What to Read After... Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Published on: 15 December 2023

We've got great ideas for you if you loved meeting Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka in Roald Dahl's iconic story...

An illustration from the front cover of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory featuring Willy Wonka lifting the lid on a bubbling pot as Charlie watches on

Pic: Sir Quentin Blake

If you've enjoyed Charlie's adventures with the wonderful Willy Wonka, and other brilliant stories by Roald Dahl – Danny, the Champion of the World, perhaps, or James and the Giant Peach, or The Witches – where do you look next for fantastic adventures that give you the same combination of imagination, humour and quirky characters?

Books about sweet treats

An illustration from the front cover of Alice Eclair Spy Extraordinaire - a young girl and a cat running alongside a steam train on a station platform

No one will ever come close to Willy Wonka in the invention of wondrous, magical sweets and chocolate (though Bertie Bott tried with his Every Flavour Beans in the Harry Potter series), but there are sweet treats galore in the following books.

In The Nutcracker and the Mouse King's Christmas Shenanigans by Alex T. Smith, the Nutcracker and Clara and Fritz Strudel must stop the Mouse King from stealing all the Christmas confectionary, while in The Train of Dark Wonders by Alex Bell, Bess travels to the Land of Halloween Sweets.

Elsehwere, Alice Éclair, Spy Extraordinaire is a skilled baker and a brave, quick-witted spy. And dragon Aventurine discovers the delicious, magical properties of chocolate in the thrilling The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart.

More wish fulfilment stories

An illustration from the front cover of The Boy Whose Wishes Came True

Pic: Andrew Bannecker

A key part of the joy of Charlie's adventure is the thrill when he finds the Golden Ticket. Finally, something is going right for him. Not all of his fellow Golden Ticket holders end up with a positive ending, of course, and here are some other enjoyable stories that also explore wish fulfilment.

Wished by Lissa Evans is a hilarious and brilliant account of Ed and Roo's discovery of magical candles and the wishes they use with them – perhaps reminiscent of the classic Five Children and It by E Nesbit.

There are more real-world issues in The Boy Whose Wishes Came True by Helen Rutter, and a positive ending. And there can be no greater wish fulfillment than the huge amount of money that Damian and Anthony find in the brilliantly entertaining Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce. The catch is, they have to spend it in 17 days....

More adventures with grandparents

An illustration from the front cover of The Land of Roar - a child standing on a rocky mountain looking up at a huge red dragon

Pic: Ben Mantle

Charlie's Grandpa Joe is a brilliant companion, and the loving grandparent-grandchild relationship is perfect for adventures. In a similar vein to Millions, Frank Junior and his Grandpa Frank want to spend money in Grandpa Frank's Great Big Bucket List by Jenny Pearson. But will they be allowed to do every wild thing they plan?

Grandad Bobby is a huge part of Sunshine's life – and her whole community – in My Name is Sunshine Simpson by G M Linton. He is always telling Sunshine to go and have adventures.

And finally, what happens when your grandad disappears? You have to go into The Land of Roar to find him! In this gripping book by Jenny McLachlan, Rose and Arther explore a magical land and re-discover the meaning of family in the process.

Join in!

Those are some of our ideas – but what about you? What funny, imaginative stories do you love reading? Let us know by getting in touch on social media @BookTrust using the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter!

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