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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Random House Children’s Banned Books Week Blog Tour: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory




I'm honored to be a part of Random House Children’s Banned Books Week Blog Tour! Each stop of this tour will feature an extraordinary book that has been banned and a giveaway. You can learn more about Banned Book Week here.

For my stop, I'm discussing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl...




Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(Charlie Bucket #1)
by Roald Dahl
first published in 1964
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!
goodreads/amazon/b&n/indiebound







Like most booknerds, the idea of banning books frustrates, confuses, and saddens me greatly! Books are an invaluable, precious resource and should never be locked behind bars. And the saddest part about the act of banning books, is that many of them are meant for children and teens. These are books that matter and, whether they simply entertain; teach; help; inspire; etc, these are books that need to be in the hands of readers.

Most are familiar with Roald Dahl's charming and irresistible story about a kind boy named Charlie Bucket, his trip to the infamous Wonka Chocolate Factory, and the wild mayhem and chaos that ensues. But, you may be surprised to find out why Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been banned and challenged in the past. This book was first banned for its depiction of the Oompa Loompas, which were originally described as African Pygmies. After this depiction was deemed racist, Dahl revised his story and created the Oompa Loompas we're used to these days. While I don't condone banning books, I am glad the Oompa Loompas were changed. However, even after the racist depictions were removed, people have still sought to challenge Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It has been challenged because  “the book espouses a poor philosophy of life” and because Charlie has no “tremendously positive traits, only an absence of negative ones” (info/quote found here). I find these claims laughable and a really ridiculous reason to want the book banned.

At its core, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is about being kind and honest, doing the right thing, family, and taking responsibility for one's actions. Like all of Dahl's unforgettable stories, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is full of heart and clever lessons to be learned. This certainly isn't a book that glorifies a "poor philosophy of life" or celebrates the mundane. And most importantly, with its laugh-out-loud humor, whimsical setting, and larger than life characters, this is a book that excels at entertaining!  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory captures and inspires the imaginations of young readers. You don't walk away from reading this book feeling poor or ordinary, you walk away craving more delicious stories!

Readers, especially young readers, need books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and we all deserve the right to have access to such books!



Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Llandaff, South Wales, and went to Repton School in England. His parents were Norwegian, so holidays were spent in Norway. As he explains in Boy, he turned down the idea of university in favor of a job that would take him to ‘a wonderful faraway place’. In 1933 he joined the Shell Company, which sent him to Mombasa in East Africa. When World War II began in 1939 he became a fighter pilot and in 1942 was made assistant air attaché in Washington, where he started to write short stories. His first major success as a writer for children was in 1964. Thereafter his children’s books brought him increasing popularity, and when he died children mourned the world over, particularly in Britain where he had lived for many years.

Win a copy of
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!
Random House has generously offered one new copy for one winner.
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-ends 10/4
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Random House Children’s Banned Book Week Blog Tour Schedule
Sunday, September 27
Monday, September 28
Tuesday, September 29
Wednesday, September 30
Thursday, October 1
  • Ex Libris – Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
  • Alice Marvels - A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
Friday October 2
Saturday, October 3

2 comments:

Sui Generis said...

My favorite banned book is How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

angela0040 said...

catcher in the rye