The BFG by Roald Dahl
Publication Date: First published in Great Britain by Jonathan Cape Ltd., 1982
Recommended Age Group: Ages 10 and up
Summary: The BFG is a book about a little girl from an orphanage named Sophie who is lying awake in bed one night and sees a giant walking the streets. She tries to hide once she has seen him but it is too late. He takes her out of her room and runs back to his cave. At first she is worried that he is going to eat her but he is not that type of giant. He is known as the Big Friendly Giant and eats disgusting vegetables that taste like rotting frogs. His main idea of fun is catching dreams and blowing the happy ones into children’s bedrooms at night. The other nine giants however are man eating giants and they go to different countries every night to eat people. They take them from their homes while they are sleeping and eat them. Sophie thinks these other giants need to be stopped but they are a lot bigger and meaner than the BFG. In the end she does come up with a plan to mix up a dream to tell the queen of England what is going on with these giants. Sophie and the BFG create a dream that tells the queen all about the bad giants and what they do at night and about her and the good giant. When the queen awakes Sophie is on her windowsill to confirm the dream and to help create a plan of action. After a very interesting breakfast during which the BFG is sitting on a piano piled with other things for his chair and a ping pong table on top of four grandfather clocks for his table then the queen invites the heads of the military in to create a plan. They decide to catch the giants while they are sleeping and carry them off with helicopters. In the end the bad giants are forced to stay in a huge pit and they are fed the disgusting vegetables that the BFG was forced to eat before. The BFG gets a nice huge house next to the castle and Sophie gets a little cottage next to him and the BFG writes a book about his experiences, which as we find out in the end is the BFG, the book we just read.
Personal Notes: This is a really fun and quick book. Easy to read and grabs the reader’s attention. I really liked the parts where Dahl makes up new words for things. I think it creates a sense of wonder in the children. I remember when I used to read his books and they included words that weren’t really words that this was fun. I never mistook them for real words or used them in school, that might make me look funny, but I loved the way he used them just the same. I think that is very applicable in a book about things that don’t really exist, man eating giants, it helps the reader appreciate that these things aren’t real and adds imagination to it.