The 8 best Roald Dahl books of all time

Roald Dahl’s fiction has graced the lives of readers of all ages, all across the world. Below, we’ve gathered his most memorable works.

Roald Dahl has long been considered a master of children’s fiction. For many, what feels particularly special about the British novelist’s writing is the way that it carries the dreamy nostalgia of fairytales written for children, while simultaneously drawing out complex moral messages that resonate with readers of all ages.

With countless creatives tapping into his ideas as inspiration for decades after his time, it’s safe to say that Roald Dahl’s stories have raised more than a few generations. Below, we’ve collected a list of some of his most iconic works.

Roald Dahl 2
Roald Dahl answers a telephone while filming an episode of the science fiction show “Way Out” in Central Park, New York, March 25, 1961. (Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Image)

James and the Giant Peach (1961)

James and the Giant Peach follows the titular “James,” who enters the titular “Giant Peach”, and embarks on a series of magical adventures with the wacky, fantastical creatures — named appropriately as, Centipede, Miss Spider, Old Green Grasshopper, Earthworm, Ladybug, Glowworm, and Silkworm — that he meets along the way.

james and the giant peach
Photo: Penguin

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)

One of the most widely read (and adapted) of Roald Dahl’s bibliography, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory follows the story of Charlie Bucket, a young boy who is transported, with the help of a lucky golden ticket, from his world of poverty to one that’s spectacular in its excess: the mysterious Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

catcf roald dahl
Photo: Penguin

Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970)

Most recently adapted by Wes Anderson into the 2010 film of the same name, Fantastic Mr. Fox follows the life of the anthropomorphic Mr. Fox. As he endeavors to challenge his animal instincts, his efforts are put to the test when his human neighbours decide to exterminate Mr. Fox and his family.

fmf roald dahl
Photo: Penguin

The Twits (1980)

The Twits details the lives of a vicious, spiteful couple known as the Twits, who are filled with hatred and venom for each other, as well as the others around them. As their neighbours accidentally become embroiled in their affairs, the nasty couple is taught a monumental lesson.

the twits roald dahl
Photo: Amazon

George’s Marvellous Medicine (1981)

Dedicated to “doctors, everywhere” by Roald Dahl himself, George’s Marvellous Medicine follows the life of George Kranky, a young boy, who decides to concoct a magical medicine to punish his grandmother for her horrible abuse.

gmm roald dahl
Photo: Amazon

The BFG (1982)

An extension of a short story from Roald Dahl’s 1975 short story collection, Danny, the Champion of the World, The BFG details the story of a kind-hearted orphan girl named Sophie. The bestselling novel follows her encounter with a giant man — a.k.a the Big Friendly Giant — who whisks her away on an adventure to help protect the children of England from the other villainous child-eating giants.


the bfg
Photo: Amazon

The Witches (1983)

Having been adapted for the opera, and twice for film, The Witches is a tale that’s beloved to many people around the world. It follows a young, unnamed English boy and his Norwegian grandmother, as they shockingly discover that a child-hating society of witches secretly exists in every country, and endeavor to thwart the plans of the Grand High Witch: who plans to turn all children into mice.

the witches
Photo: Penguin

Matilda (1988)

Matilda follows the story of Matilda Wormwood, a gifted young girl whose unkind parents often treat with disdain and cruelty, and whose principal, Mrs. Trunchbull, bullies Matilda and her classmates relentlessly. However, once Matilda discovers her telekinetic powers, the novel details her journey in avenging her punishment.

matilda roald dahl
Photo: Amazon