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list price: $7.95
also available: Paperback
published: Feb 2012
publisher: James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
imprint: Lorimer

Crush. Candy. Corpse.

by Sylvia McNicoll

tagged: death & dying, law & crime, friendship, diseases, illnesses & injuries, suicide
0 of 5
0 ratings
list price: $7.95
also available: Paperback
published: Feb 2012
publisher: James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
imprint: Lorimer

Paradise Manor is depressing -- the smells are bad and the residents are old. Sunny would much rather be doing her volunteer hours at Salon Teo, but her teacher won't let her. Who says volunteering at a hair salon doesn't benefit the community”

But working with the Alzheimer's patients has a surprising effect on Sunny. Along with Cole, the grandson of one of the residents, she begins to see that the residents don't have much more choice about their lives than she does: what they eat, how they are treated by staff, even what they watch on television. So Sunny does what she can to make the residents happy -- even if she has to sometimes break the rules to do it.

When tragedy strikes at Paradise, Sunny's left to make the decision about whether or not to honour a promise that Cole made to his grandmother about her life...and her death.

About the Author

Sylvia McNicoll has written over thirty-five novels for young audiences, including Body Swap and the Great Mistake Mystery series, inspired by her own errors and dog walks with her grandchildren. What the Dog Knows is a tribute to the many dogs she’s loved. She lives in Burlington, Ontario.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

SYLVIA McNICOLL has written twenty-three books for children. Her novels have won the Silver Birch and the Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award. In 2011 she won a City of Hamilton Book Award for YA fiction. She is currently the features editor for Today's Parent Toronto. She lives in Burlington, Ontario.

Recommended Age and Grade
12 to 18
7 to 12
  • Short-listed, SYRCA Snow Willow Award
  • Short-listed, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award
  • Short-listed, Red Maple Fiction Award
  • Short-listed, Arthur Ellis Award, Best Juvenile/YA Mystery Category
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids & Teens -- Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Commended, One of the Year's Best for 2012 -- Resource Links
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets 2012
Editorial Reviews

" and powerful. From the touching dedication to the unravelling of the forty-first hour, my attention was held....McNicoll has created a character that many students will relate to." Rated E - Excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!

— Resource Links

"The book casts [Sunny as a typical teen in many respects, with all the powers of observation and all the daily struggles with the distractions of everyday life in adolescence... a good, solid examination of an important ethical topic for teens to consider."


"Crush. Candy. Corpse. is a strong narrative that engages the readers to contemplate some big philosophical issues surrounding health care, assisted suicide and the fine lines of right and wrong."

— Keen Readers

Crush.Candy.Corpse. packs a punch. Hands down, this is a book that should be required reading for students. McNicoll weaves such a heart wrenching story that you?re forced to contemplate your own beliefs, to question parts of yourself that are easily pushed away and rarely confronted.”

— Mallory Thorpe,

"captivating...Sylvia McNicoll gets Sunny's voice perfect, introducing the narrator as a teen who can make questionable decisions (as we all do when inexperienced) but who has the capacity to see beyond her initial assessments and amend her own actions and beliefs accordingly."

— CanLit for Little Canadians

"Sunny is a strong, realistic, witty character with whom the intended audience will readily identify... The portrayal of Alzheimer's patients is extraordinarily well done...The compassion of Sunny, Cole and Gillian will linger long in the minds of the intended reader...The dialogue is witty and engaging, reflective of today's world, moving the plot along smartly and revealing character intuitively...The themes of compassion for the elderly, euthanasia and falling in love will resonate with the intended audience." Highly Recommended.

— CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"An absorbing and provocative book"

— FernFolio

“The narrative is brisk and engaging and presents an intriguing debate on assisted suicide, quality versus quantity of life, and the treatment of seniors with Alzheimer's.”

— Shameless Magazine

"The book follows high school student Sonja (Sunny) Ehret as she stands trial for manslaughter. Every chapter alternates between last year (Sunny serving volunteers hours on an Alzheimer's ward), and this year (Sunny's manslaughter trial). So just how are the two connected” Well you have to pick up this uh-mazing book to find out! I actually read this book in less than a day as I could just not put it down."


"Sunny is a realistic and believable protagonist experiencing authentic events and responding with genuine reactions."

— The Deakin Review of Children's Literature

"McNicoll expertly combines three different narratives and works on multiple levels to provide us with various versions of the same story so that we are compelled to look at all points of view and draw our own conclusions."

— Canadian Children's Book News

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