Book Review: “Boy: Tales of Childhood”

“Boy: Tales of Childhood” by Roald Dahl

Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction, Biography

Source: Gift

Summary from Goodreads:

Where did Roald Dahl get all of his wonderful ideas for stories? From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, bestselling books, Roald Dahl’s tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny.


I’ve said it before but overall I’m not a huge fan of non-fiction. Real life is kind of boring! When I read I want to escape this world for another world.

Mr. Dahl captures the essence of his autobiography perfectly with a quote on the back of my book. “An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details. This is not an autobiography.” This book is not boring at all. Dahl is able to recreate the magic of his stories with his life.

The book doesn’t try to tell Dahl’s whole story. That would be difficult to do. Instead he just focuses on things he remembers from his childhood. Obviously the things you remember as an adult had a lasting impression on you. The beginning of the book is just full of details about his parents and how they met.

The story really picks up when he’s old enough to go to school. I loved his little stories about the mischief he got into. You can see that he still remembered what it’s like to be a kid. Maybe that’s why his stories are so popular with children.

The stories about his childhood were really fascinating. He’s able to tell the stories in a way that makes you want to keep reading. The best part was you could really see how his childhood influenced his stories. The awful adults in many of his books? Those were all inspired by his teachers. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? That was totally influenced by the fact that Dahl taste tested Cadbury’s chocolate as a kid.

The bottom line? A must read for all Dahl fans out there.

This book was read as part of my Roald Dahl challenge. Come join me and relive the awesomeness of Dahl’s stories!


2 thoughts on “Book Review: “Boy: Tales of Childhood”

  1. I’m pretty sure I read this as a kid when I loved both biographies and Roald Dahl. I read biographies of all sorts of people and even wrote a play for my theater class in 8th grade based on the life of Anne Hutchinson from one of my biography books. I don’t think I’ve read a biography since middle school, though, and whenever I try I get bored after about a chapter. Who really wants to know ALL about another person? No one is that interesting… It sounds like Dahl got it right by only telling interesting stories, though!

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