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James and the Giant Peach
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James and the Giant Peach

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  219,862 ratings  ·  3,783 reviews
When James 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. When James discovers a secret entranceway into the fruit and crawls inside, he meets wonderful new friends--the Old-Green-Grasshopper, the dainty Ladybug, and the Centipede of the m ...more
Hardcover, Borzoi Book Edition, 146 pages
Published September 10th 2002 by Alfred A. Knopf (first published 1961)
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Kelii 5 to 14 because I've been reading that book since I was 5
Kelii No duh. It is good for all ages (in my opinion 5 and up)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Muna
When I was in third grade, the first great crush of my life, Scott Murphy, stood up on the picnic table outside of the trailer that housed my third grade class and instead of reading his lines -- James' words -- from his paperback copy while we were all trying to rehearse the chapter we were supposed to present to the entire class the next day, he performed the most passionate version of "Paradise City" by Guns N Roses that I have ever seen.

To this day, I love Gun N Roses, I love Scott Murphy, a
...more
Lynda
Nov 23, 2014 Lynda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children and adults alike
Recommended to Lynda by: Banned Books Group
James and the Giant Peach - B A N N E D!


Recently I joined the Banned Books group and one of the group reads for this month was James and the Giant Peach. I'm sure there are many GR readers who have read a Roald Dahl book and/or seen a movie adaptation of one of his books. If you have, then you would know that Dahl has consistently written stories that entertain children with morals and life lessons that even adults can appreciate.

So why was this book banned?

Let's first take a look at what Jame
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Amy Talluto
Aug 24, 2007 Amy Talluto rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
A funny, dark and poetic book. I read this after seeing a documentary about Roald Dahls' life and hearing some of the book's passages narrated within the perspective of his time cramped up in a WWII bomber plane as a bombardier (he was very tall). The peach represents the polar opposite of being in a noisy and clattering war plane, manning a gun and always under the threat of death. The peach is a peaceful, sweet and quiet flying machine.
Patrick
I'm going to be completely honest here. I didn't like this book.

Usually, if I don't care for a book, I keep schtum about it here. Not only is it not as much fun to talk about books I didn't like, but bad-mouthing other author's books is pretty rude.

But, given that Dahl has passed on, and a fair number of people ask me for book recommendations for their kids. I figured I'd chime in with my opinion about this one.

I recently read it with my son, and while it wasn't *awful,* it was just... Meh. I
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midnightfaerie
I read James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl with my five year old. We had just finished Charlotte's Web and I was looking for chapter books I could enjoy as well. And I knew we had the movie so we could watch it when we were done. It turned out to be a great choice. Dahl uses the cliffhanger method at the end of almost every one of his chapters, and each chapter is only a page or two long. That combined with great illustrations, made for a win-win situation. I often ended a chapter only to ha ...more
MishyJo
This book was completely depraved. Bugs, seagulls, giant fruit, a little boy, a broken rainbow. I am disgusted. No wonder it was banned.

End sarcastic rant. I had forgotten how much I loved this book.

On the ALA's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books 1999-2000, having been banned for mysticism, sexual inferences, profanity, racism, references to tobacco and alcohol, and claims that it promotes disobedience, drugs, and communism.

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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I've never visited Central Park, but if I ever do, I'll be watching for the giant peach pit where James Henry Trotter settled happily after his wild excursion.

I knew I liked this book as a kid but I couldn't remember the details of the story. The thing that stayed in my mind all these years was the feeling of claustrophobia when James makes his way inside the peach and finds all the giant, friendly creepy-crawlies inside the peach pit. As a kid you always place yourself within the story, and I
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mark monday
used to dream of being James. had my special favorites amongst all the talking insects, but really they were all my favorites. also used to look at animal encyclopedias and write lists of my favorite animals. then I'd imagine going on an Incredible Journey with them. animals are so much better than people!
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Oh, childhood, Roald Dahl takes me right back. I will always love Roald Dahl's work, because of how much these books meant to me as a kid, not that they're not fun now, of course, but the experience really is not quite the same. Unlike with a lot of my childhood reads, dimmed to hazy memories, I have a strong recollection of my first time reading James and the Giant Peach. Much as I loved Roald Dahl (personal favorites being the BFG, The Witches, Boy, and Matilda), I dreaded reading this book, p ...more
Ricquetta
I remember when this book was read to me by my fifth grade teacher during our daily story time hour. I also remember hating that teacher because he played favorites to a group of girls that bullied me. However, despite my obvious distaste for the class and its inhabitants, I largely attribute that particular teacher for reading out to me some of my most favourite children's books; this particular Roald Dahl was one of them.

