Cover image for James and the giant peach
Title:
James and the giant peach
Author:
Dahl, Roald.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Puffin Books, [2001].

©1961
Physical Description:
146 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Summary:
A young boy escapes from two wicked aunts and embarks on a series of adventures with six giant insects he meets inside a giant peach.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
870 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.8 4.0 232.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 6.7 8 Quiz: 06024 Guided reading level: Q.
Genre:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780141304670

9780142410363
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

When James Henry Trotter accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree, strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it's as big as a house. Then James discovers a secret entranceway into the fruit, and when he crawls inside, he meets a bunch of marvelous oversized friends -- Old-Green-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, Miss Spider, and more. After years of feeling like an outsider in the house of his despicable Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, James has finally found a place where he belongs. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the exciting adventure begins!


Author Notes

Roald (pronounced "Roo-aal") was born in Llandaff, South Wales. He had a relatively uneventful childhood and was educated at Repton School. During World War II he served as a fighter pilot and for a time was stationed in Washington, D.C.. Prompted by an interviewer, he turned an account of one of his war experiences into a short story that was accepted by the Saturday Evening Post, which were eventually collected in Over to You (1946).

Dahl's stories are often described as horror tales or fantasies, but neither description does them justice. He has the ability to treat the horrible and ghastly with a light touch, sometimes even with a humorous one. His tales never become merely shocking or gruesome. His purpose is not to shock but to entertain, and much of the entertainment comes from the unusual twists in his plots, rather than from grizzly details.

Dahl has also become famous as a writer of children's stories. In some circles, these works have cased great controversy. Critics have charged that Dahl's work is anti-Semitic and degrades women. Nevertheless, his work continues to be read: Charlie and Chocolate Factory (1964) was made into a successful movie, The BFG was made into a movie in July 2017, and his books of rhymes for children continue to be very popular.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

James and the Giant Peach isn't Dahl's first book, but it is his first for children, and it suffers from some of the clunkiness of a debut. The introductions to James' bug companions are replete with didactic facts about insects and spiders, and Dahl glides over plot holes with an uneven pace, particularly when James and his friends encounter the Cloud Men, whose weather-making stymies the peach's seagull-propelled journey. The rhymes, which are so splendid in his later works, are occasionally haphazard. But, significantly, his moments of imaginative brilliance and iconic mean-spirited comedy are fantastic. The premise lonely orphan embarks on transatlantic flight on a piece of fruit with giant bug companions is a humdinger, and the sunshiney conclusion to the brilliant protagonist's travails is exactly the sort of happily-ever-after such a dreamlike fantasy requires. James' tyrannical aunts, Sponge and Spiker, are deliciously hateable, and their demise, when it finally arrives, is grotesque and gleefully gratifying. The lively banter among the bugs, particularly the salty bickering between Centipede and Worm, is particularly entertaining. Most of the novel's high points are glimmers of what makes Dahl's later works so great, and perhaps it's only through the lens of his body of work that those moments really shine. Though it might not hold up as well as some of his other children's novels, this one, reprinted here in a collectible hardcover with a charming peach-colored typeface, is notable for being his first and offering a tantalizing glimpse of the absurdity and black humor to come.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2016 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Lane Smith trades stinky cheese for fantastic fruit with his black-and-white illustrations for Roald Dahl's classic 1961 novel, James and the Giant Peach. The reissue is timed to coincide with the release of the Disney animated motion picture based on Smith's suitably subversive visual interpretation. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-The classic children's book by Roald Dahl ( Knopf, 1961) receives royal treatment in this terrific audiobook production. James Henry Trotter, a poor orphan, is being raised by two horrible aunts. Magic crystals change his humdrum existence, and soon he is off on a great adventure on a giant peach with new friends who are, to say the least, unique. There are sharks, seagulls, and irate cloud people to add interest along the way and, of course, Dahl's irreverent poetry. The story has always been a crowd-pleaser, and Jeremy Irons does more than read the story-he performs it. Each character has a unique voice, aptly suiting each personality, and Irons tells the story with humor and energy. Fans of Dahl will not be disappointed in this briskly paced tale that is a delight from beginning to end.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.