Dedicated to Roald Dahl’s late daughter Olivia, who died of measles encephalitis at the age of 7, The BFG, maybe more than any other Dahl book, offers children an escape from reality in which the young and kind triumph over darkness and hardship no matter the odds. After an orphan named Sophie is snatched from her bed in the dead of night by a mysterious 24-foot-tall behemoth who refers to himself as the BFG, or Big Friendly Giant, the pair form an unlikely friendship. But when Sophie learns that the large-eared, sensitive and silly-speaking (think “hopscotchy,” “whizzpopping” and “crodsquinkled”) BFG is the lone vegetarian among his child-eating brethren, she determines to put a stop to their murderous ways. This warmhearted tall tale, published a year before Dahl picked up the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, artfully whisks readers away on a magical journey through London, Giant Country and beyond, to a realm of wild imagination. —Megan McCluskey

Buy Now: The BFG on Bookshop | Amazon

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at