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Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

4.5 347
by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)

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Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last!

But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws


Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last!

But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

"Rich in humor, acutely observant, Dahl lets his imagination rip in fairyland." —The New York Times 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rich in humor, acutely observant, Dahl lets his imagination rip in fairyland." —The New York Times

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Puffin Modern Classics Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.94(h) x 0.38(d)
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory



Copyright © 1964 Roald Dahl Nominee Ltd
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-14-240388-1

Chapter One

Here Comes Charlie

These two very old people are the father and mother of Mr. Bucket. Their names are Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine.

And these two very old people are the father and mother of Mrs. Bucket. Their names are Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina.

This is Mr. Bucket. This is Mrs. Bucket.

Mr. and Mrs. Bucket have a small boy whose name is Charlie Bucket.

This is Charlie.

How d'you do? And how d'you do? And how d'you do again?

He is pleased to meet you.

The whole of this family-the six grownups (count them) and little Charlie Bucket-live together in a small wooden house on the edge of a great town.

The house wasn't nearly large enough for so many people, and life was extremely uncomfortable for them all. There were only two rooms in the place altogether, and there was only one bed. The bed was given to the four old grandparents because they were so old and tired. They were so tired, they never got out of it.

Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine on this side, Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina on this side.

Mr. and Mrs. Bucket and little Charlie Bucket slept in the other room, upon mattresses on the floor.

In the summertime, this wasn't too bad, but in the winter, freezing cold drafts blew across the floor all night long, and it was awful.

There wasn't any question of them being able to buy a better house-or even one more bed to sleep in. They were far too poor for that.

Mr. Bucket was the only person in the family with a job. He worked in a toothpaste factory, where he sat all day long at a bench and screwed the little caps onto the tops of the tubes of toothpaste after the tubes had been filled. But a toothpaste cap-screwer is never paid very much money, and poor Mr. Bucket, however hard he worked, and however fast he screwed on the caps, was never able to make enough to buy one-half of the things that so large a family needed. There wasn't even enough money to buy proper food for them all. The only meals they could afford were bread and margarine for breakfast, boiled potatoes and cabbage for lunch, and cabbage soup for supper. Sundays were a bit better. They all looked forward to Sundays because then, although they had exactly the same, everyone was allowed a second helping.

The Buckets, of course, didn't starve, but every one of them-the two old grandfathers, the two old grandmothers, Charlie's father, Charlie's mother, and especially little Charlie himself-went about from morning till night with a horrible empty feeling in their tummies.

Charlie felt it worst of all. And although his father and mother often went without their own share of lunch or supper so that they could give it to him, it still wasn't nearly enough for a growing boy. He desperately wanted something more filling and satisfying than cabbage and cabbage soup. The one thing he longed for more than anything else was ... CHOCOLATE.

Walking to school in the mornings, Charlie could see great slabs of chocolate piled up high in the shop windows, and he would stop and stare and press his nose against the glass, his mouth watering like mad. Many times a day, he would see other children taking creamy candy bars out of their pockets and munching them greedily, and that, of course, was pure torture.

Only once a year, on his birthday, did Charlie Bucket ever get to taste a bit of chocolate. The whole family saved up their money for that special occasion, and when the great day arrived, Charlie was always presented with one small chocolate bar to eat all by himself. And each time he received it, on those marvelous birthday mornings, he would place it carefully in a small wooden box that he owned, and treasure it as though it were a bar of solid gold; and for the next few days, he would allow himself only to look at it, but never to touch it. Then at last, when he could stand it no longer, he would peel back a tiny bit of the paper wrapping at one corner to expose a tiny bit of chocolate, and then he would take a tiny nibble-just enough to allow the lovely sweet taste to spread out slowly over his tongue. The next day, he would take another tiny nibble, and so on, and so on. And in this way, Charlie would make his ten-cent bar of birthday chocolate last him for more than a month.

