Danny the Champion of the World

( 74 )

Overview

Danny’s life seems perfect: his home is a gypsy caravan, he’s the youngest car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. And when Danny discovers his father’s secret, he’s off on the adventure of a lifetime. Here’s Roald Dahl’s famous story about a 9-year-old boy, his dad, and a daring and hilarious pheasant-snatching expedition. Just as important, it’s the story of the love between a boy and his father who, in Danny’s own ...
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Overview

Danny’s life seems perfect: his home is a gypsy caravan, he’s the youngest car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. And when Danny discovers his father’s secret, he’s off on the adventure of a lifetime. Here’s Roald Dahl’s famous story about a 9-year-old boy, his dad, and a daring and hilarious pheasant-snatching expedition. Just as important, it’s the story of the love between a boy and his father who, in Danny’s own words, is “the most marvelous and exciting father a boy ever had.”

A young English boy describes his relationship with his father and the special adventure they share together.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Roald Dahl is known for creating stories that are completely unrealistic (and almost immoral) but tremendously funny. This book is no different. Danny is the only son of a car mechanic who lives in a gypsy caravan behind his garage. One evening, Danny wakes up to find his father missing. Hours later he returns and confesses his secret that Danny comes from a long line of pheasant poachers. Poaching is apparently a noble profession practiced by most of the citizens in the community (including the sole police officer), except for the owner of woods where the pheasants live. The owner, Mr. Hazell is a vile, selfish man, thus justifying the illegal activity that takes place in his woods. In this setting the story celebrates the bond between a father and his son. Through all the bizarreness of the story, the poaching methods and revenge tactics, it is the relationship between Danny and his father that remains at the heart of the story. If you are looking for a story with a moral, this is not it. But if you are looking for a sweet and funny fable, this is a wonderful example of storytelling. 2002 (orig. 1975), Random House,
— Heather Robertson
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142410332
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 8/16/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 57,767
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.07 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author


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

Quentin Blake is a well-known artist whose work has made him popular on both sides of the Atlantic. He has illustrated most of Roald Dahl’s children’s books as well as many others. He lives in London, where he teaches illustration at the Royal College of Art.

Biography

"I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means," a teacher once wrote in the young Roald Dahl's report card. "He seems incapable of marshaling his thoughts on paper." From such inauspicious beginnings emerged an immensely successful author whom The Evening Standard would one day dub "one of the greatest children's writers of all time."

Dahl may have been an unenthusiastic student, but he loved adventure stories, and when he finished school he went out into the world to have some adventures of his own. He went abroad as a representative of the Shell corporation in Dar-es-Salaam, and then served in World War II as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. After the war, Dahl began his writing career in earnest, publishing two well-received collections of short stories for adults, along with one flop of a novel.

The short stories, full of tension and subtle psychological horror, didn't seem to presage a children's author. Malcolm Bradbury wrote in The New York Times Book Review, "[Dahl's] characters are usually ignoble: he knows the dog beneath the skin, or works hard to find it." Yet this talent for finding, and exposing, the nastier sides of grown-up behavior served him well in writing for children. As Dahl put it, "Writing is all propaganda, in a sense. You can get at greediness and selfishness by making them look ridiculous. The greatest attribute of a human being is kindness, and all the other qualities like bravery and perseverance are secondary to that."

In 1953, Dahl married the actress Patricia Neal; two of his early children's books, James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) grew out of the bedtime stories he made up for their children. Elaine Moss, writing in the Times, called the latter "the funniest children's book I have read in years; not just funny but shot through with a zany pathos which touches the young heart." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a colossal hit. A film version starring Gene Wilder was released in 1971 (as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), while James and the Giant Peach was made into a movie in 1996.

Dahl followed his initial successes with a string of bestsellers, including Danny, the Champion of the World, The Twits, The BFG, The Witches and Matilda. Some adults objected to the books' violence -- unpleasant characters (like James’s Aunts Sponge and Spiker) tend to get bumped off in grotesque and inventive ways -- but Dahl defended his stories as part of a tradition of gruesome fairy tales in which mean people get what they deserve. "These tales are pretty rough, but the violence is confined to a magical time and place," he said, adding that children like violent stories as long as they're "tied to fantasy and humor." By the time of his death in 1990, Dahl's mischievous wit had captivated so many readers that The Times called him "one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation."

Good To Know

When Dahl was in school, he and his schoolmates occasionally served as new-product testers for the Cadbury chocolate company. Dahl used to dream of working in a chocolate manufacturer's inventing room. He wrote in his autobiography, "I have no doubt at all that, 35 years later, when I was looking for a plot for my second book for children, I remembered those little cardboard boxes and the newly invented chocolates inside them, and I began to write a book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Dahl's first book for children, The Gremlins (1943), was a story about the mythical creatures that sabotaged British planes. (Dahl claimed for most of his life that he had coined the term "gremlins," but it had been in use by members of the Royal Air Force for years.) Walt Disney planned to use it as the basis for a movie, but the project was scrapped, and only 5,000 copies of the book were ever printed.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 13, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      Llandaff, Wales, England
    1. Date of Death:
      November 23, 1990
    2. Place of Death:
      Oxford, England

Read an Excerpt

The Filling Station

WHEN I was four months old, my mother died suddenly and my father was left to look after me all by himself. This is how I looked at the time.

