6 Reasons Why Roald Dahl Books Are So Good

Roald Dahl’s graced us with some of the most memorable characters from his books for children. From Charlie to Matilda, they all come with great lessons every child (and adult) should live by. So, here are six reasons Roald Dahl’s books are still so good.

Roald Dahl’s books are so good and still popular because of their timeless lessons. Dahl’s unique approach to writing unforgettable characters with realistic qualities is relatable to every reader, especially children. His books offer complex emotions everyone goes through.

It’s an incredible privilege to grow up with Roald Dahl’s books. His writing is special, but it can be hard to pinpoint why. In this article, I’ll present the most common reasons why Dahl’s books are still popular long after his death.

1. Dahl’s Books Inspire Us

Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous.” (Matilda)

From a young age, we need constant inspiration as magical propellers to push us on. Kids often like to try new stuff—and they often fail at many. It’s all part of the learning experience. We often forget that children’s worlds can be as stressful and challenging as ours.

Therefore, books like Dahl’s make kids—and adults—believe we can achieve great things. We only need a bit of motivation to get us through the difficult bits. Who better to inspire us than characters like Matilda (from Matilda), who faced difficult obstacles in her life? Yet, she was able to fulfill her dreams in the end.

2. We Can All Learn Important Lessons From Dahl’s Books

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.” (The Witches)

Good books are characterized by the lessons they carry. This certainly puts Dahl’s books high on the list. All his children’s books are filled with critical universal lessons every child should know. It’s almost like every page of Dahl’s stories speaks to us personally.

Some of the important lessons found in Dahl’s books include:

  • The importance of inner beauty and doing good deeds
  • Reading books will lead you far
  • Nobody should give up on their dreams
  • Imagination’s better than the real world, and we should use it

3. Dahl’s Books Are Filled With Amazing Characters

Life is more fun if you play games.” (My Uncle Oswald)

When we think of unique characters in children’s literature, chances are many of them come from Dahl’s amazing books. They’re among the most unforgettable fictional characters, not just because of how Dahl describes them but because of their memorable lines and quirky natures.

More importantly, no matter the circumstances these characters go through, children worldwide can relate to the main characters. After all, only children can understand how many of these characters genuinely feel in the adult world.

Whether Sophie from The BFG or George Kranky from George’s Marvellous Medicine, these magical adventures and accidental mishaps always bring the characters to the foreground.

4. There’s Something Timeless About Dahl’s Books

All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen.” (Matilda)

All great books are timeless pieces new generations enjoy long after their publishing. The popularity of Dahl’s books is a clear sign of their timeless nature. These books’ characters and plots aren’t relevant to only a single era. How so?

The main characters’ struggles are relatable to all children, regardless of country, culture, or race.

Adaptations of Dahl’s Books as Proof of Their Timelessness

If you don’t believe Dahl’s books aren’t affected by time, just look at all the adaptations done based on his writings.

Matilda was made into one of the most memorable movies ever. The same goes for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with two adaptations. Who could also forget The BFG!

According to the Roald Dahl website, the newest project will be “Matilda the Musical.”

5. Dahl’s Introduced Opposing Feelings in His Books

If you are good, life is good.” (Matilda)

We can all agree that Dahl’s children’s books are something special. We’ll never forget the experience of reading one of his books for the first time. Many people wonder why that is.

Dahl didn’t just use common tactics other children’s books authors use. His characters weren’t just silly or amusing. Instead, Dahl liked to ground his characters in difficult settings. That’s why many of his books have a sad, dark, and scary side.

It reflects real life, making Dahl’s books so good and evergreen. His young characters understand pain and sadness. Children also go through the same emotions, and they know precisely how some of these characters feel.

Charlie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and his family are extremely poor, and readers feel sad for him. This means we get even more excited when he gets the chance to visit the famous chocolate factory.

This combination of opposing emotions makes Dahl’s books one of the most popular reads. If you’re interested in which of Dahl’s books is the most popular, along with other books from different authors, check my article 9 Most Read Children’s Books in the World.

6. Dahl Challenges His Readers Through His Books

Don’t gobblefunk around with words.” (The BFG)

Apart from inspiring us, Dahl’s books challenge us in many ways. Firstly, his books challenge children’s understanding of the world. Dahl also challenges his young readers to dream big and never give up. It’s a positive motivational challenge.

Additionally, Dahl also challenges his adult readers. After all, we were all children once and feel connected to that part of us through Dahl’s fictional worlds. He challenges his adult readers to think like children and use their creative imagination to the fullest.

Did you know Roald Dahl also wrote dozens of books for adult readers? If you’ve read all his children’s books, you can give a go to the rest of his fiction. To learn more about his output and the titles of his books, check my article How Many Books Did Roald Dahl Write?

Dahl’s Language as a Challenge

Another way Dahl challenged his readers is through language. Shakespeare wasn’t the only one who invented new words in his fiction—Roald Dahl did the same! This truly makes his books unique.

Also, they challenge younger readers to think about what some of these words might mean. Children must rely on the context and other words in the sentence to guess the meaning. That’s why Dahl is also popular in the classroom environment.

Some words Dahl coined in his books include:

  • Flushbunking: When something makes no sense
  • Gobblefunk: Inventing new words or meanings
  • Scrumdiddlyumptious: Delicious food


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