But I haven't yet told you about the one awful thing that tortured little Charlie, the lover of chocolate, more than anything else. This thing, for him, was far, far worse than seeing slabs of chocolate in the shop windows or watching other children munching creamy candy bars right in front of him. It was the most terrible torturing thing you could imagine, and it was this:

In the town itself, actually within sight of the house in which Charlie lived, there was an ENORMOUS CHOCOLATE FACTORY!

Just imagine that!

And it wasn't simply an ordinary enormous chocolate factory, either. It was the largest and most famous in the whole world! It was WONKA'S FACTORY, owned by a man called Mr. Willy Wonka, the greatest inventor and maker of chocolates that there has ever been. And what a tremendous, marvelous place it was! It had huge iron gates leading in to it, and a high wall surrounding it, and smoke belching from its chimneys, and strange whizzing sounds coming from deep inside it. And outside the walls, for half a mile around in every direction, the air was scented with the heavy rich smell of melting chocolate!

Twice a day, on his way to and from school, little Charlie Bucket had to walk right past the gates of the factory. And every time he went by, he would begin to walk very, very slowly, and he would hold his nose high in the air and take long deep sniffs of the gorgeous chocolatey smell all around him.

Oh, how he loved that smell!

And oh, how he wished he could go inside the factory and see what it was like!

Chapter Two

Mr. Willy Wonka's Factory

In the evenings, after he had finished his supper of watery cabbage soup, Charlie always went into the room of his four grandparents to listen to their stories, and then afterwards to say good night.

Every one of these old people was over ninety. They were as shriveled as prunes, and as bony as skeletons, and throughout the day, until Charlie made his appearance, they lay huddled in their one bed, two at either end, with nightcaps on to keep their heads warm, dozing the time away with nothing to do. But as soon as they heard the door opening, and heard Charlie's voice saying, "Good evening, Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine, and Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina," then all four of them would suddenly sit up, and their old wrinkled faces would light up with smiles of pleasure-and the talking would begin. For they loved this little boy. He was the only bright thing in their lives, and his evening visits were something that they looked forward to all day long. Often, Charlie's mother and father would come in as well, and stand by the door, listening to the stories that the old people told; and thus, for perhaps half an hour every night, this room would become a happy place, and the whole family would forget that it was hungry and poor.

One evening, when Charlie went in to see his grandparents, he said to them, "Is it really true that Wonka's Chocolate Factory is the biggest in the world?"

"True?" cried all four of them at once. "Of course it's true! Good heavens, didn't you know that? It's about fifty times as big as any other!"

"And is Mr. Willy Wonka really the cleverest chocolate maker in the world?"

"My dear boy," said Grandpa Joe, raising himself up a little higher on his pillow, "Mr. Willy Wonka is the most amazing, the most fantastic, the most extraordinary chocolate maker the world has ever seen! I thought everybody knew that!"

"I knew he was famous, Grandpa Joe, and I knew he was very clever...."

"Clever!" cried the old man. "He's more than that! He's a magician with chocolate! He can make anything-anything he wants! Isn't that a fact, my dears?"

The other three old people nodded their heads slowly up and down, and said, "Absolutely true. Just as true as can be."

And Grandpa Joe said, "You mean to say I've never told you about Mr. Willy Wonka and his factory?"

"Never," answered little Charlie.

"Good heavens above! I don't know what's the matter with me!"

"Will you tell me now, Grandpa Joe, please?"

"I certainly will. Sit down beside me on the bed, my dear, and listen carefully."

Grandpa Joe was the oldest of the four grandparents. He was ninety-six and a half, and that is just about as old as anybody can be. Like all extremely old people, he was delicate and weak, and throughout the day he spoke very little. But in the evenings, when Charlie, his beloved grandson, was in the room, he seemed in some marvelous way to grow quite young again. All his tiredness fell away from him, and he became as eager and excited as a young boy.

"Oh, what a man he is, this Mr. Willy Wonka!" cried Grandpa Joe. "Did you know, for example, that he has himself invented more than two hundred new kinds of candy bars, each with a different center, each tar sweeter and creamier and more delicious than anything the other chocolate factories can make!"

