one of the Vigils’ thugs and mob mentality drives the battle into complete pandemonium.