Monday, September 14, 2009

Roald Dahl

I spent yesterday afternoon curled up on the couch reading Going Solo, Roald Dahl's account of his time in Northern Africa and as a RAF pilot during World War II. I've read almost every book that Dahl has ever read but hadn't touched on his autobiographies. It was a wonderful account although not a children's book.

I was also shocked to read today that yesterday was Roald Dahl Day. The coincidence was just too amazing. Here I had picked up the book at a booksale on Saturday, started it that night, and read the majority of it on September 13th, the day Dahl was born. I know that in recent years, Dahl's work has become somewhat controversial. Parents seem to object to his rather dark, and sometimes vicious stories of children who outsmart adults. I have heard many people tell me that they don't let their child read Dahl. Too revolting, they say. His characters are mean. Or too strange.

I had The BFG read to me when I was in second grade. I had the greatest second grade teacher who read us some amazing books. I still remember sitting on the floor listening to the story of Sophie and her Big Friendly Giant. I loved the made-up words, the bizarre situation, and the silliness of the characters. It was the first chapter book I remember loving. I've gone on to read so many of Roald Dahl's books and haven't found one I haven't enjoyed. For all those parents out there, looking for something fun to read in a chapter book, I would recommend Roald Dahl. Yes Dahl is strange, yes he can be revolting, yes he can be vicious. But I have never read anything that have enchanted me as much as these books. Pick up any of his books. For me, they are all must-reads. And Happy Belated Roald Dahl Day!!!

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