I had no brothers or sisters.

So all through my boyhood, from the age of four months onward, there was just us two, my father and me.

We lived in an old gypsy caravan behind a filling station. My father owned the filling station and the caravan and a small meadow behind, but that was about all he owned in the world. It was a very small filling station on a small country road surrounded by fields and woody hills.

While I was still a baby, my father washed me and fed me and changed my diapers and did all the millions of other things a mother normally does for her child. That is not an easy task for a man, especially when he has to earn his living at the same time by repairing automobile engines and serving customers with gasoline.

But my father didn't seem to mind. I think that all the love he had felt for my mother when she was alive he now lavished upon me. During my early years, I never had a moment's unhappiness or illness, and here I am on my fifth birthday.

I was now a scruffy little boy as you can see, with grease and oil all over me, but that was because I spent all day in the workshop helping my father with the automobiles.

The filling station itself had only two pumps. There was a wooden shed behind the pumps that served as an office. There was nothing in the office except an old table and a cash register to put the money into. It was one of those where you pressed a button and a bell rang and the drawer shot out with a terrific bang. I used to lovethat.

The square brick building to the right of the office was the workshop. My father built that himself with loving care, and it was the only really solid thing on the place. "We are engineers, you and I," he used to say to me. "We earn our living by repairing engines and we can't do good work in a rotten workshop." It was a fine workshop, big enough to take one automobile comfortably and leave plenty of room around the sides for working. It had a telephone so that customers could ring up and arrange to bring their cars in for repair.

The caravan was our house and our home. It was a real old gypsy wagon with big wheels and fine patterns painted all over it in yellow and red and blue. My father said it was at least one hundred and fifty years old. Many gypsy children, he said, had been born in it and had grown up within its wooden walls. With a horse to pull it, the old caravan must have wandered for thousands of miles along the roads and lanes of England. But now its wanderings were over, and because the wooden spokes in the wheels were beginning to rot, my father had propped it up underneath with bricks.

There was only one room in the caravan, and it wasn't much bigger than a fair-sized modern bathroom. It was a narrow room, the shape of the caravan itself, and against the back wall were two bunk beds, one above the other. The top one was my father's, the bottom one mine.

Although we had electric lights in the workshop, we were not allowed to have them in the caravan. The electricity people said it was unsafe to put wires into something as old and rickety as that. So we got our heat and light in much the same way as the gypsies had done years ago. There was a wood-burning stove with a chimney that went up through the roof, and this kept us warm in winter. There was a kerosene burner on which to boil a kettle or cook a stew, and there was a kerosene lamp hanging from the ceiling.

When I needed a bath, my father would heat a kettle of water and pour it into a basin. Then he would strip me naked and scrub me all over, standing up. This, I think, got me just as clean as if I were washed in a bathtub probably cleaner because I didn't finish up sitting in my own dirty water.

For furniture, we had two chairs and a small table, and those, apart from a tiny chest of drawers, were all the home comforts we possessed. They were all we needed.

The lavatory was a funny little wooden hut standing in the meadow way back of the caravan. It was fine in summertime, but I can tell you that sitting out there on a snowy day in winter was like sitting in an icebox.

Immediately behind the caravan was an old apple tree. It bore fine apples that ripened in the middle of September. You could go on picking them for the next four or

five weeks. Some of the boughs of the tree hung right over the caravan and when the wind blew the apples down in the night, they often landed on our roof. I would hear them going thump... thump... thump... above my head as I lay in my bunk, but those noises never frightened me because I knew exactly what was making them.

I really loved living in that gypsy caravan. I loved it especially in the evenings when I was tucked up in my

bunk and my father was telling me stories. The kerosene lamp was turned low, and I could see lumps of wood glowing red-hot in the old stove, and wonderful it was to

be lying there snug and warm in my bunk in that little room. Most wonderful of all was the feeling that when I went to sleep, my father would still be there, very close to

me, sitting in his chair by the fire, or lying in the bunk above my own.


From the Hardcover Library Binding edition.

Copyright 2002 by Roald Dahl; illustrated by Quentin Blake
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 74 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(54)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Danny the champion of the world

    This is a great book.if u like books that include adventure and mystrey u will like this book. My all time favorite book by rohald dual is the BFG we had to read it for Battle of the books last year and i wanted to read over and over again again. Danny the champion of the world is a great book! U should read it!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2011

    Danny the Champion of the World

    My class just read Danny The Champion Of The World. By Roald Dahl. Other books by, Roald Dahl include, James And The Giant Peach, The B.F.G. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, and other favorites. Danny The Champion Of The World is a book about a kid named Danny and his father, who are best friends. And they go on a poaching adventure. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes journeys and fiction books. I love this book and so will you!!!:)

    Our class read Danny Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. Some other books are The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG, The Magic Finger, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Danny the Champion of the World is about a boy whose mother died when he was little and now his dad takes care of him and brings him poaching. We learned that you should always take a risk. We think that this book is really good and interesting. We would recommend it to anyone who likes adventure and a good laugh.

