Today in History: Roald Dahl Is Born

| September 13, 2018

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“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books.”
― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Beloved British children’s author, screenwriter, and fighter pilot for the Royal Air Force, Roald Dahl is born this day, September 13th, 1916. Dahl’s parents were Norwegian immigrants to South Wales. He wrote his first book, The Gremlins (1943), for Walt Disney and became a best-seller author through later works, James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) which were made into popular movies. His books were mischievously told from the child’s point of view, known for surprise endings, and darkly comic settings — often with the adult villain.

Despite the joy in reading he gave, Dahl’s life was filled with tragedy, from the loss of his father and sister, when he was three years old; to the abuse he endured at various boarding schools; through to the severe injuries he suffered from being shot down in the Libyan desert during World War II. He married twice; was the father of five children; and lived to the age of 74.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

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