My loyal readers may remember that last year I told them a bit about how Roald Dahl was 100% B.A.  Straight up G.

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As you can see here from his moody, "I'm smoking and was a WWII intelligence officer and flying ace" picture.

That's all true, of course, and we could spend literally hours talking about Dahl's thugging exploits, but Roald Dahl Day is more about the man's contributions to literature, specifically his stories for children.  Roald Dahl had kind of a rough childhood, it turns out.  His father died when he was 3, he spent many of his school years being physically mistreated and homesick at boarding schools, and he generally just didn't have it so great, as a kid.  His children's stories, unsurprisingly, almost always feature one or more evil adults as antagonists.

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Boggis, Bunce, and Bean from Fantastic Mr. Fox. Look at these jackanapes.

Though the stories also usually include one good adult, what makes them great is how they encourage children to be their own heroes.  Roald Dahl's protagonists aren't waiting around for someone to save them or help them.  They're getting things done!  They're turning the tables and changing witches into mice!  They're using their powers to humiliate evil principals!  They're convincing monarchs to capture giants!  They have it going on!

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Anyone who can defeat these creeping creepsters is ok in my book.

Though the dark humor and themes of Dahl's work are often controversial, I find something really encouraging in Dahl's treatment of his readers.  Classical heroes and villains have their place, of course, but Dahl's unapologetic use of every day cruelty and meanness is a little more...real.  It's good to learn not only about Good, but also about the virtue of just being nice.  There is Evil in the world, but a child is more concerned with a grumpy teacher or a spiteful classmate.

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Just a few of our many Dahl books (for kids and adults!)

On this Roald Dahl Day, we'll be celebrating Mr. Dahl's great contributions to the world of children's literature by listening to some of his stories in the store and having a Roald Dahl Golden Ticket giveaway!

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So, what do you think?