Celebrated British writer Roald Dahl changed the face of children’s literature during his lifetime; his wide array of books has sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. In 2008, British daily The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of “the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.”
But beyond the accolades afforded by his native country, Dahl’s fame was far-reaching. Most of his books for children are now considered modern classics and are being read, studied, and taught all over the world. Here are our favorite ones.
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Easily the most popular and enduring of Dahl’s works, this is a modern fairy tale revolving around chocolate and the rewards and punishment of indulgence. It gave rise to cultural bywords like the Golden Ticket and, of course, Willy Wonka.
James and the Giant Peach (1961)
Dahl’s first book is immediately a page-turner and fan favorite, following the adventure of an orphan who enters a giant peach and befriends magically-altered garden bugs. It’s hard to suspend our disbelief at the beginning, but you’d have a great and fun read once you do.
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Notably the most believable and inventive of Dahl’s works, this is about a girl who has telekinesis. Wait until you meet the unforgettable character Bruce Bogtrotter.
The BFG (1982)
Also made into an animated film recently, this book gets readers face-to-face with a giant who blows good dreams into children’s windows. Our main character Sophie gets into a ton of (mis)adventures, travels by riding on her “big friendly giant’s” ear and even meets the queen of England.
Hi there! I’m John Eilermann from St. Louis, Missouri, and I’m currently in college pursuing a degree in comparative literature. Some of my favorite writers are Roald Dahl, C.S Lewis, Ned Vizzini, and Jonathan Franzen. For similar reads, visit this blog.