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4.8 out of 5 stars378
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 20 January 2003
Roald Dahl's darkly sarcastic but never patronising style has made his books hugely popular with children all over the world. This is my favourite book of his by a long way. His books give children exactly what they want to read with a child's-eye view and not an adult's perception of what children should like which makes so many children's books disappointing to read. They are also hugely funny with great characters showing just how absurd grown ups are and how unfair the adult world can be. I've never met anyone who didn't like Roald Dahl's childrens books when they were a child.
I first read this book in hospital as a child and it has been with me ever since. I do truly believe it is one of the top five best books ever written. It has a great story, great characters and it's a great exciting and funny read. I would recommend it to anyone of any age, from young children having it read to them to older children reading theirselves or even adults so that they never forget what it's like to be a child.
Some people have even considered this book to have religious symbolism with it's themes of tempation and sin. I'm not sure about that, and I'm not going to go into it here, but it shows the levels this book could be read at if you felt the need to overanalyse it.
A great, hugely funny & gripping book I would highly recommend to anyone who hasn't read it yet. I challenge anyone not to enjoy this book. Even the stuffiest and most boring adult will find something to appreciate here and all children will be simply delighted with it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 November 2013
This 8+ years reading age novel has been recently read in instalments to my 6-year-old daughter at bedtime. First published in 1964, it describes an Austerity Britain not too dissimilar to today's, as young Charlie Bucket's impoverished family struggle to make ends meet. When the family begin to starve, my daughter indignantly wanted to know why he wasn't getting food at school, and I could only speculate that free school dinners and food banks hadn't come in yet.

Charlie lives down the street from a chocolate factory - Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, the most amazing and most secretive in the world. The smell of melting chocolate in the air drives him wild with both hunger and curiosity. (Living downwind of a biscuit factory, I know what he means!) Mr Wonka announces a competition where the winners of five golden tickets get a free trip to the factory and a lifetime supply of sweets, and the excesses of modern childhood appear in the winners as comedic representatives of greed, materialism, bad manners, and self-absorption win the tickets..... and the final one is found by Charlie, for the most amazing adventure possible.

Roald Dahl spins a modern fairy tale as the scenes depicted within the magical factory are each more colourful and more zany than the last, with many jokes and puns and acidic comments, and several "Revolting Rhymes"-style poems, as sung by the Oompa-Loompas. It is a bit dark, but not excessively so for junior-school aged children. My daughter was barracking for Charlie every step of the way, and was so happy when good things happened to him, that she was turning somersaults around the room.
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on 9 September 2010
Wonderful book - loved by our grandchildren - aged 4 and 6.
Illustrations make it much more acceptable for younger children.
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A book that always goes down well with children is of course ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, and there is a sequel as well in ‘Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator’. Here we have the original first story which takes us into the wonderful world of Willy Wonka’s factory.

Charlie Bucket is an only child of a very poor family. They live on the outskirts of town in a wooden shack with not only Charlie and his parents, but his parents’ parents, all clustered together in two rooms. When Willy Wonka announces that there are five special tickets in his bars allowing the winners to enter his factory of course Charlie would love to be a winner.

We see what happens here when Charlie and others actually make it inside the magical factory. With a completely mad Willy Wonka showing off his skills in the confectionery business this is a cautionary tale for those children who are spoilt, greedy and disobedient. Full of comedy and eccentricity this does also have a dark side to it.

As adults reading this we do nowadays see things a bit deeper and as we read that Mr Wonka has smuggled his staff the Oompa-Loompas into the country we can think upon him as a human trafficker of illegal immigrants and using this new race of little people not only as slave labour, but also as human guinea pigs to try out his new products on. We can thus laugh along with what the children enjoy and then think about this even darker side of the tale where Mr Wonka is obviously manipulative and greedy for money himself, whilst denigrating such behaviour in others.

Always a great story to read, this will always delight children due to the slightly dark things that happen here, and the overall comedic effect that this tale has. Also we have the benefit here of Quentin Blake’s wonderful illustrations.
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on 7 April 2001
I grew up listening to the teachings of Mr Dahl, having his books read to me, then re-reading them when I was older. One of my favourite has always been the story of Charlie, and his rages to riches tale.
This is a wonderfully lighthearted novel, which has the social and moral undertones evident in many of Dahls works.
For those of you unfamiliar with the work,I will not spoil it by giving away the plot, however, I must say that this is a very involving novel, and we easily find ourselves seeped into the unfortunate world of Charlie, as we travel with him through his adventures. I found my self in a lottery-win style state of mind when Charlie finally found the final Golden Ticket, the key to the door of his happiness.
All in all, I simply must recommend this novel to everyonde, young and old. It is one of those finds that you will never let go: I still have the copy I was read as a four yearold.
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on 19 September 2009
My 2 boys, aged 5 and 6, loved listening to this and it kept them very quiet in the car for longer than expected. They have listened to it again and again since they got it and don't seem to be bored yet!
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on 18 February 2011
A lovely play version of the book. Easy to understand, helpful staging tips at the back and good font size for younger readers.
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on 9 October 2010
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a book written by the famous author, Roald Dahl. It is illustrated by Quentin Blake and published by Puffin Books. We read part of the book in our literacy lessons as part of our work on Authors and Letters, and wanted to share our ideas!

The story follows Charlie Bucket. He wins a Golden Ticket which allows him to go into the famous chocolate factory of Willy Wonka. Lots of adventures happen inside the factory, and there are some astonishing descriptions of the sweets and children in the factory.

The main character is Charlie Bucket. He is our favourite character because he is very polite, kind, cheerful, patient, enthusiastic and he is not too young but not too old either. The magical Willy Wonka is another character, and he owns the biggest chocolate factory in the world. Grandpa Joe is Charlie's grandpa, and he is ninety six and a half years old!

We love all the parts of the story that describe the delicious, creamy chocolate of course! The explosive plot is also very exciting. Our favourite parts are when Mike Teavee gets sent across the room through a television, when Grandpa Joe does a victory dance after Charlie finds a Golden Ticket, when Augustus Gloop goes up the chocolate pipe, when Willy Wonka takes the children to see the squirrels, and when Violet Beauregarde is turned into a blueberry. We also love the Oompa Loompas because they are as small as your knee and they sing lots of funny songs.

We think that Roald Dahl's story teaches you not to be greedy, and that everyone can enjoy life and be happy.

We would highly recommend this outstanding book for children like us, between the ages of six and twelve.
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on 12 February 2008
Plot: Charlie bucket lives in a big but poor family in a tiny house at the edge of the town. Charlie's birthday is near and he gets a bar of chocolate which he only nibbles on so it lasts. When Charlie finds the golden ticket in a different chocolate bar, created by Willy Wonka, his life is about to change...

The author's comment about the book: Roald Dahl, the writer of this book, thought that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory one of the most complex books to write. His first draft included fifteen dreadful children. His nephew Nicholas read it and said it was terrible and tedious so Dahl then knew he definitely had to alter the book a lot.

Rating and Recommendation: I would rate this masterpiece 8/ 10 and I hope to keep it for ever; I would recommend it to Roald Dahl fans, 7 - 12 year olds in particular.
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on 4 November 2009
When I was a boy ... no really ... I used to love hanging around in the school library and the book I used to most want to read, one of the few to really capture my imagination (we're talking mid seventies) was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Very, very fond memories. What a delight then to have sent it (by the magic of Amazon) across the Atlantic to my 6 year old nephew and to hear he just loves it and wants it to have it read over and over.
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