Beaver’s Pond Press (2016)
Reviewed by Marten Weldon (age 13) for Reader Views (1/18)
“The Great Sugar War” by Benjamin Ellefson is the story of 12-year-old Otto who got lost at sea and rescued a Colonel named Droww. Otto brought Colonel Droww back to his home in the Kingdom of Color. The Kingdom of Color was at war with the Kingdom of Shapes all because the beloved Queen Lucy of Color had been killed. Once he arrived in the Kingdom of Color, things happened quickly, and Otto found himself in a car heading to the front lines. Will Otto be able to stop the fighting between the two kingdoms?
This was no typical war. My favorite scene was when the soldiers from both kingdoms fought on the grasshopper fields. In mid-fight, sugar bubbles sprung from the ground, quickly to be consumed by the grasshoppers. This left the grasshoppers sleeping. Other sugar bubbles produced sugar soldiers. Soon Otto and his comrades were outnumbered and had to retreat back to the Kingdom of Color. How can Otto defeat the quickly growing number of sugar soldiers?
Admittedly, the plot line is a bit odd yet entertaining. All the color is drained out of the Kingdom of Color and all the shapes are disappearing from the Kingdom of Shapes. It is a unique and creative world. There has been a four year drought and the kingdoms are running out of water. Will Otto be able to connect the dots and finally return to his family in the land beyond the sea?
I would recommend “The Great Sugar War” by Benjamin Ellefson to kids who like fairy tales, a few plot twists, colorful characters and a surprise ending. There is a war but it’s nothing at all scary. It is a nice book, not exactly riveting, but a pleasant engaging read.