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The BFG

General Chatter

Are you in a Reading Slump?

Reading Slump

By Rebecca Reed

It’s something that happens to many bookworms, you have so much to read but not enough focus. You really want to sit and curl up with your book but you end up reading the same sentence over and over again. It’s just frustrating, well not to worry we have a few tips to help you get out of that reading slump.

1. No time limits

Read at your own pace, and don’t rush yourself. It is so easy to get thinking about the next book you want to read whilst reading your current novel, but chill. You have all the time in the world and it’s not a race.

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2. Don’t feel guilty

Don’t stare at your bookshelf and feel guilty that you are not currently reading, mix it up a bit and do something different. Bake a cake, take a nap or just binge watch the next season of American Horror Story on Netflix. Maybe your brain just wants to relax for a day or two. If you’re reading a thriller, for example, there are only so many twists your brain can take.

3. Go book shopping

Our favourite kind of shopping! Have a look at our store here for our recommended reads or go back to your list of books that you need to buy and treat yourself. It’s exciting to wait for your happy book mail. It might also be the boost you needed to get you back into your book for an hour or so.

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4. Put the heavy stuff down.

It’s easy to get caught up in the same heavy genre, crime fiction, thriller fiction and even science fiction can get a bit too heavy for your brain to process. It is okay to pick up a nice easy book that just reads itself. A feel-good read, a lovely little romance. Allow yourself to relax. A good author to always fall back on is Jacqueline Wilson. A favourite for many children around the world, but adults can enjoy them too.

5. Re-organise your bookshelf.

A guaranteed way to get you excited about your books again, whilst re-organising your bookshelf, you may find a book you bought months ago and the excitement will come flooding back. Also, you may find your long-lost favourites and you might want to revisit your favourite characters again.

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Reading slumps do get us bookworms down, but we hope these tips manage to get you reading again. Do you have any tips? Let us know in the comments below.

Author of the Week, General Chatter

Things we learned from The BFG

Things we learned from Roald DahlBy Sarah Kneath

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a massive fan of The BFG. I read a lot as a child and this became a firm favourite from the moment I read the first chapter. I love all of Roald Dahl’s children’s books, I can’t quite bring myself to read the ‘adult’ stories he’s written.

The BFG was written back in 1982 and has been adapted to the big screen a couple of times. It follows the story of young orphan Sophie and her unlikely friendship with the BFG (Big Friendly Giant). It follows their adventures to stop the mean giants from hunting for human beans to eat.

I’ve taken a look back over this wonderful tale to bring you the life-lessons of The BFG and that show why it is such a delightful story…

  1. Not all heroes wear capes

There is a clear theme throughout this story and it is one of bravery and defiance. A young girl living in an orphanage, may not be your stereotypical heroine but she stands up and fights the mean, gruesome giants alongside the BFG. Outsmarting them and eventually coming up with a cunning plan to defeat them once and for all.

And then there’s the BFG himself, a kind, friendly, optimistic giant who is ashamed of his peers and wants the world to know that he is not one of them. He overcomes his fears and stands up to the bullying giants and fights back.

  1. Kill ‘em with kindness

The unlikely friendship between Sophie and the BFG is one that has always held a firm place in my heart. Both are considered outsiders and don’t have any friends until they find one another. Sophie shows the BFG a kindness that he’s not been used to in Giant Country, having been teased for being good all his life.

The BFG, rebels against the other giant’s love for eating human beans and instead travels to Dream Country to bottle dreams. He then uses his trumpet and blows dreams through the windows of sleeping children. The BFG puts himself in danger travelling to catch the dreams and the consideration and kindness that he shows to children shows his true character.

  1. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it

When the BFG gives up hope of ever being rid of the gruesome giants and thwarting their evil plot to gobble up human beans, Sophie hatches a plan. She’s an intelligent young girl who not only manages to get into Buckingham Palace – she actually convinces the Queen to help them.

  1. The world can be a dark place at times but good overcomes

This is a general theme that weaves its way through most of Roald Dahl’s books, whether it’s the terrifying Trunchbull in Matilda, the disgusting, ugly Twits that torment each other daily or James’s cruel aunts who force him to do hard labour… Good always overcomes in the end.

The evil giants that torment and bully the BFG and roam the country looking for human beans to guzzle are defeated and imprisoned so Sophie and the BFG are free to live a happy life, the BFG in a posh castle, and Sophie next door in a comfortable cottage.

With so many wonderful life lessons and morals to this story, it’s not surprising that it’s been adapted numerous times. The story is full of warmth, courage and heart. Two outsiders come together to become friends and overcome evil – I mean, what’s not to love about that?

Author of the Week, General Chatter

Roald Dahl for adults

By Rebecca Reed

Roald Dahl once boasted with a lack of modesty, that his name was known to virtually every child in the western world, and 27 years on from his death, it is safe to say that every child you will probably encounter has read or is reading one of his great children’s stories. He should have added that he was already quite well known to his adult audience as well.

Now, I first encountered Roald Dahl when I was around 7 or 8, his books came with teabags, and I would settle down and read “The Twits”, “Fantastic Mr Fox” and “The Witches” all day long. Now I loved books as a child, I would read endless novels from Enid Blyton to J.K Rowling and before Harry Potter, I was captivated by Roald Dahls narration, the words and his characters, the fantasies just took on personas of their own. Still as I grew up, I worked my way through Roald Dahl’s key children’s fiction pieces and only recently I have learned that before children’s fiction he wrote stories for adults, these stories are dark and twisted and they are overlooked, as his children’s novels became bestsellers, however they made him one of the most accomplished writers of adult’s short stories.