"Perfectly true!" cried Grandma Josephine. "And he sends them to all the four corners of the earth! Isn't that so, Grandpa Joe?"

"It is, my dear, it is. And to all the kings and presidents of the world as well. But it isn't only candy bars that he makes. Oh, dear me, no! He has some really fantastic inventions up his sleeve, Mr. Willy Wonka has! Did you know that he's invented a way of making chocolate ice cream so that it stays cold for hours and hours without being in the icebox? You can even leave it lying in the sun all morning on a hot day and it won't go runny!"

"But that's impossible!" said little Charlie, staring at his grandfather.

"Of course it's impossible!" cried Grandpa Joe. "It's completely absurd! But Mr. Willy Wonka has done it!"

"Quite right!" the others agreed, nodding their heads. "Mr. Wonka has done it."

"And then again," Grandpa Joe went on, speaking very slowly now so that Charlie wouldn't miss a word, "Mr. Willy Wonka can make marshmallows that taste of violets, and rich caramels that change color every ten seconds as you stick them, and little feathery sweets that melt away deliciously the moment you put them between your lips. He can make chewing gum that never loses its taste, and candy balloons that you can blow up to enormous sizes before you pop them with a pin and gobble them up. And, by a most secret method, he can make lovely blue birds' eggs with black spots on them, and when you put one of these in your mouth, it gradually gets smaller and smaller until suddenly there is nothing left except a tiny little pink sugary baby bird sitting on the tip of your tongue."

Grandpa Joe paused and ran the point of his tongue slowly over his lips. "It makes my mouth water just thinking about it," he said.

"Mine, too," said little Charlie. "But please go on."

While they were talking, Mr. and Mrs. Bucket, Charlie's mother and father, had come quietly into the room, and now both were standing just inside the door, listening.

"Tell Charlie about that crazy Indian prince," said Grandma Josephine. "He'd like to hear that."

"You mean Prince Pondicherry?" said Grandpa Joe, and he began chuckling with laughter.

"Completely dotty!" said Grandpa George.

"But very rich," said Grandma Georgina.

"What did he do?" asked Charlie eagerly.

"Listens," said Grandpa Joe, "and I'll tell you."

Chapter Three

Mr. Wonka and the Indian Prince

"Prince Pondicherry wrote a letter to Mr. Willy Wonka," said Grandpa Joe, "and asked him to come all the way out to India and build him a colossal palace entirely out of chocolate."

"Did Mr. Wonka do it, Grandpa?"

"He did, indeed. And what a palace it was! It had one hundred rooms, and everything was made of either dark or light chocolate! The bricks were chocolate, and the cement holding them together was chocolate, and the windows were chocolate, and all the walls and ceilings were made of chocolate, so were the carpets and the pictures and the furniture and the beds; and when you turned on the taps in the bathroom, hot chocolate came pouring out.

"When it was all finished, Mr. Wonka said to Prince Pondicherry, 'I warn you, though, it won't last very long, so you'd better start eating it right away.'

"'Nonsense!' shouted the Prince. 'I'm not going to eat my palace! I'm not even going to nibble the staircase or lick the walls! I'm going to live in it!'

"But Mr. Wonka was right, of course, because soon after this, there came a very hot day with a boiling sun, and the whole palace began to melt, and then it sank slowly to the ground, and the crazy prince, who was dozing in the living room at the time, woke up to find himself swimming around in a huge brown sticky lake of chocolate."

Little Charlie sat very still on the edge of the bed, staring at his grandfather. Charlie's face was bright, and his eyes were stretched so wide you could see the whites all around. "Is all this really true?" he asked. "Or are you pulling my leg?"

"It's true!" cried all four of the old people at once. "Of course it's true! Ask anyone you like!"

"And I'll tell you something else that's true," said Grandpa Joe, and now he leaned closer to Charlie, and lowered his voice to a soft, secret whisper. "Nobody ... ever ... collies ... out!"

"Out of where?" asked Charlie.

