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Authors: Robert Kimmel Smith

Chocolate Fever

BOOK: Chocolate Fever
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Table of Contents
 
Chocolate for breakfast, and chocolate for lunch, and chocolate for dinner, too!
The truth was that Henry was in love with chocolate. And chocolate seemed to love him.
It didn’t hurt his teeth. (He’d never had a cavity in his life.)
It didn’t stunt his growth. (He was just about average height, perhaps even a little tall for his age.)
It didn’t harm his skin, which had always been clear and fair.
But most of all, it never, never gave him a bellyache.
And so his parents, perhaps being not as wise as they were kind, let Henry have as much chocolate as he liked.
If there was one thing you could say about Henry it was that he surely did love chocolate. “Probably more than any boy in the history of the world,” his mother said.
“How does Henry like his chocolate?” Daddy Green would sometimes joke.
“Why he likes it bitter, sweet, light, dark, and daily.”
And it was true. Up until the day we’re talking about right now. . . .
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PUFFIN BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Registered Offices: Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published in the United States of America by Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc., 1972
Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 1989, 2005
Published by Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2006
 
Copyright © Robert Kimmel Smith, 1972
All rights reserved
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS EDITION AS FOLLOWS:
Smith, Robert Kimmel, 1930—
Chocolate fever / Robert Kimmel Smith.
p. cm.
Summary: From eating too much chocolate, Henry breaks out in brown bumps
that help him foil some hijackers and teach him a valuable lesson about self-indulgence.
eISBN : 978-1-101-07613-2
 
 
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For Heidi and Roger
and all the other
chocolate lovers in the world . . .
especially Alex and Nate!
Chapter 1
Meet Henry Green
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE who say that Henry Green wasn’t really born, but was hatched, fully grown, from a chocolate bean.
Can you believe that?
Anyway, this particular Henry Green we are speaking of
was
really born—not hatched—and had a wonderful mom and dad in the bargain. His father was tall and lean and wore eyeglasses, except when he was sleeping or in the shower. Mama Green, whose name was Enid, was a short, slim woman with blue-gray eyes and a tiny mouth that always seemed to be on the verge of a smile.
They all lived in an apartment in the middle of the city, along with Henry’s older brother and sister. Mark Green was ten and tall and very good to Henry. Except when they would argue, which was often, and then he would hit Henry on the head with anything that was handy, which sometimes was hard. But mostly Mark was fun to be with and only got angry when Henry called him Marco Polo. Mark didn’t like that, and who could blame him?
Henry’s sister was very, very old. Almost fourteen. She didn’t ever argue with Henry or Mark. In fact, she hardly talked to them at all because she was so old and wise and almost grown up. Her name was Elizabeth.
The other morning, which was a schoolday at the end of the week called Friday, Henry, Mark, and Elizabeth were at the table in the dining room having breakfast. Mark was eating fried eggs. Elizabeth was quietly chewing on her usual breakfast of buttery toast and milk. And Henry was midway through his usual breakfast, too. Chocolate cake, a bowl of cocoa-crispy cereal and milk (with chocolate syrup in the milk to make it more chocolatey), washed down by a big glass of chocolate milk and five or six chocolate cookies. Sometimes, when it was left over from the night before, Henry would have chocolate pudding, too. And on Sunday mornings he usually had chocolate ice cream.
The truth was that Henry was in love with chocolate. And chocolate seemed to love him.
It didn’t make him fat. (He was a little on the thin side, in fact.)
It didn’t hurt his teeth. (He’d never had a cavity in his life.)
It didn’t stunt his growth. (He was just about average height, perhaps even a little tall for his age.)
It didn’t harm his skin, which had always been clear and fair.
But most of all, it never, never gave him a bellyache.
And so his parents, perhaps being not as wise as they were kind, let Henry have as much chocolate as he liked.
Can you imagine a boy having a chocolate-bar sandwich as an after-school snack? Well, Henry did, just about every day. And when he ate mashed potatoes, just a few drops of chocolate syrup swished through seemed to make them taste a lot better. Chocolate sprinkles sprinkled on top of plain buttered noodles were tasty, too. Not to mention a light dusting of cocoa on things like canned peaches, pears, and applesauce.
In the Greens’ kitchen pantry there was always a giant supply of chocolate cookies, chocolate cakes, chocolate pies, and chocolate candies of every kind. There was ice cream, too. Chocolate, of course, and chocolate nut, chocolate fudge, chocolate marshmallow, chocolate swirl, and especially chocolate almond crunch. And all of it was just for Henry.
If there was one thing you could say about Henry it was that he surely did love chocolate. “Probably more than any boy in the history of the world,” his mother said.
“How does Henry like his chocolate?” Daddy Green would sometimes joke.
“Why, he likes it bitter, sweet, light, dark, and daily.”
And it was true. Up until the day we’re talking about right now.
Chapter 2
A Strange Feeling
“BETTER HURRY, KIDS,” Mama Green called from the kitchen, “it’s almost eight thirty.”
“Let’s go, slowpoke,” Mark said to Henry, “we don’t want to be late.”
“Just one more chocolate cookie,” said Henry. He popped it into his mouth and, still chewing, went to his room to get his books. On the way to the front door Henry went through the kitchen and gathered a handful of chocolate kisses to put into his pocket. He liked to have them handy to munch on at school. But this morning, because he still felt somewhat hungry, Henry stripped the silver wrapping from two kisses and popped them into his mouth. Then, after a quick kiss for Mama Green—a kiss that left a little bit of chocolate on her face—Henry, Elizabeth, and Mark headed out the door on the way to school.
At the corner, Henry and Mark waved good-bye to their sister, who had to take a bus to get to her high school. The boys’ school, P.S. 123, was just another block away. At the next corner Mrs. Macintosh, the crossing guard, waved them across the street. “The light is always green for the Greens,” she said. It was her own little joke. And she said it just about every morning. This morning only Mark, who was extremely polite, smiled. Henry just didn’t feel like smiling. In fact, he was beginning to feel a little strange.
In the schoolyard the boys went separate ways to join their classes. As usual, there was a lot of pushing and shoving and fooling around. But Henry, who was always very good at things like knocking hats off boys’ heads and making goofy faces at the girls, was quiet. He didn’t even say “hi” when Michael Burke, his best friend, came along. “Well what’s the matter with you?” asked Michael, grinning.
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