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“A book is the most effective weapon against intolerance and ignorance.”
Summary: It is the "witching hour" and Sophie can't sleep. She spots a creature leaning into neighbor kids' windows with something that looks like a giant trumpet. The giant sees her and takes her to his home in Giant Country. He says he is the only nice giant in the world, the Big Friendly Giant (BFG). He secretly collects good dreams and uses a blowpipe to blow them into kids’ room. He either destroys nightmares or uses them to start fights between the giants who eat “human beans." Sophie convinces the BFG to talk to the Queen of England to capture the human-eating giants. The BFG creates a nightmare of the giants snatching kids from their beds and eating them and leaves Sophie in the Queen's window, a ploy to convince the Queen of her dream’s validity. This is a classic fantasy for elementary students to listen to and middle graders to read.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 and up; read yourself: 10 and up
Young Reader Reaction: The BFG continues another common trait of Dahl, having his main character be of a poor background and, usually, be an orphan. Dahl’s natural tendency to lean towards explaining natural phenomena (such as dreams in this case) in whacky and zany manners make him a great read for anyone young reader. His books are always full of humor, wit, and an inane sense of charm that is always appeasing to readers. I recommend this book for anyone who wishes for a simple book to read, enjoy, and laugh through.
Adult Reader Reaction: The story is akin to other Dahl classics like James and the Giant Peach and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. We have enjoyed those stories as audio books. For me, Dahl is easier to listen to than to read.
Pros: Kids of all ages will relate to this story about a giant who takes away bad dreams ... and destroys other giants.
Cons: The humor can be subtle in places and the text can be overwhelming for a transitional reader.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Unless you are a Dahl fanatic. This would be a great book to have in multiple formats so readers can follow along as someone reads to them.