"And ... nobody ... ever ... goes ... in!"

"In where?" cried Charlie.

"Wonka's factory, of course!"

"Grandpa, what do you mean?"

"I mean workers, Charlie."


"All factories,'" said Grandpa Joe, "have workers streaming in and out of the gates in the mornings and evenings -except Wonka's! Have you ever seen a single person going into that place-or coming out?"

Little Charlie looked slowly around at each of the four old faces, one after the other, and they all looked back at him. They were friendly smiling faces, but they were also quite serious. There was no sign of joking or leg-pulling on any of them.

"Well? Have you?" asked Grandpa Joe.

"I ... I really don't know, Grandpa," Charlie stammered. "Whenever I walk past the factory, the gates seem to be closed."

"Exactly!" said Grandpa Joe.

"But there must be people working there...."

"Not people, Charlie. Not ordinary people, anyway."

"Then who?" cried Charlie.

"Ah-ha.... That's it, you see.... That's another of Mr. Willy Wonka's clevernesses."

"Charlie, dear," Mrs. Bucket called out from where she was standing by the door, "it's time for bed. That's enough for tonight."

"But mother, I must hear...."

"Tomorrow, my darling...."

"That's right," said Grandpa Joe, "I'll tell you the rest of it tomorrow evening."

Chapter Four

The Secret Workers

The next evening, Grandpa Joe went on with his story.

"You see, Charlie," he said, "not so very long ago there used to be thousands of people working in Mr. Willy Wonka's factory. Then one day, all of a sudden, Mr. Wonka had to ask every single one of them to leave, to go home, never to come back."

"But why?" asked Charlie.

"Because of spies."


"Yes. All the other chocolate makers, you see, had begun to grow jealous of the wonderful candies that Mr. Wonka was making, and they started sending in spies to steal his secret recipes. The spies took jobs in the Wonka factory, pretending that they were ordinary workers, and while they were there, each one of them found out exactly how a certain special thing was made."

"And did they go back to their own factories and tell?" asked Charlie.

"They must have," answered Grandpa Joe, "because soon after that, Fickelgruber's factory started making an ice cream that would never melt, even in the hottest sun. Then Mr. Prodnose's factory came out with a chewing gum that never lost its flavor however much you chewed it. And then Mr. Slugworth's factory began making candy balloons that you could blow up to huge sizes before you popped them with a pin and gobbled them up. And so on, and so on. And Mr. Willy Wonka tore his beard and shouted, 'This is terrible! I shall be ruined! There are spies everywhere! I shall have to close the factory!'"


Excerpted from Charlie AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY by ROALD DAHL Copyright © 1964 by Roald Dahl Nominee Ltd . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.

After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 13, 1916
Date of Death:
November 23, 1990
Place of Birth:
Llandaff, Wales, England
Place of Death:
Oxford, England

