Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Boy: Tales of Childhood Audio

Boy: Tales of Childhood Audio

Dahl Roald
For ages 10 and up
Unabridged audiobook (Cassette)
Performed/read by: Derek Jacobi
Harper Children’s Audio, 2002   ISBN: 978-0060091224

Roald Dahl's first proper school was in the town where his family was living at the time in Wales. He was just seven when he began to go to Llandaff Cathedral School and it was during this time that he and his friends used to visit a sweet shop on their way home from school. It was a marvelous sweet shop but the lady who owned the shop was a frightful woman who hated little boys. One day Roald and his friends decided to play a trick on the woman - they put a dead mouse in one of her jars of sweets. Alas for the boys, their wonderful prank backfired and they all got canned by their school headmaster.

Indeed trying to avoid a canning was something Roald spent a lot of time doing in the various schools that he went to. After "The Great Mouse Plot" episode Roald was sent to a series of boarding schools, and discipline at all of these schools was stiff, to say the least. He was not only punished by the teachers, or "Masters" as they were called, and the Headmasters, but he was also disciplined by his fellow students. At Repton, a famous Public School, Roald was, like many of the other boys, expected to act as a servant for some of the older boys. Some of the tasks he was given to do were quite frightful but Roald had to do them without complaint. And he did.

Thankfully Roald had the holidays to look forward to. In the summers he and his family went to Norway where they stayed in a hotel, went boating, swam, fished, and had a splendid time. And, when his school days were finally over, Roald was determined that he would find a job that would allow him to visit "wonderful faraway places like Africa and China."

Readers who enjoy Roald Dahl?s books will be intrigued to find out what kind of a childhood this author hard. His descriptions of school days, holidays and misadventures come together to give a picture of a world which, for the most part, does not exist any more and it is interesting to find out what life was like in 1920's and 1930's England. This story is funny, interesting, and it provides an interesting insight into Roald Dahl?s world. Fans of  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will find out where the idea for the book came from.