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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl
One of my favorite kid movies of all time is the musical Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Once I read the book, though, I realized that the original title is much better. The story is about the same though, with poor-as-dirt Charlie Bucket dreaming of being one of the five lucky winners of a candy bar sweepstakes, the grand prize being a guided tour of the mysterious and magical Wonka Candy Works.
Along with Grandpa Joe, Charlie does get to tour the marvelous candy land, along with four obnoxious children and their over-indulgent parents, who are eliminated one-by-one as a result of their own character flaws. Each time this happens, the tiny orange Oompa Loompas deliver moralizing remarks about such evils as watching too much TV, chewing too much gum, overeating, and being a spoiled brat. Finally Charlie’s loyalty is tested… and when he passes the test, he wins the real grand prize that he never dared dream of!
Look out for the sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.