    My partner and I really like the book Danny The Champion Of The World by Roald Dahl.Other books by Roald Dahl are Fantastic Mr.Fox, The BFG, James And The Giant Peach, The Twits, and Matilda.Danny The Champion Of The World is about Danny and his father going poaching in Hazels wood.Danny comes up with a good idea.Our opinion about this book is it's the best book we have ever read. We recommend this book to whoever likes adventure books. So read Danny The Champion Of The World!

    My teacher read us Danny Champion of the world by Roald Dahl. Other books by Roald Dahl are The BFG and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. This book is about a boy named Danny and his father who had a great plan to catch all of evil Mr. Hazzles pheasants. A lesson I learned was that it is illegal to hunt pheasants in other peoples woods. I feel like I am really inside the story. I think Roald Dahl is a great writer and I would recommend it to everyone.

    My class just read Danny The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. Other books by Roald Dahl are Fantastic Mr. Fox the BFG and many more. The book is about a boy and his dad that come up with a plan to ruin mean Mr. Hazles shooting party. When I read the book I felt I was in the book. I recommend this book to any one who likes adventures.

    Our class read a book by Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl also wrote Fantastic Mr. Fox, The B.F.G,and other favorites. Danny and his dad go on a cool adventure. Danny's dad... and falls in a pit and brakes his ankle. A lesson we learned is always treat others the way you want to be treated. When we read this book I felt like I was really in the book! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventures. The reason Danny becomes the champion of the world is because he invents a cool method for...Danny the champion of the world is a awesome book!!!!!!!!!!!!! You better read it to find out what happens in the ...'s.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2007

    An Excellent Book for Young Readers

    This by far is an outstanding book for young readers. Mr. Dahl not only tells a great adventurous tale, but describes beautifully a close relationship between a boy and his dad. I enjoyed reading this story and I recommend it to all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    One of the classics...

    One of the greatest children stories ever written.
    Good for the older reader too.
    I also suggest "The Witches," another Dahl classic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    I love b

    Book is cool


    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Danny the Champion of the World

    the book Danny the Champion of the World,is a unique and creative book.Althought this isen't my favorite book, from 1-10 I would give this book a 7.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2006

    Not Worth Reading!

    The book I am reviewing is Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. This book deserves one star. It is terrible. It is the worst book I¿ve ever read. This book is about a boy named Danny and his dad. They go out and poach pheasants. One problem is Danny¿s dad falls into a pit and breaks his leg. I wouldn¿t recommend this book to a friend because I think this book is terrible. Other books by Roald Dahl are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    ※✧∗✓✔✕✖✘

    &#9856&#9857&#9858&#9859&#9860&#9861

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    The best book

    I think this book is interesting, and fun to read. I think you should read the book. I have never read a book this good, this interesting, and this exciting before. Danny the champoin of the worled is a great book, and I now you will love it!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    Great

    If you like rould dawl this is a good ine its fun and nkce like all hiothers its about a boy who live with his dad who teaches him about the great art if pouchingwich is pretty much as sipmle as stealling phesants from rich people

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    ?...... .. Touch this!!!!!

    I love it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Nnfndn

    Jnnnnnn

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    Touches you're heart

    A fantastic little story, I highly reccomend it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Sample

    DOSN'T EVEN START BOOK!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Ffffffff

    I read some of thus book and it was really good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    This is an extremely interesting book. You will not want to stop

    This is an extremely interesting book. You will not want to stop reading this book until you get to the end. This book is very good  like many of Roald Dahls other books. This book is about a young boy named Danny and his father. One night Danny’s  father went out to the woods to catch pheasants. He told Danny that he would be home by a certain time but he didn't come home. Danny began to get frightened. Danny and his father Charles repaired cars they had their own workshop. There was a automobile in the shop so he took it to go find his father. Finally after driving around and being afraid he was going to get pulled over by the police he found his father in the woods. When he found him he was trapped in a hole Danny had to figure out how to get his dad out of this situation. They were in trouble because the guards could come and catch them any minute. My favorite part of this book is when Danny and his father were finished collecting all the pheasants that they took from the wood. Charles said Danny I am very proud of you for coming up with this idea. He said Danny I could never think of an idea like this. He said this idea is genius.This book is really fantastic. The ending of this book was the best part because Mr.Hazell finds out that Danny and Charles had stole his pheasants but Mr.Hazell didn't have any proof so Sergeant Samway was on Danny and Charles side. At the end Mr.Hazell did not get any of his pheasants back. Danny his father sergeant Samway and Doc Spencer got the rest of the pheasants. If you like a book that is full of details and is good till the end then I recommend this book for you. It will be one of the best books you have read. 




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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Loved it.

    It was good. I liked it very much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    AWESOME

    Im reading this book with my dad it RULES

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2013

    Good start

    Still read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Havent read this book

    Havent read this book but kids are in my class sounds great

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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