Book Club Feature: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s 50th Anniversary

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. From Left to Write is celebrating by featuring it as our July book club selection! The story of Charlie Bucket, the five Golden Tickets, the devilish Oompa-Loompas and the amazing Mr. Willy Wonka has become firmly embedded in our culture, having (twice) been reimagined for the cinema, as an opera and, in 2013, as a hit London musical.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Take a stroll down memory lane with my fellow From Left to Write members as we reread this classic children’s story. Some members are also introducing the book to their kids as our book club reads it. I’m looking forward to hearing what our youngest generation thinks of my childhood favorite. Make sure you join us on July 24th as we gather to discuss Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

50th Anniversary Badge Charlie Chocolate Factory

We can’t have an anniversary without a big celebration and gifts. To celebrate this milestone, Penguin Young Readers Group, in partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world-famous candy emporium, and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides books for children from low-income families, is launching a year-long international celebration.

There’s many different ways you can celebrate along with us:

National Golden Sweepstakes Charlie Chocolate Factory

Enter the National Golden Ticket Sweepstakes (Ends on August 15th)

Don’t wait to enter because the contest ends August 15th! Plus, for each  each sweepstakes entry received, Penguin will make a donation First Book. For sweepstakes entry forms, visit or download your form here.

Inspired by the Golden Ticket Competition in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which provided Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregard, Mike Teavee, and Charlie Bucket with golden tickets to Willy Wonka’s mysterious Chocolate Factory, Penguin Young Readers Group will grant FIVE lucky winners the Golden Ticket trip of a lifetime to New York City that includes:

  •   A VIP experience at Dylan’s Candy Bar
  •  Tickets to Matilda the Musical
  •  A year’s supply of chocolate
  •  A visit to the Empire State building
  •  A library of Roald Dahl books
  • And MORE!

In partnership with First Book, a non-profit that provides books for children from low-income families.  Penguin Young Readers provides:

  •  A monetary donation and one brand new Penguin trade children’s book for every national sweepstakes entry received.  The book donation will include copies of the anniversary edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which will be distributed by First Book to registered programs and schools serving children in need throughout the United States and Canada.
  • A donation of a full set of Dahl Penguin titles (17 in total), 50 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory books, and a bean bag to each school selected by First Book’s Advisory Boards in 20 markets as part of the First Book Golden Ticket Giveaway.

Inside Charlie's Chocolate Factory

To coincide with the September anniversary celebration Penguin Young Readers Group will release an all new book that explores the enduring appeal of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Inside Charlie’s Chocolate Factory: The complete story of Willy Wonka, the Golden Ticket, and Roald Dahl’s Greatest Creation. Written by Lucy Mangan, with an introduction by Sophie Dahl, this is the book for super-fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Roald Dahl, exploring the unique appeal of the story and its characters, its social history, the varying film and stage adaptations, and its ongoing cultural impact. With never-before-seen material from the archives, bonus content, and quotes from famous Roald Dahl enthusiasts, this will be the perfect book for fans of Charlie, Wonka, and Roald Dahl! It doesn’t release until September 2, but you can pre-order it now.

Come party and celebrate with us! Pick up a copy of the 50th Anniversary edition of  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl or grab your well loved copy off your bookshelf and read with us. Then come back on July 24 and join From Left to Write book club members’ discussion.

Who was your favorite character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Mine were the Oompa Loompas.

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