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 347 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for the first time in my life to my three year old boy. We both looked forward to our nightly chapter reading. Other than a few words in the text that are not appropriate for a three year old (easily replaced during aloud reading), the content was absorbing and entertaining. I would recommend this to anyone - parent, child or bachelor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was about a boy named Charlie. My favorite character is Augustus Gloop because he eats a lot of chocolate.I liked this book because there is
a lot of funny songs.You should read this book because it is a 5 star book it will keep you predicting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was about a boy named Charlie who loves chocolate. He meets the owner of a chocolate factory, Mr. Willy Wonka. My favorite characters in this book were the Oompa-Loompas. They sing a lot. I liked it because it was funny and the Oompa-Loompas sing. You should read this because it is
better than T.V.
BryceD More than 1 year ago
A boy who went to the biggest chocolate factory in the world and he met a famous person. My favorite character in this book were the Oompa-Loompas because they started to sing a couple of times. I liked this book because it has a lot of funny stuff in it like Augustus going up the pipe. You should read this book because it is interesting like Charlie finding a coin to buy a couple of chocolate bars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was fantastic he created a wonderful world for jucst about everyone!2 wrds read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome. After seeing both of the movies, then reading the first book I am beginning to understand the storyline a little bit better. At first when I saw the movie i didn't understand the meaning behind the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like or has read one of Roald Dahls books you should really read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I would highly recomend it. It is an amazing book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book. It transforms your seemingly impossible dream into a book. Buy the book and the only thing you will regret is the picture on the front cover. : )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its amazing read this book i also love the movie who doesnt ? Read this book you'll be glad u did:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was about Charlie Bucket and four kids competing to win the Chocolate Factory. [The five kids did not know they where competing.] And Charlie won. My favorite character was Augustus Gloop because he fell in a river and got sucked up a pipe then got stuck. I liked this book because it was very exciting. It is exciting because you never know what is going to happen next because there is always something happening to the characters. You should read this book because it is very well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Book.Five Star review.Hilarious.awesome charactors... especially Willy Wonka.Hope you enjoy reading it.bye- bye.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My teacher has read it to us and i think it was good.Please get it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book as a kid and now I am reading it to my own child. It was a great book then and it still is a fun book now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie. It was cool! And this is what I don't get: What freaks you out about the cover? Is it the factory? Is it the characters? Is it the way it's drawn?? Other than that, it was amazing!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I reccomend reading more of roald dahl. 5 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is true and inspiring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great for kids
Patito_de_Hule More than 1 year ago
When Willie Wonka announces that he's hidden 5 golden tickets to his fantasticly famous, but very mysterious, chocolate factory, Charlie Bucket wishes more than anything that he could be one of the lucky 5 winners. But Charlie is very poor and can not afford to buy any of the chocolate bars that conceal the tickets. Luck knocks unexpectedly, though, and he's up for the adventure of a life-time with 4 other kids - each of whom has at least one huge personality flaw. Violet Beauregarde is uber-competitive and has a nasty chewing-gum habit, Veruca Salt is spoiled rotten, Mike Teavee is a know-it-all who watches too much TV, and Augustus Gloop is grossly overweight and incredibly greedy. As the eccentric Willie Wonka takes the kids on a wild tour of his factory, each of the kids suffers dire consequences of their flaws.  This is my FAVORITE Roald Dahl book. Hilarious and fun - and it has a classic movie that makes me even fonder of it. :) I really enjoyed listening to Idle's fantastic narration of the story - though I wish he'd sung the Oompa Loompa songs instead of just reading them. But no one's perfect. :) I think I enjoyed this book just as much as an adult as I had as a child. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well this book is not my favorite book but it might be for. It’s about 5 kids finding golden tickets. When they all find one they get to go inside the factory. The good kid gets to keep the factory. Mike Tee Vee is my favorite kid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. In this story, there is a young boy. His name is Charlie Bucket. He and 6 adults live in a beat up old house. He and 4 other people win a chance to see the chocolate factory. One of the kids gets a chance to win the factory. You get to read about Willy Wonka’s special factory.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a really good book. My favorite person is Charlie because he is nice and caring to people. Charlie’s family lives in a old house. All the other children are brats and they are richer than Charlie’s family. Five children will find the golden tickets to go to the chocolate factory .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever i dont like to spoil things but vin the book theres this boy thats poor and for his birthday every year he gets a chocolate bar.his grandpa gives him a quarter to buy another candy bar and the GOLDEN TICKET is in it. So he gets to go to willy wonka s chocolate factory and meet him. Read the redt of the book to find out what happens next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is such a wonderful book . All of the first four children are spoiled rats. Charile is very poor boy . His grandpa joe tells him stories about the cholte factory . Very great to hear what happens to the other four children who come to the factory . His leaves with all of his grand parents . He love willy wonka the owner of the factory. What a very great place to vist . There is muisic in this book it is a good book to hear evey day i want to read it again and again . You would like this book so much . I would recamend this book to you. By andy frieden
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im in a play aboout willy wonka and im an ompa lompa!i love this book and everyone should buy it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is one of the funniest charachters ever read this book. I give it a 5*/five stars