Posted on

Necco Wafers

Candyfreak
by Steve Almond

Perhaps you remember the whipped splendor of the Choco-Lite, or the luscious Caravelle bar, or maybe the sublime and perfectly balanced Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Mint. The Marathon, an inimitable rope of caramel covered in chocolate. Oompahs. Bit-O-Choc. The Kit Kat Dark.

Steve Almond certainly does. In fact, he was so obsessed by the inexplicable disappearance of these barsÑwhere’d they go?Ñthat he embarked on a nationwide journey to uncover the truth about the candy business. There, he found an industry ruled by huge conglomerates, where the little guys, the last remaining link to the glorious boom years of the candy bar in America, struggle to survive.

Visiting the candy factories that produce the Twin Bing, the Idaho Spud, the Goo Goo Cluster, the Valomilk, and a dozen other quirky bars, Almond finds that the world of candy is no longer a sweet haven. Today’s precious few regional candy makers mount daily battles against corporate greed, paranoia, and that good old American compulsion: crushing the little guy.

Part candy porn, part candy polemic, part social history, part confession, Candyfreak explores the role candy plays in our lives as both source of pleasure and escape from pain. By turns ecstatic, comic, and bittersweet, Candyfreak is the story of how Steve Almond grew up on candyÑand how, for better and worse, candy has grown up, too.


Sprinklebakes
by Heather Baird

How can you make cakes, cookies, and candy even MORE fun? Award-winning blogger Heather Baird, a vibrant new voice in the culinary world, has the answer: Cook like an artist! Combining her awesome skills as a baker, confectioner, and painter, she has created a gorgeous, innovative cookbook, designed to unleash the creative side of every baker. Heather sees dessert making as one of the few truly creative outlets for the home cook. So, instead of arranging recipes by dessert type (cookies, tarts, cakes, etc.), she has organized them by line, color, and sculpture. As a result, SprinkleBakes is at once a breathtakingly comprehensive dessert cookbook and an artist’s instructional that explains brush strokes, sculpture molds, color theory, and much more. With easy-to-follow instructions and beautiful step-by-step photographs, Heather shows how anyone can make her jaw-dropping creations, from Mehndi Hand Ginger Cookies to Snow Glass Apples to her seasonal masterpiece, a Duraflame®-inspired Yule Log..

Basic Reading Inventory
by Jerry L. Johns

CD-ROM includes video demonstrations of the Basic reading inventory with a teacher and student, and software for recording and analysing scores.

FamilyFun Birthday Cakes
by Deanna F. Cook, Experts at FamilyFun Magazine

Kids will love helping to create their very own magical birthday cake. These awesome desserts, decorated as everything from mermaids to fire trucks to ladybugs, will make a child’s special day even more memorable. Though they look like works of art, they’re actually easy to put together and won’t keep you in the kitchen when you should be celebrating. All that’s required are a few clever cuts in a freshly baked cake plus artful frosting and colorful candles. Most important, there’s room for creativity, so each treat can be customized however you and your child like.


The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets
by

A sweet tooth is a powerful thing. Babies everywhere seem to smile when tasting sweetness for the first time, a trait inherited, perhaps, from our ancestors who foraged for sweet foods that were generally safer to eat than their bitter counterparts. But the “science of sweet” is only the beginning of a fascinating story, because it is not basic human need or simple biological impulse that prompts us to decorate elaborate wedding cakes, scoop ice cream into a cone, or drop sugar cubes into coffee. These are matters of culture and aesthetics, of history and society, and we might ask many other questions. Why do sweets feature so prominently in children’s literature? When was sugar called a spice? And how did chocolate evolve from an ancient drink to a modern candy bar? The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets explores these questions and more through the collective knowledge of 265 expert contributors, from food historians to chemists, restaurateurs to cookbook writers, neuroscientists to pastry chefs. The Companion takes readers around the globe and throughout time, affording glimpses deep into the brain as well as stratospheric flights into the world of sugar-crafted fantasies. More than just a compendium of pastries, candies, ices, preserves, and confections, this reference work reveals how the human proclivity for sweet has brought richness to our language, our art, and, of course, our gastronomy. In nearly 600 entries, beginning with “à la mode” and ending with the Italian trifle known as “zuppa inglese,” the Companion traces sugar’s journey from a rare luxury to a ubiquitous commodity. In between, readers will learn about numerous sweeteners (as well-known as agave nectar and as obscure as castoreum, or beaver extract), the evolution of the dessert course, the production of chocolate, and the neurological, psychological, and cultural responses to sweetness. The Companion also delves into the darker side of sugar, from its ties to colonialism and slavery to its addictive qualities. Celebrating sugar while acknowledging its complex history, The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets is the definitive guide to one of humankind’s greatest sources of pleasure. Like kids in a candy shop, fans of sugar (and aren’t we all?) will enjoy perusing the wondrous variety to be found in this volume.

