Retro Review: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
As the title suggests, this book is a collection of seven short stories written by one of the all time greats: Roald Dahl. Let us start with the big one, the monster, the “man this one is so good, let’s just name the whole book after it” – “The Wonderful Story” in the flesh.
Stretching the limits of short by clocking (flipping?) in at 68 pages, “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” could nearly be published all by itself. I can see the title now: Henry Sugar, the EP. The tale is worth every page. The story centers on a rich, bored man (the aforementioned Henry) who comes upon an unassuming notebook. The thin volume holds the key to something, as Dahl would put it, fantastically extraordinary: the ability to see through solid objects.
Now I don’t know about you, but this premise alone had me hooked as a youngster. The remaining pages melted away as I wondered if Mr. Sugar would have the patience and determination to learn this astounding skill, and what he would do with the power if he got it.
While “The Wonderful Story…” towers over the others in both size and ability to thrill, the accompanying six short stories pack a significant punch. From a true story of a man unearthing a fortune to an unforgettable tale of a hitchhiker with sticky fingers, young readers (especially boys) will be delighted. A landmark in my childhood of reading.
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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