James & the Giant Peach: Author & Summary

Instructor: April DeBord

April has taught Spanish and English as a Second Language and she has her Ed. S. in Foreign Language Education.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a giant piece of fruit as your home? Did you ever feel lonely and need a friend? Do you love good books? Let's learn about James and the Giant peach by Roald Dahl in our lesson!

Roald Dahl

James and the Giant Peach was written by author Roald Dahl in 1961. Roald Dahl was born in 1916 and died in 1990. He became a successful author and poet, and in World War II he was a fighter pilot. When you read his stories your imagination is taken to new and exciting places.

James and his Green Beans

James is a lonely boy whose parents died when they were eaten by a rhinoceros. He has to go live with his two mean aunts: Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. James is outside in his backyard one day and an old man comes by.

The old man gives him a package of green objects and tells him that if he follows the directions, something great is going to happen. However, James trips and spills the objects onto the ground where they burrow out of sight. James is sad because it seems like he lost his chance. Suddenly, his aunts begin yelling.

The Giant Peach

A giant peach is now growing on their tree, and it grows until it is bigger than their house. His aunts want to make money from it, so they put up a fence and charge admission. James can't go near the peach.

That night, James sneaks out of his house to look at the peach. He sees a small hole and he decides to see what might be inside. He finds a tunnel that leads to the peach's hollow pit, or seed. There, he meets Centipede, Earthworm, Ms. Spider, Old-Green-Grasshopper, and others. They're a little scary, but he soon makes friends with them and they make a plan to escape.

The Escape and Journey

The centipede cuts the peach from the tree, and it rolls over Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, killing them. The peach then rolls down the hill for several miles and over a cliff, landing in the Atlantic Ocean.

During their journey on the ocean, many problems occur. James becomes their leader, unofficially, and helps to solve their problems. The biggest problem is they have to get away from sharks. James and his friends tie ropes around seagulls, which makes the peach fly high above the ocean.

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