Thursday, October 04, 2012

Celebrate the Freedom to Read . . . JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH

Angie celebrates JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH by Roald Dahl

This whimsical book has been accused of inciting anti-authority behavior and containing inappropriate depictions of cruelty, mild profanity, mysticism, communism, racism, situations too scary for children, and more. The truth is that it is a book filled with fanciful characters and an enduring charm.

Dahl does not shy away from the darker aspects of childhood; James is initially ruled by his cruel and oppressive aunts. Ultimately, however, this is a story of empowerment. James breaks free under his own volition, taking control of his life and incurring a number of consequences, each of which he manages to face with the help of his new friends. That his friends are enormous insects bothers James not in the least, revealing an utter lack of prejudice upon his part. James learns to look beyond the exterior of any being and connect from the heart.

As a child, I was awed and delighted with each new twist in the story, and truly sorry when I finished the last page. Any child today should be allowed the opportunity to have that same experience.

Angie Price, Central Library 


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