By: Roald Dahl
I grew up loving Roald Dahl stories. Who doesn't love title such as The Witches (which is a favorite of mine, The BFG, Matilda, and many more. While searching through some titles by Dahl I stumbled upon this one. Boy is a memoir of Dahl's own childhood. I was intrigued to read this as I so adore his books.
Roald Dahl was born in Wales to a wealthy family. His parents were originally from Norway and he spent many summers visiting and having fun there with his family. His father died when he was quite young but he had a very strong mother that raised him and his 5 siblings. Dahl recounts his earliest memories of grade school and getting into trouble because he and some friends put a mouse in the candy store scaring the grumpy woman that worked there. Through out the story we see Dahl going through schooling and being sent to boarding school. He recounts many memories but it shocked me at how many were centered around him getting hit with the cane, which I found to be sad and terrifying myself. School for him did not seem pleasant at all. My favorite story, was how he described when Cadbury would send boxes of chocolate to his school with new product for the boys to try and review. This Dahl states, "I used to imagine myself working in one of these labs and suddenly I would come up with something so absolutely unbearably delicious that I would grab it in my hand and go rushing out of the lab and along the corridor and right into the office of the great Mr Cadbury himself." These dreams he would have and memories of those cardboard boxes with chocolates was what he was thinking about when he "began to write a book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
Dahl's voice and stories along with snippets of old letters, pictures, and school reports made the story very easy to read and I think it would be very interesting for students to read. I was also interested just because of the history. The book did give us insight into his childhood and a little bit of his adult life. The last 15 pages or so goes on to tell us about his job with Shell and how he moved to Africa for them. It also briefly tells us how he was a fighter pilot in the war. This part seems very rushed but as I think the audience was intended for children, I think he tried to tell stories that would interest them. It did not leave me saying oh I know why Dahl is the way he is or that must be the inspiration for that story.