Thursday, June 18, 2009Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Author: Roald Dahl
Type or emotional/crisis issue(s) addressed: family financial difficulties
Year of Publication: 1973
Publisher & Location: Knopf, New York
Target Age Level: lower and upper elementary school
# of Pages: 161
Quality of Illustrations: There are fun black and white sketches drawn throughout the book.
For the first time in a decade, Willy Wonka, the reclusive and eccentric chocolate maker, is opening his doors to the public – well, five members of the public to be exact. The lucky five who find a Golden Ticket in their Wonka chocolate bars will receive a private tour of the factory, given by Mr. Wonka himself. For young Charlie Bucket, this a dream come true because of his families desperate financial situation. And, when he finds a dollar bill in the street, he can't help but buy two Wonka's Whipple–Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delights – even though his impoverished family could certainly use the extra dollar for food. But as Charlie unwraps the second chocolate bar, he sees the glimmer of gold just under the wrapper! The very next day, Charlie, along with his unworthy fellow winners Mike Teavee, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, and Augustus Gloop, steps through the factory gates to discover whether or not the rumors surrounding the Chocolate Factory and its mysterious owner are true. What they find is that the gossip can't compare to the extraordinary truth, and for Charlie, life will never be the same again.
Personal Comments/Biases, and/or Things to Consider When Using This Book With Children: This is a favorite because of all of the fun fantasy elements. You can't help but love Charlie because of (and not in spite of) his humble circumstances and the genuine goodness of his family.
Activity: Identify good qualities of the main character that have nothing to do with his financial situation. Then talk about developing this qualities in ourselves and finding similar qualities in those around us (regardless of their socioeconomic status).