Monday, July 17, 2017

Nonfiction Monday: The book of chocolate by HP Newquist

I always enjoy Newquist's narrative nonfiction titles and this was no exception.

Newquist takes readers through the early use of chocolate in South America, its discovery by Europeans, and its evolution to the sweet treat we know of today. Along the way he expands the stories of the people who tasted, created, innovated, and sometimes fought over and stole chocolate!

Readers will learn about the massive corporations that grew up around chocolate, the creation of favorite treats like Hershey Kisses and Reece's Pieces, and the actual scientific process of creating chocolate. Newquist even includes a comparison of American and European chocolate and its differing tastes.

Throughout the book primary sources are included like photographs, advertisements, and more. There are also maps, additional facts, and other information about chocolate and its role in history. Back matter includes a glossary, sources, index, and acknowledgements.

Middle grade readers who like narrative nonfiction will get sucked into this fascinating history. Even readers who are reluctant to tackle nonfiction will be interested by a book on a tasty treat like chocolate. Newquist doesn't shy away from some of the darker sides of chocolate production, like the environmental and human costs, but offers a great survey of an interesting treat - plus recipes!

Verdict: Chocoholics will delight in this yummy book and even those who have other sweet preferences will find themselves craving a chocolate treat after reading this book. I certainly did!

ISBN: 9780670015740; Published 2016 by Viking; Review copy provided by the publisher; Purchased for the library (and, in case you're wondering, the reason I didn't donate it is that I spilled a cup of milk on it. Fortunately after I'd read it and then went and got chocolate to satisfy the chocolate cravings it inspired. And I'm not usually a chocolate-eater!)

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