In all honesty before re-reading this after some 14 years, the only part
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Farah
Membaca buku ini membuat gue kelaparan setengah mati.
Karena gue membayangkan buah peach kalengan raksasa, dengan warna oranye yang mengilap, tekstur buah yang lembut, air gula yang lengket, serta kadar gula yang sangat tinggi dan sanggup membunuh seekor brontosaurus karena terserang diabetes melitus secara mendadak.
Atau brontosaurusnya hidup tapi cuma boleh makan kentang rebus seumur hidup.
Tapi gapapa, karena brontosaurus cuma makan sayuran.
Tapi selama beberapa tahun kedepan, si brontosaurusn
...more
Lucy
I shouldn't be allowed to read classic children's literature. My brain simply doesn't appreciate its intended purpose - creativity, imagination, fantasy. Instead, I wonder, "What's the point here?" Sometimes, there is a point, but I think with Ronald Dahl, the focus is placed on the magic and if there happens to be a story in there somewhere in it..so be it.

I borrowed it from the library because it was on the most-commonly-banned-books-in-America shelf and I wondered how the author of Charlie an
...more
Lou
Dahl's imagination and writing skill is masterful. He transports many of us to wonderful fun worlds of adventure and peculiarity with characters that every child would love to meet. A conjurer of great bedtime stories and memories of being young and learning to read those first books.
He must be thee most famous writer. This tale of a boy escaping two bad ladies into a world of make believe via a giant peach is full of fun and thrilling moments. His writing so well done, the vocabulary at times i
...more
Justine
In the Pantheon that is Roald Dahl, I find that James and the Giant Peach gets the shaft. I don't think I've ever heard anyone mention it as their favorite, but after this most recent read, I've decided that Dahl's Odyssey includes some of the best parts of his writing. It is eerily bizarre, wonderfully imaginative, and filled with imagery that I still remember from the first time I read it.

Tips Of My Hat:
~James is a cool-ass kid. The poverty/orphan combo that Dahl uses to play up how much we l
...more
Cait Grace
Well this is an other imaginative yet super disturbing Roald Dahl book. And THAT, my friends, is why I love his books so much! They're absolutely loony and a little bit scary. It's like Lewis Carroll's Wonderland psychotic mess meets a calm English breakfast. Spot o' tea, chaps? I think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory andMatilda still win as my favourite Roald Dahl books, especially Matilda which totally empowers bookworms. YAY. CatCF is just a skewed crazy ride as well. BUT I LOVE IT. I DO.

S
...more
Andrea
Dec 13, 2007 Andrea rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those that refuse to grow up
I grew up with a swelling admiration for Roald Dahl. I read everything and anything he would write until I was quoting text word for word. James and the Giant Peach was the one I treasured the most. I lived through the so lovely and ever innocent James as I did with almost every other adorable character Dahl went on to create.
David
Nov 03, 2008 David rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any child or anyone young at heart
Recommended to David by: My 4th grade teacher
This book was a highlight of my childhood, I remember it fondly and I look forward to reading it to my kids. Great imagery, great rhythm, great story for anyone who has ever felt lonely and wanted to escape to somewhere magical and wonderful. A giant peach is as good as any place. Highly recommended.
aPriL eVoLvEs
James Henry Trotter is a sweetie, and I couldn't adore this kid and his garden-friendly insect friends more. The illustrations were so cute.

After enduring abusive aunts for three years who despise James after they agree to raise him from the age of four after his parents die, James meets a mysterious man in the garden who gives him a bag of magical rice-sized crystals. He spills the crystals accidentally near his aunts' sad peach tree losing every one. It's a catastrophe for James, who was hopin
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D.G.
**3.5 stars**

Really, really cute story of a child that finds some unusual friends and adventures. I laughed out loud several times, specially with the centipede. If you're going to read this to your children though, just note that at some point the peach is confused with a giant bomb which is something you may want to keep in mind given the news lately. It's solved quickly and all ends well but I figured I should warn you anyway.

Jeremy Irons was simply WONDERFUL with the narration. It gave me th
...more
Ferdy
Really quick, fun read. Mostly enjoyed it because of the nostalgia factor. Also, the bitchy Centipede character was fun to read about.
Katie
If you are ever having a particularly bad day, I recommend that you steer yourself, as soon as possible, towards the children or young adult section of your local library.

