Constantly challenged and forever memorable, Robert Cormier's "The Chocolate War" was one of the most important (and impactful!) stories I remember reading when I was younger. A dark and sinister look at how absolute power corrupts absolutely confined to a school setting. When a new student transfers to a new school in a new town, he is chosen to engage in a simple challenge: to refuse to sell chocolates for the school during the annual fundraiser. What begins as a childish dare soon turns into an unstoppable dive into depravity. Though a Young Adult title, the plot is surprisingly rich and complex with realistic characters and realistic consequences. Truly a haunting book that lives up to its legacy. This is one of the truly great literary finales and an unforgettable climax that lingers with you long after you've closed the book.
Jerry Renault, a high-school freshman who refuses to participate in the Trinity School annual fund-raising chocolate sale, is forced to defend his convictions. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Reprint.