Book Club Discussion: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie & Chocolate Factory From Left to Write Banner

Charlie & Chocolate Factory From Left to Write Banner

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,  I asked From Left to Write members to reread this classic and/or to introduce their children to this childhood classic.  Many of our members enjoyed the bonding time as they read the books aloud or along with their kids.

Take a look at what our bloggers had to say as we discuss Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Some even had their children join the discussion! Then make sure you enter the Golden Ticket Sweepstakes (see below for details on how):

Now that you’ve read our discussion,  celebrate along with us!  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.

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, visitRoaldDahl.com 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.

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

National Golden Sweepstakes Charlie Chocolate Factory

Charlie & Chocolate Factory From Left to Write Banner

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 RoaldDahl.com 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.

Meeting Book Club Authors at Book Expo America 2014

Book Expo America 2014-From Left to Write

Book Expo America 2014-From Left to Write

I’m not sure I’ve recovered from Book Expo America yet! Like always, my days there were packed yet there never seemed to be enough hours to see all the authors on my list or talk to all the folks I wanted to. I would do it all over again. My first evening in town, I met up with my friend Heather at a Crown Publishing event. Heather and I have similar tastes in books and I knew she’d enjoy meeting the authors of From Left to Write’s recent book club features.

Thien-Kim and Sandie Shelton-From Left to Write

Sandie Shelton, aka Maddie Dawson, author of The Opposite of Maybe

On the top of my list to meet was Sandi Shelton, who wrote our April book club selection The Opposite of Maybe (under the pseudonym Maddie Dawson). Sandie and I have exchanged many emails and she was just as wonderful in person as she was over email. I made Heather read Sandie’s book before coming to the party and she was not disappointed. (Read our book club discussion of The Opposite of Maybe.)

Thien-Kim and Susan Rieger-From Left to Write

Susan Rieger author of The Divorce Papers

I also met Susan Rieger, author of our March book club feature  The Divorce PapersI love my virtual book club and discussing From Left to Write members’ discussion of their books. Susan has plenty of her ideas for her next books, and I’m looking forward to reading them when she’s finished.

Thien-Kim and Bevery Miranda-Whittemore-From Left to Write

Beverly Miranda-Whittemore, author of Bittersweet

Our book club members had very strong feelings about Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. The novel touched them in unexpected ways. Miranda enjoyed reading how her novel inspired everyone and even mentioned a particular post she read. Gotta love authors who make a point to connect with their readers.

The event was jammed packed, thanks to the sudden cool New York weather. It was just too chilly and windy to hang out on the terrace. Still, I had a chance to chat with the cool folks at Crown Publishing. It’s nice to chat in person when we just exchange emails most of the year.

This is just part one of my BEA recap. Stay tuned for Neil Patrick Harris photos! Plus I have some coveted copies of his book excerpts to give away!

Book Club Discussion: Bittersweet

Bittersweet From Left to Write Book Club Banner

Today is our book club discussion of Bittersweet a novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. While the main themes of the novel are coming-of-age and family secrets, there’s many different layers to the story.

From Left to Write members dug into the different layers of Bittersweet for today’s discussion. Head to their blogs to read more:

If you haven’t grabbed your copy of Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore yet, I recommend it. It will probably be the hot read this summer!. Learn more about the author by visiting  Miranda Beverly-Whittemore’s site and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Club Pick: Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Bittersweet From Left to Write Book Club Banner

Bittersweet From Left to Write Book Club Banner

Warm weather makes me dream of beaches and lazy summer days. Our last May book club pick Bittersweet a novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore will transport you right to a private Vermont island, where the wealthy Winslow clan spends their summer days. Invited to spend the summer with her college roommate, Mabel becomes immersed into a life of affluence and entitlement, which always comes at a price.

More about the book:

On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, wild, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century; it’s the kind of place where children twirl sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour. Mabel falls in love with midnight skinny-dipping, the wet dog smell that lingers near the yachts, and the moneyed laughter that carries across the still lake while fireworks burst overhead. Before she knows it, she has everything she’s ever wanted:  friendship, a boyfriend, access to wealth, and, most of all, for the first time in her life, the sense that she belongs.

But as Mabel becomes an insider, a terrible discovery leads to shocking violence and reveals what the Winslows may have done to keep their power intact – and what they might do to anyone who threatens them. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and make Ev’s world her own.

 Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Join From Left to Write members on May 20 when discuss Bittersweet. Make sure to grab your copy and let us know what you think of the novel. You’ll find the Winslow clan just as fascinating as we did.

In the meantime, visit the Miranda Beverly’s site and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Club Discussion: Ruby by Cynthia Bond

From Left to Write Ruby by Cynthia Bond Book Club

Today is book club discussion day for our latest read, Ruby by Cynthia Bond. At its heart, the novel is a story about love, friendship, and inner demons. The novel’s title character Ruby has had a rough life strife with inner demons.  Ephraim, a childhood friend, wants to help her become whole again. If she’ll let him.

From Left to Write members have share some thought discussion about Ruby over on their blogs. Take a look:

Learn more about author Cynthia Bond at her website and make sure you grab a copy of Ruby.