I took this advice this past Saturday, spurred on by a bad mood, a recent conversation with a friend and Roald Dahl, and a recent comment thread here on Goodreads recommending books for young, intelligent readers. It was amazing how much fun it was to leave the library with a stack of ten-odd books, a mix of old favorites (hel
...more
Nikki
Today is a day for revisiting old favourites, clearly. I have an excuse, I swear! I'm doing 20th Century Children's Lit next semester (for lack of decent medieval courses I haven't already taken, murr). So this is all relevant, right?

Anyway, it's amazing how this book makes things as scary as giant insects fun and reassuring. It didn't work in general, but I was rather fond of Miss Spider. I smiled at the tiny bit of education about insects and their uses that gets worked into the story...

My fav
...more
Debbie
James Henry Trotter, whose parents were killed by a stampeding rhino, is stuck with his wicked aunts. His life changes forever when he meets an old man who gives him some magic crystals, which he is supposed to drink. Before he can follow the old man's instructions, he trips and spills the crystals under a withered peach tree.

Soon, the tree grows the most enormous peach ever and the aunts make a bunch of money selling tickets to see it. James finds a hidden tunnel that leads to the center of th
...more
Jessica
Somehow, I missed this book in my many reading escapades when I was young. It was good, though! Very cute, imaginative story of a little boy and his magically enlarged bug friends finding their way to New York City. I've always loved anything I've read by Roald Dahl!
 ᴍɪᴄs *that kind of girl*
Sooooo acabo de descubrir que Dahl también escribió esto junto con Matilda dos películas que me traumaron de niña así que no estoy segura de si leerlos o no. Me daban tanto miedo que estoy reacia a leerlos.
Emily
This book always scared me when I was younger. I also remember being terrified by the stop-motion movie (which in retrospect seems ridiculous, but what can you do).

James' aunts are horribly frightening, as are most of Dahl's adult villains. I was also not into insects as a child. The idea of James in a peach with enormous bugs was not very palatable, and the ending - the peach house, right? - seems grotesque.

I do enjoy these aspects of Dahl (the adult villains, the surreal plots), but I've nev
...more
Ksenia Anske
Just got done reading this, and I was roaring with laughter. At one point the dialogue between Centipede and Earthworm made me lose my voice, and I simply fell to the floor, gasping. Forget big important adult books.

READ THIS FOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

I swear by children's books. They are so simple and genius at the same time, you will see how it works, all the bones. It's amazing. I will read all of Dahl's work. And then, of course, as a perk, most of his books are illustrated by delicious Que
...more
Maria Casacalenda (Big City Bookworm)
***You can find all of my reviews at: Big City Bookworm. ***

“My dear young fellow,” the Old-Green-Grasshopper said gently, “there are a whole lot of things in this world of ours that you haven’t even started wondering about yet.”

Roald Dahl’s stories have been a part of most of our lives since we were small children that were still learning to read. Roald Dahl had one of the best imaginations of our time, creating stories that will be passed on throughout generations for a very long time.

The sto
...more
Undrakh Ganzorig
Another marvellous story of Roald Dahl. While reading, I found myself laughing out a loud; it's better than any comedy or so-called thing on mass media. I once saw its movie/cartoon on TV, but it wasn't that funny as far as I can remember. Just a little boy talking to over-sized insects and floating on a peach. But the book of that was a SHEER JOY TO READ :)
You will be introduced to an arrogant Centipede who has great sense of humor and a Earthworm who is happy only when he's gloomy. And what a
...more
Maryellen
I listen to this on cd with Waverly (and Henry a bit). Jermey Irons's reading is great - he does all these crazy voices.

Peter got it for the kids for Christmas, and I was nervous because I remembered this as being really scary and strange. Its a little harsh (the mean Aunts get squished and centipede at one point recites a poem revelling in this fact), but it is such a great story and so well read and the harshness doesn't seem to bother the kids (I'm not sure that's a good thing, but there it
...more
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4273
Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940's with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's bestselling authors.

Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was Shot Down Over Libya. Today the story is published as "A Piece of Cake". The story, about his wartime a
...more
More about Roald Dahl...
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) Matilda The BFG The Witches The Twits

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“I'd rather be fried alive and eaten by Mexicans.” 131 likes
“My dear young fellow,' the Old-Green-Grasshopper said gently, 'there are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven't started wondering about yet.” 77 likes
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