How is it that a top 10 books with chocolate in the title has escaped me? Here are some YA, some children’s, some other fiction, and the Dewey number of the gods.
The Chocolate War, and Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier – before young adult literature was something everyone wanted to be doing, there were the Roberts (Cormier, Swindells and Westall). The Chocolate War is classic YA literature. First published in 1974, it’s a disturbing tale of evil and good, corruption and the opposite of corruption (with chocolate as the catalyst). Plus there’s a sequel.
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. A much-loved, pre-Twilight story of a werewolf who falls for a human boy with a very catchy title. Interestingly, the author also wrote a pre-Twilight vampire story (The Silver Kiss).
Bitter Chocolate by Sally Grindlay. The more serious side of chocolate. Bitter Chocolate is set in West Africa during a particularly violent time (Liberia and Sierra Leone were both in a state of civil war in the early 2000s). After rebel fighting kills his family, Pascal is made a child soldier, escapes, and then is forced to work as a slave in a cocoa plantation. For information about Fair Trade products, and an app to help find them, you can visit Fairtrade New Zealand.
Chocolate cake with Hitler by Emma Craigie. Twelve-year-old Helga Goebbels is the daughter of Joseph, the head of Nazi propaganda. As World War II comes to an end, chocolate cake for tea every day with Uncle Leader turns into hiding in an underground bunker, watching the Nazi leadership crumble.
In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin. This is the book that reminded me I hadn’t done a chocolate list, so it goes in too. The Birthright trilogy is set not too far in the future (2083 to start), in a time when chocolate and coffee are illegal (unimaginable!). Anya’s family manufactures chocolate, meaning they’re as good as the Mafia.
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Tita is forbidden to marry, and must look after her mother until she dies. To complicate things, she falls in love with Pedro, who is seduced by her delicious cooking (Tita is a gifted cook, like Remy the rat in Ratatouille). Pedro marries Tita’s sister as a way of staying close to her (like that works, poor Tita). The title is a reference to the best way to make hot chocolate (I am dubious). There are recipes in the book, and it was made into a (Spanish language) film.
Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Another movie conversion (this one with Johnny Depp). One day, quite suddenly, Vianne breezes into a somewhat uptight French village and opens a chocolate shop, causing consternation among the locals who disapprove of her sinfully good chocolate and her outlook on life.
The Great Chocolate Cake Bake Off by Wellington’s own Philippa Werry. Home-grown chocolatey story about a boy who discovers he has a gift for baking, but can he come up with a great bake-off-winning recipe?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. This is the most amazing book about chocolate, ever.
Everything at 641.6374. There is an unbelievable collection of chocolate recipes books. You should try one (pictured is one about Whittakers, for example).