10 Best Roald Dahl Books Every Child Should Read
We absolutely love Roald Dahl books, however, be warned as some of his children’s books are a little scary, and a little close to the knuckle.
Carry on reading for our top 10 Roald Dahl books every child should read, or at least watch the movie. These will certainly become family favorites in no time.
My son absolutely loves reading, check out our favorite book lists for kids there are over 20 book lists included for kids of all ages, for school, for reading, and for every season. Plus lots of free book printables including Roald Dahl bookmarks to color in.
These books are perfect for Roald Dahl Day on September 13th, or anytime you want to discover a new fun book.
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Top 10 Books by Roald Dahl
Matilda is probably in my top 10 ever favorite books. It is such a classic that everyone should read. Of course, you could watch the movie, but the book as always is better.
The book follows the story of a young girl named Matilda, who is incredibly intelligent but is mistreated by her family and her school principal, Miss Trunchbull. Through Matilda's experiences, children can learn about several important life lessons, including:
- The Importance of Education: Matilda is able to overcome her difficult circumstances and achieve great things because of her love of learning and her intelligence.
- Courage and Perseverance: Matilda faces many challenges and obstacles, but she never gives up and always stands up for what is right.
- Kindness and Empathy: Matilda shows empathy towards her teacher, Miss Honey, who is also mistreated by Miss Trunchbull, and she ultimately helps to free Miss Honey from her abusive situation.
- The Importance of Standing Up for Yourself: Matilda stands up to her abusive parents and Miss Trunchbull, showing children that it is important to speak up and defend yourself and others in the face of injustice.
The BFG is another family favorite. The Big Friendly Giant is a friendly and silly giant who befriends a little girl called Sophie.
The original movie from 1989 is absolutely terrifying for younger children in my opinion though. I remember watching it when it came out and have very fond memories, but I was 12 at the time.
I watched it with my son when he was about 7 years old and we ended up turning it off within the first 5 minutes!
The book follows the story of a young orphan named Sophie who is captured by a Big Friendly Giant (BFG), who takes her on an adventure to help rid the world of evil giants who eat human beans. Through Sophie's adventures with the BFG, children can learn about several important life lessons, including:
- Courage and Bravery: Sophie is brave and courageous throughout the book, facing danger and standing up to the evil giants.
- Empathy and Compassion: The BFG is kind and compassionate towards Sophie, and he shows empathy towards the children who have been eaten by the evil giants.
- Acceptance and Understanding: The BFG is different from other giants, but Sophie learns to accept and understand him, leading to a strong bond between them.
- Standing up for What is Right: Sophie and the BFG work together to rid the world of the evil giants, showing children the importance of standing up for what is right and just.
Another favorite Roald Dahl book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the movie adaptations are also excellent.
The book follows the story of Charlie Bucket, a young boy who wins a golden ticket to tour the mysterious and magical chocolate factory owned by the eccentric Willy Wonka. Through Charlie's adventures in the chocolate factory, children can learn about several important life lessons, including:
- Hard Work and Perseverance: Charlie comes from a poor family but he never gives up on his dreams and works hard to earn a chance to tour the chocolate factory.
- Honesty and Integrity: Throughout the book, Willy Wonka tests the children's honesty and integrity, rewarding those who are truthful and punishing those who are not.
- Empathy and Kindness: Charlie is kind and compassionate towards his fellow ticket holders, and he ultimately wins the factory because of his kind heart and generosity.
- Consequences of Greed and Selfishness: The other children who win golden tickets are spoiled and selfish, and they suffer consequences for their behavior.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is another classic this one is more suitable for younger children too.
The book follows the story of Mr. Fox, a clever and cunning fox who outsmarts a group of farmers and steals food to provide for his family and friends. Through Mr. Fox's adventures, children can learn about several important life lessons, including:
- Resourcefulness and Creativity: Mr. Fox uses his intelligence and ingenuity to outsmart the farmers and provide for his family and friends, even in difficult circumstances.
- Responsibility and Sacrifice: Mr. Fox risks his own safety to provide for his family and friends, showing children the importance of taking care of those around them and making sacrifices for the greater good.
- Teamwork and Collaboration: Mr. Fox works with his family and friends to outsmart the farmers, showing children the importance of working together towards a common goal.
- Respect and Appreciation for Nature: Mr. Fox and his family live in harmony with the natural world around them, showing children the importance of caring for the environment and the animals that live in it.
This is a fantastic story, however, if your child is scared of witches I recommend not reading this at bedtime!
