The Chocolate Touch
by Patrick Skene Catling
John Midas is a greedy young boy who LOVES chocolate. The doctor tells John he must stop eating chocolate, and his parents make him do so. John is not happy, and is determined to find a way that he can sneakily eat chocolate. One day, John finds a coin on the sidewalk. On one side of the coin is a picture of a fat boy, and on the other side is his initials. John comes across a candy store that he had never seen before. The owner seemed to know John's name, and the only type of money that the store took was the coin that John had found. With the coin, John bought a box of chocolates. That night, John opens the box to find only one piece of chocolate inside. John ate the chocolate, which he thought tasted funny. The next morning, John realizes that anything he touches turns into chocolate. John is overjoyed, but not for long. Soon John starts to feel sick, thirsty, and hungry for real food. John's chocolte touch turns his mouth into a trumpet of chocolate, and when John participates in a game of apple bobbing all of the children become covered in chocolate syrup. When John kissed his mother one night, she turns into a chocolate statue. When John comes to his senses and starts to feel guilty, he finds the candy store owner to try and change things back. The owner tells John that the coin is given to greedy people, and if he is truly sorry for and reluctant about his greed, it can be taken away and everything will return to normal. Once John is back to normal, he is grateful for the candy shop owner and the lesson he learned, so he runs back to the shop to thank him. When he arrives to the location of the candy shop, he finds only an empty lot.
This story is good for upper grades to teach a character education lesson about greediness. Students will read the book and have a class discussion about the importance of not being greedy, and remaining mindful of others. Students will be asked to think of a time when they may have been greedy, and imagine how they would feel if they had an extreme consequence like John did. At the end of the lesson, students will write a short paragraph on the importance of not being greedy.