Turtle in Paradise
by Jennifer L. Holm

In Jennifer L. Holm’s New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor winning middle grade historical fiction novel, life isn’t like the movies. But then again, 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She’s smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it’s 1935 and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle’s mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn’t like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida to live with relatives she’s never met. Florida’s like nothing Turtle’s ever seen before though. It’s hot and strange, full of rag tag boy cousins, family secrets, scams, and even buried pirate treasure! Before she knows what’s happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she’s spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways. Filled with adventure, humor and heart, Turtle in Paradise is an instant classic both boys and girls with love.

Includes an Author’s Note with photographs and further background on the Great Depression, as well as additional resources and websites.

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews:
“Sweet, funny and superb.”

Starred Review, Booklist:
“Just the right mixture of knowingness and hope . . . a hilarious blend of family drama seasoned with a dollop of adventure.”


Rejuvenile
by Christopher Noxon

Once upon a time, boys and girls grew up and set aside childish things. Nowadays, moms and dads skateboard alongside their kids and download the latest pop-song ringtones. Captains of industry pose for the cover of BusinessWeek holding Super Soakers. The average age of video game players is twenty-nine and rising. Top chefs develop recipes for Easy-Bake Ovens. Disney World is the world’s top adult vacation destination (that’s adults without kids). And young people delay marriage and childbirth longer than ever in part to keep family obligations from interfering with their fun fun fun.

Christopher Noxon has coined a word for this new breed of grown-up: rejuveniles. And as a self-confessed rejuvenile, he’s a sympathetic yet critical guide to this bright and shiny world of people who see growing up as “winding down”—exchanging a life of playful flexibility for anxious days tending lawns and mutual funds.

In Rejuvenile, Noxon explores the historical roots of today’s rejuveniles (hint: all roads lead to Peter Pan), the “toyification” of practical devices (car cuteness is at an all-time high), and the new gospel of play. He talks to parents who love cartoons more than their children do, twenty-somethings who live happily with their parents, and grown-ups who evangelize on behalf of all-ages tag and Legos. And he takes on the “Harrumphing Codgers,” who see the rejuvenile as a threat to the social order.

Noxon tempers stories of his and others’ rejuvenile tendencies with cautionary notes about “lost souls whose taste for childish things is creepy at best.” (Exhibit A: Michael Jackson.) On balance, though, he sees rejuveniles as optimists and capital-R Romantics, people driven by a desire “to hold on to the part of ourselves that feels the most genuinely human. We believe in play, in make believe, in learning, in naps. And in a time of deep uncertainty, we trust that this deeper, more adaptable part of ourselves is our best tool of survival.”

Fresh and delightfully contrarian, Rejuvenile makes hilarious sense of this seismic culture change. It’s essential reading not only for grown-ups who refuse to “act their age,” but for those who wish they would just grow up.


Artificial Ingredients
by Lauri S. Scherer

The ingredients found in food are increasingly on the minds of consumers. This collection of fact-based essays and personal accounts covers the contentious nature of artificial ingredients. Readers will learn about artificial sweeteners, food colorings, B.P.A., and the link between artificial ingredients and behavioral problems in kids. Essay sources include Center for Science in the Public Interest, Marion Nestle, Susan B. Roberts, and Lisa De Pasquale.

Candy Bites
by Richard W. Hartel, AnnaKate Hartel

This delicious new book reveals the fascinating science behind some of our favorite candies. If you’ve ever wondered how candy corn is made or whether Baby Ruth bars really float, as in the movie Caddy shack, then this engaging collection of food for thought is guaranteed to satisfy your hunger for knowledge. As well as delving into candy facts and myths such as the so-called ‘sugar high’ and the long history of making sweetmeats, the authors explore the chemistry of a candy store full of famous treats, from Tootsie Rolls to Pixy Styx and from Jawbreakers to Jordan Almonds. They reveal what makes bubble gum bubbly and why a Charleston Chew is so chewy.

Written in an engaging, accessible and humorous style that makes you laugh as you learn, Candy Bites doesn’t shy away from the hard facts or the hard questions, about candy. It tackles the chemistry of hydrocolloids in gummy bears alongside the relationship between candy and obesity and between candy and dental cavities. The chapters open a window on the commercial and industrial chemistry of candy manufacture, making this book a regular Pez dispenser of little-known, yet captivating factoids.


Burntown
by Jennifer McMahon

On the surface, Ashford, Vermont, seems like a quaint New England college town, but to those who live among the shadowy remains of its abandoned mills and factories, and beneath its towering steel bridges, it’s known as Burntown. 

Eva Sandeski, who goes by the name Necco on the street, has been a part of Burntown’s underworld for years, ever since the night her father, Miles, drowned in a flood that left her and her mother, Lily, homeless. A respected professor, Miles was also an inventor of fantastic machines, including one so secret that the plans were said to have been stolen from Thomas Edison’s workshop. According to Lily, this machine got Miles murdered.

Necco has always written off this claim as the fevered imaginings of a woman consumed by grief. But when Lily also dies under mysterious circumstances, and Necco’s boyfriend is murdered, she’s convinced her mother was telling the truth. Now, on the run from a man called Snake Eyes, Necco must rely on other Burntown outsiders to survive. 

As the lives of these misfits intersect, and as the killer from the Sandeski family’s past draws ever closer, a story of edge-of-your-seat suspense begins to unfurl with classic Jennifer McMahon twists and turns.