Sweet Books That Pair Well with 'Wonka' | Read Alikes

Fiction and nonfiction about candy and the history of chocolate complement the film with Timothée Chalamet as the young Willy Wonka. 


PG. Theaters. Dec. 15.
White actor Timothée Chalamet stars in this prequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that looks at inventor Willy Wonka’s journey to becoming a chocolate mogul.



Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Knopf. 1964.
Gr 3-6–In this classic tale, white tween Charlie Buckett wins a golden ticket that grants him a tour of Willy Wonka’s amazing chocolate factory. Readers unfamiliar with the original story may want to read this before or after seeing the movie.

A Taste of Magic by J. Elle. Bloomsbury. 2022.
Gr 3-5–In this culinary fantasy, Black sixth-grader Kyana Turner discovers her magical ability and enters a baking competition with a cash prize whose outcome could save her magic school. A delicious fantasy that's a whimsical, thought-provoking read.

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass. Little, Brown. 2010.
Gr 4-7–Four tweens (Logan, Daisy, and Philip are white; Miles is Chinese American) explore the Life is Sweet candy factory as they invent new treats for the annual Confectionery Association Conference, each desperately hoping to win for their own reasons. Kids with a sweet tooth will devour this quirky story.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Granbenstein. Random. 2013.
Gr 4-7–Billionaire game maker Luigi Lemoncello has given back to his hometown by creating a fantastic library, the likes of which have never been seen before. Just before opening to the public, Mr. Lemoncello invites kids from the town to play a game. It's an overnight library lock-in where they must use what’s in the library to figure out how to get out. Although book-themed rather than candy-themed, this fast-paced puzzle mystery will appeal to readers inspired by Wonka’s eccentric inventions.

Curriculum Connections

Keep learning with these tasty books about Wonka’s favorite treat.

On the Corner of Chocolate Avenue: How Milton Hershey Brought Milk Chocolate to America by Tziporah Cohen. HarperCollins/Clarion. 2022.
K-Gr 4–In the United States, milk chocolate and Hershey are nearly synonymous, but how many children know the whole story? In this picture book biography, Cohen gives readers a detailed picture of Hershey and his legacy.

Chocolate: Sweet Science & Dark Secrets of the World’s Most Favorite Treat by Kay Frydenborg. Harcourt. 2015.

Gr 6-8–This fascinating book presents a deep, multifaceted glimpse at a delectable dessert: chocolate. Engaging—even witty in places—and enlightening, it gives a history of the sweet treat, speculating about its little-known origins 1,500 years ago in the Upper Amazon Basin of South America, exploring its role in the European conquest of Central and South America, and discussing the dark side of chocolate: the use of slave labor to grow and harvest it.

No Monkeys No Chocolate by Melissa Sweet, illus. By Nicole Wong. Charlesbridge. 2013.
Gr 2-6–What does it take to make chocolate? Milk? Sugar? Beans? Coffin flies? Lizards? Monkeys? Learning about the life cycle of a cocoa tree becomes fun and informative as readers discover how plants and animals work together to produce the bean that becomes this sweet treat. 

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