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Danny Champion of the World
on 14 March 2003
Danny the Champion of the World was adapted into a children's book from one of Roald Dahl adult short stories. This book is perfect for slightly older children (aged 8 to 12). I first read it when I was nine and it was so exciting at the time I had to read some of it standing up because I could not sit still and read it at the same time. I still remembered the sheer excitement and tension when Danny was in the car. This is a gripping book for children to read.
It is also hugely touching as we see Danny's relationship to his Father develop. The sparky, enthusiastic and loving Father is an absolute joy to read about. Roald Dahl never had a Father himself (he died when he was young) and the figure in this book is obviously his ideal figure. I reread this book recently and I went for a walk though the autumn countryside afterwards because of it. It made me remember some important things that matter about life that I'd previously forgotten when I was lost under adult work and bills to pay. It left me profoundly affected.
The message at the end about what a Father should be should be a message to us all.
This is the most sensitive and well written of all Roald Dahl's children's books. It is also hugely funny. I feel so lucky to have been able to read Roald Dahl as a child. All children will love this book.