- Auxiliary Books
- The Trumpet of the Swan
- Trouble According to Humphrey
- The Indian in the Cupboard
- Because of Winn-Dixie
- The BFG
- Love That Dog
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
- A Cricket in Times Square
- A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears
- Bud, Not Buddy
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
- Island of Blue Dolphins
- In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
- The World According to Humphrey
- The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
- My Side of the Mountain
- The Lemonade War
- The Enormous Egg
- Hate That Cat
- A Long Way from Chicago
- The Mouse and the Motorcycle
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins
- The Phantom Tollbooth
- Charlotte’s Web
- The Witches
- James and the Giant Peach
Ah, Roald Dahl. The silly. The witty. The macabre.
For some adults he is an acquired taste. But for most children he is a can’t-get-enough, where-can-I-get-his-next-book delight. (And he’s been gone for over 20 years.)
Almost everyone knows of the James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (And those titles will be coming soon as OSOB selections.) But what to read and share next with children from the Roald Dahl canon?
Which brings me to…The Witches. It won’t be for everyone. Sensitive, younger children may be too scared. From the charming, silly, ridiculous early chapter – “How to Recognize a Witch” – to the young (unnamed) protagonist’s first encounter with those self-same witches, in all their ridiculous, unabashed glory – will be more than some children can take. They will have to wait.
But for families and groups, for schools and communities who know their children will relish the prickly tension of this-isn’t-really-real, so-why-am-I-so-enthralled? – The Witches may be just the ticket.
Dahl tells his tale with detailed abandon and precision. The story moves briskly. The prose is as ever rich and descriptive, relishing the horrible delights of the sneaky, devious, scheming witches. Dahl even plays with the reader’s expectations as to to the fate of his protagonist – and his hearty, healthy, can-do, make-the-best-of-it attitude will be balm to many a child and parent.
Perhaps it’s like horror films – not for everyone – and yet lurking inside each of us – children and grown-up children alike – is that can’t-turn-away fascination and curiosity.
Children listening to The Witches frequently insist, “Don’t stop now. Keep reading!” And it’s that kind of discovered enthusiasm we’re trying to kindle via One School, One Book.
So venture into the world or Roald Dahl’s Witches if you dare. (Or while you’re waiting for the safer fare of Willy Wonka and his Chocolate Factory.).