Before he was a world-renowned children's book writer, Roald Dahl was a master of short stories for adults. The thirteen tales collected here were specially selected for their appeal to teens, and they represent his finest work. By turns shocking, ironic, humorous, and touching, these stories are filled with bizarre twists and unexpected delights. This collection proves Roald Dahl's standing as one of the world's foremost storytellers.
"A baker's dozen of barbed, witty, obliquely macabre short stories... This sampler of Dahl's writing conveys a sense of his versatility." --Kirkus Reviews
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Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.
After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.
Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.
Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com
Grade 7 Up-Readers who were turned on to chapter books with the magic of Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970) and the wondrous James and the Giant Peach (1961, both Knopf) will be interested to discover that Dahl began his writing career composing adult short stories?macabre, ironic tales that were translated into scripts for a popular TV series. This collection, based on those tales, is perfect for teen sensibilities. These poisonous gems reflect a British black humor sniping at greedy, pretentious folk. The language is precise, without an extraneous adjective; "The Landlady" is indeed "terribly nice" and Lady Turton of "Neck" prances and snorts like a barely restrained high-strung filly. Teachers looking for examples of irony need look no further than "Parson's Pleasure," in which an overeager antique collector gets exactly what he asks for. Feminists may be a bit offended; Dahl's antipathy for the female sex is rather evident throughout the stories. Wife and family are often an encumbrance in his world. "Royal Jelly" stars a father who is overinvolved in the caring for and feeding of his new offspring; it is a delicious morsel to serve to grown up "Goosebumps" fans. This baker's dozen is a treat for all YA collections.
Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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