Kimberley's Reviews > James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
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's review
Sep 07, 2012

really liked it
Read in September, 2012

The book tells a story of a young boy, James who has lost his parents in a tragic accident (They were eaten ‘by an enormous angry rhinoceros’). After the death of his parents James was sent to live with his evil aunts who treated him terribly. With a touch of magic James finds himself in a peach the size of a house with various different giant insects as friends. The group of friends travel on the peach using seagulls to pull them along; on the journey they are tried against sharks, mystical Cloud Men, planes and the people of New York. After defeating the sharks and Cloud Men and traveling from Britain to America James manages to convince the people of New York that his friends (the Giant Insects) mean no harm and only want to help people, the story ends happily as James has many friends and lives a happy life in the peaches stone away from the terrible aunts.

I loved this story as a child, but have not read it for many years, after reading it as an adult I still enjoyed it but was shocked at some of the content. The book is extremely violent and talks of death and James getting beaten and locked up by his aunts, the forms of punishments the aunts use in my opinion would be less acceptable in a book written in today’s society. The book also uses vocabulary which may be seen as offensive in some cultures today. Having said that, the book is still exciting and education for children, it teaches many facts about various mini-beasts and suggests the importance of looking after one another and accepting each other’s differences.

The book would be better suited to children aged above 7 years of age. It could be used for one to one reading, independent reading and as a story read by the teacher to the class as a whole, ideally around the time the class is studying mini-beasts or PSHE.

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