Recently, my second grader had a school project, "All about me" which is a collage of who they are. She breezed thru all the usuals, "favorite food," "favorite subjects" etc., when it came to favorite book, I thought she'd pick something more recent like "A Christmas Carol" or one of Cam Jansen or Junie B. Jones, but with endearment in her eyes, she wrote "Boy" by Roald Dahl. I was quite surprise because she read this in first grade. In fact I read two chapters ahead of her so I would be able to explain anything that she didn't understand. I love the book, myself. I think it is told in a frank and sincere manner, without trying too hard to be nostalgic or sugary. I do think at times that Dahl can be very matter of fact about all the sad things that happened in his life, the death of his little sister, the death of his father, and also the realization that god and religion isn't what it's all cracked up to be, which ironic because he was educated in expensive religious institutions. You will find this in the later part of this book, when one day he was watching the news and saw the old, sadistic school master being crowned by the queen as the new Archbishop of Canterberry. Also, I had to explain what corporal punishment is and how it isn't used anymore and why children in olden days were being sent to live away from home in order to go to school. It also gave my six year old a chance to use her imagination on what's it like growing up in a different time in a different place. Ofcourse her favorite part is the dead mouse in the candy jar and all the really funny illustrations of Quentin Blake. If you have an older child, you could probably let her/him read this book alone, but if your child is between 5-7 years of age, it is best if you read a few chapters ahead, like I did so you can help them understand some of the more perplexing and strange parts about growing up A la Roald Dahl. Enjoy.