Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
James and the Giant Peach
James and the Giant Peach is a children's book by Roald Dahl, originally illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, first published in the USA in 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and then in London in 1967 by Allen & Unwin.
James Henry Trotter, an ordinary four year old boy, has had a happy life but is orphaned as a result of a bizarre and terrible accident (his parents were supposedly swallowed by a rhino). He is sent to live with his two horrid maiden aunts, Spiker and Sponge, who subject him to a variety of physical and mental abuse and treat him like a slave.
One day while chopping wood in the garden, James, then age seven, meets a strange man who, mysteriously, knows James's plight and gives him a small sack containing the ingredients for a magic potion which, the stranger promises, will bring James wealth, happiness, and great adventure. Unfortunately, while running back to the house to hide the ingredients - the potion is only effective when consumed at night - James trips and drops the sack. It bursts and its contents sink into the ground and vanish without a trace - or so it then seems. James is horrified at the loss of what seemed to be his only opportunity for escape from his wretched aunts. But things take another odd turn when a long-barren peach tree in the garden puts forth a single fruit which grows, and grows, and grows.
A film version of the same name with a combination of live-action and animation was released in 1996.
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