James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
James Henry Trotter had a happy childhood until the age of four. His parents went to London on a shopping trip and were eaten by runaway rhinoceros from the zoo. James goes to live with his aunts, Sponge and Spiker, who are the most horrible aunts you could imagine. He endures three years of servitude and abuse from the hags. Then one day a small man in a green suit gives James a bag of magical crocodile tongues that would solve his problems. All he has to do is mix them with some water and some hair from his head, drink the brew and magical, unbelievable things will happen to him. On his way to the house James trips near the peach tree and all the tongues spill out on the ground. They slither into the ground and are gone. James is disappointed until the next day when a gigantic peach grows on the tree. Aunts Sponge and Spiker want to turn the house-sized peach into a money-making scheme. James discovers a tunnel in the peach that leads to the pit, where a motley crew of over-sized insects (who can speak English) are living. They become friends and decide to free the peach from the tree by breaking the stem. The peach rolls down the hill and into the sea where a magical, unbelievable adventure happens.
Roald Dahl (of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame) weaves a fun children's yarn filled with very British humor. James is a typical children's story hero, coming up with imaginative solutions to various problems he and the insects face. Without him the insects would be lost. We read this as a bedtime book for J and L and they laughed a lot. I'm pretty sure they won't ask to read it again but it was very enjoyable once.