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The books themselves are a fascination to most. His adult material is certainly not for prudes. The character Uncle Oswald “the greatest fornicator of all time” has a novel all to himself. There are running themes of vice and eroticism as well as the darker, cruel exploits and moral correctness that is familiar from within his children’s novels. It’s certainly a far cry from the chocolate factory! These stories were designed for an adolescent male audience in an age where casual misogyny went unnoticed compared to now. So many would deem them as controversial for this day and age.

Have any of our fans read a short story by Roald Dahl designed for adults? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below. We may give one a read, we have after all read Fifty Shades… surely nothing can shock us after that?

Author of the Week, General Chatter

Roald Dahl | Our Favourite Quotes

Our favouirite Roald Dahl Quotes

By Admin

You might have noticed that recently we’ve been talking a lot about Roald Dahl. We’re big fans of him here at World of Books. And it just so happens that this year marks 100 years of Roald Dahl, so there’s no better time to honour one of our all-time favourite children’s book authors.

Asking around the office of World of Books HQ, we’ve been collecting the best quotes from his books and we’ve compiled them here for your perusal.

Danny Champion of the World

Danny, Champion of the World was published back in 1975 and follows the story of a young boy who lives with his father. The pair live in a gypsy caravan, working at a petrol station and car garage but Danny’s father has a secret occupation and disappears in the dead of the night to poach pheasants from a local estate…

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

We can’t mention Roald Dahl quotes without referencing the wonderful Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When the famous Willy Wonka opens his chocolate factory up for 5 lucky winners, no one would suspect that young Charlie Bucket – a poor boy who lives with his parents and grandparents in a small house on the outskirts of town, would discover the 5th and final golden ticket. One by one the other visitors are ejected from the factory until only Charlie remains to claim his prize.

The BFG

The story of The BFG follows a young girl named Sophie who lives in an orphanage under the watchful eye of mean old Mrs Clonkers. One night she wakes to find a large cloaked figure blowing something through an open window with a trumpet. This figure spots Sophie and carries her with him back to Giant Country. It is here that Sophie learns that the figure is in fact the Big Friendly Giant who uses his trumpet to blow dreams into the bedrooms of sleeping children. Together they embark on a plan to have the mean and evil giants captured and enlist the help of the Queen of England.

 

Matilda

Ah Matilda, a girl after our own hearts! A young girl who is treated horribly by her parents, uses her love of books to escape to faraway places. Soon her school teacher Miss Honey discovers how intelligent Matilda is and they become friends. After a prank on the frightening headteacher, Miss Trunchbull, goes wrong, Matilda learns that she has special powers of telekinesis. This opens up a world of adventures and opportunities for Matilda to get her own back on her parents and the mean old Trunchbull.

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The Twits are a spiteful couple who prank each other because they hate each other. They are both ugly characters as they have horrible thoughts which have made them look the way they do. They used to run a monkey circus and they have the monkeys living on their property. The monkeys aren’t treated very well at all and go on to make friends with a bird who helps them to turn the Twits house upside down. This forces the Twits to live on their heads which gives them the real shrinks.

There are so many wonderful quotes to choose from that it was hard just to pick 5! Do you have a favourite quote from a Roald Dahl book? Share it below and tell us why you chose it. 

General Chatter, Reviews

The BFG and Me

The BFG and Me

By Sarah Pont – Customer Marketing Manager

From a very young age I was encouraged by my parents to read books and lots of them, because to me it never felt like a chore or something I had to do, I really enjoyed it.

Before the Harry Potter craze really took hold of me (and I mean really – I am still massively obsessed with the wizarding world despite being an actual grown up now) I loved the stories of Roald Dahl.

Not just the books (which I had a lot of), I had the films on VHS as well as the stories on cassette tape to listen to before I went to bed.

One of my all-time favourite characters of Roald Dahl’s is The BFG. You can imagine my excitement when the latest movie came out. For those of you who haven’t read it, here’s a brief synopsis of the story.

The story follows a young girl named Sophie who lives in an orphanage under the watchful eye of mean old Mrs Clonkers. One night she wakes to find a large cloaked figure blowing something through an open window with a trumpet. This figure spots Sophie and carries her with him back to Giant Country.

It is here that Sophie learns that the figure is in fact the Big Friendly Giant. Unlike the rest of his peers in Giant Country, he does not eat ‘human beans’ and survives on snozzcumbers. The trumpet he carries is used to blow dreams into the bedrooms of children.

It is whilst they’re in Dream Country collecting dreams, that The BFG is teased and tormented by the other giants. The pair hatch a plan to get the other giants imprisoned by the Queen of England. That’s as much as I’ll say now – I don’t want to giveaway any spoilers!

I honestly can’t pinpoint why I love The BFG so much. I think it’s his positive outlook on life, surrounded by all the meanness and blood-thirsty giants, he dares to be kind and he dares to be different. He is protective and caring towards Sophie and is a friend to her when she has no one else (sob). They work together to right the wrongs in their world and have a lot of fun on the way…