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Danny the Champion of the World Paperback – August 16, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 277 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"My father, without the slightest doubt, was the most marvelous and exciting father any boy ever had." Danny feels very lucky. He adores his life with his father, living in a gypsy caravan, listening to his stories, tending their gas station, puttering around the workshop, and occasionally taking off to fly home-built gas balloons and kites. His father has raised him on his own, ever since Danny's mother died when he was four months old. Life is peaceful and wonderful... until he turns 9 and discovers his father's one vice. Soon Danny finds himself the mastermind behind the most incredible plot ever attempted against nasty Victor Hazell, a wealthy landowner with a bad attitude. Can they pull it off? If so, Danny will truly be the champion of the world. Danny is right up to Roald Dahl's impishly brilliant standards. An intense and beautiful father-son relationship is balanced with sublegal high jinks that will have even the most rigid law-abider rooting them on. Dahl's inimitable way with words leaves the reader simultaneously satisfied and itching for more. (Ages 9 to 13) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"This is one of the great (and very few) books about a boy's love for his father, told in a non-sentimental way." --Michael Rosen S Magazine, Sunday Express "A triumph. It is the most beguiling book ... and wildly, hilariously funny. If ever a book were for all the family, this is it" Evening Standard --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0770 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (August 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142410330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142410332
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (277 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just want to chime in here and express what a fantastic book this was for me growing up. It was the first full book I read as a child that had a real, engaging plot and wasn't a comic book.
The primary reason for my review is to share with potential parents that the only thing I ever remembered about this book (keep in mind that I only read it once) was the relationship the son had with the father and that poaching is bad. I've seen a few reviews that make mention of this ethical topic in the story and I feel THAT is what keeps it from being one of Dahl's more popular stories. So, from my inner child's mind, I assure you that the story is stronger than the message. And that if you're a good parent you can be there to answer any questions that the child may have. But, like I said, I read it without supervision from my school's book club over 30 yeas ago and I never poached any pheasants nor judged rich people as being evil along the way. I am looking forward to reading it again. That is all.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book when I was a child. It was one of my all-time favorites and I couldn't wait to read it to my daughter when she was old enough...We just finished it today and it is as wonderful as it was 30+ years ago.

This is the story about the love between a father and a son. Danny and his father run a filling station and live in a very modest "gypsie" caravan next to the station's workshop, Danny's mother died when he was a baby. Danny's father adores him, one night he takes him into his confidence and tells him that he been out poaching pheasants from the rich and unlikable Victor Hazell's property. Well, of course, Danny wants to be included and masterminds a wonderful scheme to poach a record number of Hazell's pheasants.

My daughter and I certainly talked about the fact that poaching is stealing and stealing is wrong and that it would never be okay for someone to steal in real life...

But that certainly didn't stop us from rooting for Danny and his father and enjoying their triumph over the hated Victor Hazell.

We loved the wonderful story telling, the sweetness of the love between a parent and a child and the good old fashioned triumphing of the underdog.

If you are looking for a special book to read with your child I would urge you to try this. I loved it when I was a child and I loved reading it to my daughter, I can't wait to read it to my son.

Update July 2011: I recently read this with my son and it was just as wonderful as I remembered it. He loved listening to the story, every night we read it he begged for me to read more. He says it's his favorite book. I still highly recommend this book, reading it is presents opportunities to talk about your values with your children.
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Format: Paperback
"Danny the Champion of the World" is a masterpiece. For my money it is Dahl's best book, (though "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Fantastic Mister Fox" come close.) I think that although the intended audience of kids is sure to enjoy it, adults too would appreciate the tale. It is not only a ripping good adventure story, about a boy and his father who attempt to poach pheasants from a wicked landowner, but an atmospheric one as well - we can feel the palpable thrills in the early fall air as the characters plot the fine art of poaching for the pure private pleasure of it, like any great artists. As with all of Dahl, this book has moments of great comedy as well as a love for food and freedom, all of which appeal to its audience. There is also the subtly tender relationship between Danny and his father that add depth to the story. Well, we could go on. All I can say is that anyone who can read, adult or child, will thank themselves for reading this one.
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Format: Paperback
In this book Danny lives with his father in a caravan. They spend time together building flaming balloons, fixing cars, and walking to and from school. Danny loves his father so much that it never crosses his mind that his father might be hiding something from him. It turns out, Danny's father has an exciting secret-- he sneaks out at night to poach pheasants on the land of his wealthy neighbors! Once Danny figures out this secret, his father teaches him to poach pheasants with the best of them. The book culminates with Danny and his father's attempt to spoil the pheasant-hunting event of the mean Mr. Hazel, their neighbor. If they can get all the pheasants on Mr. Hazel's land before the event, they'll exact revenge on Mr. Hazel. But danger lurks around every corner on this exciting mission!
This is a work of fiction that runs between 220-250 pages, depending on the edition. It's a wonderful book that shows a deep and moving love between father and son. I have read it to my 6th grade students, my own nephews, and my nieces. Every child I have ever read it to loved it for its wholesome excitement and vivid detail. This book is probably best for 8-12 year old children depending on their reading ability. Although so many children love this book, some may find that its plot is too simple. There are very few sub-plots, so the book is there's not a lot to stretch a child's capacity to understand complex plot structure.
All in all, this is a wonderful book full of suspense, love, and excitement.
Danny, Champion of the World. Puffin. Roald Dahl, Illustrated by Quentin Blake. This most recent version was published in August, 2007.
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