Literary prequels to celebrate the release of Wonka

There you are, turning the last page of a new favorite book and being overcome with sadness that there’s no more to read. But wait! You discover that there’s a prequel, teaching you more about the world you just uncovered, and the characters you’ve fallen in love with. 

Now, was a Willy Wonka prequel necessary? Maybe not, even if Timmy C. is rocking that velvet suit. But we took this opportunity to tell you about some of our favorite literary prequels!

Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the 10th annual Hunger Games. The once-mighty house of Snow’s fate is hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will mentor the winning tribute. But he’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined. Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute…and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive.

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows that a real man takes care of his family. Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords so he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison. But then he finds out he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. It’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. 

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Antoinette Cosway is a sensual and protected young woman who is sold into marriage to the prideful Mr. Rochester. The society she lives in is so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.

Fractal Noise by Christopher Paolini

July 25, 2234: The crew of the Adamura discovers an anomaly. On the seemingly uninhabited planet Talos VII is a circular pit, 50 kilometers wide. Its curve not of nature, but design. Now, a small team must land and journey on foot across the surface to learn who built the hole and why. For some, the mission is the dream of the lifetime, for others a risk not worth taking, and for one, it is a desperate attempt to find meaning in an uncaring universe. Each step they take toward the mysterious abyss is more punishing than the last. And the ghosts of their past follow.

Flow by Kennedy Ryan

In eight years, Marlon James will be one of the brightest rising stars in the music industry. Bristol Gray will be his tough, no-nonsense manager. But when they first meet, she’s a college student finding her way in the world, and he’s an artist determined to make his way in it. From completely different worlds, all the things that should separate them only draw them closer. It’s a beautiful beginning, but where will the story end?

Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, Viv is packed off to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk — so far from the action that she worries she’ll never be able to return to it. Spending her hours at a beleaguered bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted, but it may be both exactly what she needs and the seed of changes she couldn’t possibly imagine.

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Malcolm finds a mysterious object — inside it is a cryptic message about something called Dust; and it’s not long before Malcolm is approached by the spy for whom this message was actually intended. He begins to notice suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings for Malcolm alone; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a daemon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl, just a baby, named Lyra.

Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful Assassin’s Guild and its scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, she yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. But when Arobynn dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, Celaena finds herself acting independently of his wishes and questioning her own allegiance.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life. But his contentment is disturbed when a wizard and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. 

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk. Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle in a small Massachusetts town, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are.