Katie's Reviews > James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
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Feb 10, 12

it was amazing
bookshelves: middle-level, eced-221

James and the Giant Peach is the story of James Henry Trotter, who had a wonderful childhood until his parents were eaten by a rhinoceros and he was sent to live with his nasty Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spike. One day, an old man gives James some magic crystals that will give him more magic than anyone in the whole world. While James tries to sneak past his aunts, he drops the crystals under a tree and they soak into the soil. Suddenly, the tree sprouts a giant peach, full of giant insects, which James finds and befriends before heading off in the peach for the adventure of a lifetime.

The writing in the book was descriptive, and the style was fun and easy to read. The plot followed a logical order but was very exciting and kept readers on their toes. The character of James was very rounded – you could almost feel his loneliness and insecurity morph into friendship and self-esteem. The main theme in this book is friendship. Despite the fact that James and his friends were so very different, they truly cared about each other, and this is a theme that can be applied to real life. While the magic in the story was not exactly believable, it was consistent enough that, in context, it made sense. The story also explained everyday occurrences, such as rain and snow, as magical (for instance, hail is created by tall wispy creatures called “cloud men”) in magical ways that, again, are not believable but, in context, seemed logical.

I absolutely adored this book. The story was so fun and imaginative, and I loved the Centipede’s spontaneous rhymes. I think this book would be great to read aloud to students, because it is so exciting a full of adventure! I think even kids who are not usually big readers would really appreciate this book. It’s so easy to sympathize with James, and throughout the book I just wanted him to be happy. The characters are so charming, which is something I never thought I could say about giant insects! The themes of friendship and adventure are great, and this book is perfect for promoting imagination in children.
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