The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop

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The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
March 12, 2013
ISBN
978-0385743013
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Welcome to the most magical house in London.

The family of eleven-year-old twins Oz and Lily have inherited it, together with the mysterious shop downstairs. Long ago, the shop's famous chocolate-makers, who also happen to be Oz and Lily's great uncles, were clever sorcerers. Now evil villians are hunting for the secret of their greatest recipe. The terrifying powers of this magic chocolate have the ability to destroy the world.

Soon, Oz and Lily are swept into a thrilling battle, helped by an invisible cat, a talking rat, and the ghost of an elephant. It's up to them to stop the villians and keep the magical chocolate recipe out of harm's way. Their family and the world depends on it.

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"Dark" Chocolate

Oz and Lily are okay with their family moving to a larger home in another part of London, especially when they find out that their family had connections to not only a chocolate shop, but a magical one. With the help of Demerara, an immortal talking cat (who is named after a sort of light brown sugar because her fur is that color), the two realize several horrible family secrets. There were three brothers, but one of the uncle's, Isadore, fell in love with a woman who later married his brother. There was also an argument about whether their magic chocolate should be used for good or evil, and in the end, Isadore killed his brothers in a train wreck. The chocolate in question made people immortal, and it can only be made if the molds that the brothers' mother gave all three are brought together. MI6 is greatly interested in this, and arrange for a neighbor boy with some magical powers, Caydon, to help the twins find the third mold. While attempting to retrieve this from the bottom of the Thames, Oz is kidnapped by Isadore, who is immortal, and held in his home in an abandoned subway. Joined by the talking rat Spike, Lily tries to figure out what is the best plan to retrieve her brother and also to keep the family chocolate from ruining the world.

Good Points
Saunders' books are always a treat for me. Beswitched and Magicalamity were great fun. This one was no exception. I adored the house in London with its secret passages and chocolate making equipment; the easily distracted parents who can be persuaded that really, their son has not been kidnapped by an immortal evil great uncle but is really at a music camp; and the endless cups of tea that are consumed for every imaginable event! Add to that talking cats, immortality, chocolate-- there's just nothing that didn't make me sigh with happiness. I saved this as an incentive for making it through the week-- perfect Friday evening reading!

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The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop review

The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop is cute and whimsical, but also has a bit of a dark side.

It seems to me there's not a lot of murder in middle grade. If there is, then I'm totally missing it or forgetting it so it surprised me. And not exactly in the best way. I mean, sure, things end up pretty well, but I just kept thinking about how this character killed in cold blood. It was a little unsettling.

I enjoyed the characters, but it felt like I didn't really get past the surface with most of them. So, while enjoyed them, I feel like I didn't really get to know them and couldn't care about what happened to them all too much. Plus, I know she's eleven, but Lily's constant need to cry started to get to me.

I liked the story overall, but I'd been hoping for more magic chocolate. Most of the use of magic chocolate happened in the past, so it's just stories about magic chocolate instead of first-hand experience. The stories are imaginative and entertaining, yes, I just hoped it would have a bigger part in the present.

The adventures Oz and Lily get to go on are pretty great. There's everything from scuba-diving to cave dwelling to helicopter rides. Not to mention the romp around town with a giant cat.

The Nutshell: Despite the fact that my review makes it seem I didn't like The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop it was a cute, quick read. I didn't get as attached to the characters as I'd like, but the talking animals, and awesome adventures made it worth the read.

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