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Banned Book Review: James and the Giant Peach

January 25, 2006

56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Reason: contains crude language and encourages children to disobey their parents and other adults.

Considering that the “parents” James is supposedly encouraged to disobey is a pair of aunts who treat him like a little slave boy, I really don’t see where people have a problem with James disobeying them.  And considering that the disobeying involves rolling over them with a giant peach grown using glittery green bits of magic, I don’t see how parents could possibly be worried.  Maybe they’re worried about their kids dropping a house on them.  In which case they should be banning The Wizard of Oz.

James is a young boy who has lost his parents and is sent to live with his two mean aunts.  In a desperate bid to get out from under their control, he accepts magical green dust from a stranger.  The dust gets accidentally spilled under an old peach tree, which begins to grow a massive peach.  Inside the peach live an array of giant bugs who accompany James on a wild and fantasic ride across the Atlantic to America.  Along the way they get attacked by sharks, soar on the wings of hundreds of seagulls, and meet up with some rather cranky cloud men.  And oh yeah.  They flatten the aunts into paper.

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