The book follows the story of a young boy who discovers a group of witches with a sinister plan to turn all children into mice. Through his adventures, children can learn about several important life lessons, including:
- Courage and Perseverance: Despite facing numerous challenges and obstacles, the young boy remains determined to stop the witches' evil plan.
- Empathy and Understanding: The young boy is transformed into a mouse by the witches, but he learns to appreciate the world from a new perspective and to empathize with the experiences of others.
- Creativity and Resourcefulness: The young boy and his grandmother use their imagination and ingenuity to outsmart the witches and create a better life for themselves.
- Teamwork: The young boy and his grandmother work together to stop the witches' evil plan, showing children the importance of working with others towards a common goal.
The book is a little scary, however, yet again the movie is terrifying for younger kids.
The book follows the adventures of James, a young orphan who befriends a group of giant insects and embarks on a journey to escape from his wicked aunts. Through James' adventures, children can learn about several important life lessons, including:
- Perseverance: Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, he never gives up on his quest to find a better life.
- Friendship and Kindness: The insects initially seem scary and unfamiliar, but James learns to see past their appearances and appreciate their unique personalities and talents.
- Imagination and Creativity: James uses his imagination to dream up new solutions to problems and to create a better life for himself and his friends.
- Courage: James faces many dangerous situations throughout his journey, but he never loses his courage and remains determined to overcome his fears.
My son found it hilarious, but I can understand why parents might want to avoid this book.
The book follows the story of Mr. and Mrs. Twit, a cruel and selfish couple who enjoy playing pranks on each other and mistreating animals. Through their actions, children can learn about several important life lessons, including:
- Kindness and Compassion: Mr. and Mrs. Twit are cruel and selfish, but the animals they mistreat show kindness and empathy towards each other, despite their different appearances and backgrounds.
- Respect and Acceptance: The animals in the book all have unique personalities and characteristics, but they learn to accept and respect each other, even when they don't always get along.
- Consequences of Actions: Mr. and Mrs. Twit's cruel pranks and mistreatment of animals have consequences, both for themselves and for those around them. This teaches children to think before they act and to be aware of the possible outcomes of their actions.
- Creativity and Imagination: The animals in the book use their creativity and ingenuity to outsmart Mr. and Mrs. Twit and to create a better life for themselves.
The book follows the adventures of George, a young boy who creates a special medicine to cure his grandma's mean-spiritedness, but the medicine has an unexpected effect.
Through George's actions, children can learn about several important life lessons, including:
- Creativity and Resourcefulness: When faced with a challenge, he uses his imagination and ingenuity to come up with a solution.
- Consequences of Actions: George's experiment with the medicine has unexpected and sometimes dangerous consequences, which teaches children to think before they act and to be aware of the possible outcomes of their actions.
- Empathy: Despite her mean-spiritedness, George learns to see his grandma's behavior from her perspective and tries to help her in his own way.
- Responsibility: George takes responsibility for his actions, even when they have unexpected consequences.
This is one for the older kids.
There are 14 short ghost stories that will be perfect for when the kids have a sleepover or even better if they tell ghost stories around a campfire.
It is a collection of fourteen spooky and chilling tales that were selected by Roald Dahl himself.
The stories range from classic ghost stories to more modern tales of horror, and are written by a variety of authors, including Rosemary Timperley, Edith Wharton, and Robert Aickman.
The book is not intended for young children, as some of the stories contain mature themes and are quite scary. The stories are meant to be enjoyed by adults and older teens who enjoy a good scare.
Each story is introduced by Roald Dahl, who provides some background information about the author and the story itself. The collection features a range of different types of ghosts and supernatural phenomena, including haunted houses, vengeful spirits, and malevolent creatures.
The book is a great choice for those who love a good ghost story and are looking for something spooky to read. It is also a great introduction to the diverse and talented authors who have contributed to the horror genre over the years.
To save money and if you are a Roald Dahl fan this Roald Dahl collection of 15 of his most popular children's books is a must.
- The Magic Finger
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Esio Trot
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
- The Twits
- James and the Giant Peach
- Danny the Champion of the World
- George's Marvellous Medicine
- Going Solo
- The Witches
- The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
- The BFG
Free Roald Dahl worksheets
- Roald Dahl coloring pages
- Free printable Roald Dahl word search
- Roald Dahl memory game
- Roald Dahl maths worksheets for younger students.
Last Updated on 24 February 2023 by homeschoolof1