The early 1980s brought a new novel to the kids section: The BFG by Roald Dahl.
The BFG aka The Big Friendly Giant, was written by Dahl for his seven year old daughter Sophie, who had died of measles encephalitis in 1962.
The story had its premier within a previous novel, the 1975 book Danny, The Champion of the World.
In this fantastical story, the lead character is Sophie survives a car accident that has killed her parents and she’s now living in an orphanage.
One night, she can’t sleep and sees a strange sight – a giant with a trumpet. He notices her and takes her from the orphanage to his home in a cave. She’s afraid, but he reassures her that he is friendly and won’t harm her.
The giant tells her she cannot leave him, that his giant neighbours are dangerous and could harm her and that he gathers dreams with his trumpet and gives them to kids.
Sophie helps the giant to gather dreams, but they come into conflict with the other giants. She then enlists the Queen of England to help rescue The BFG and puts together a plan to thwart the evil neighbours from attacking humans.
The BFG was published in 1982 by Jonathan Cape in the UK and by Penguin Books in the US and Canada. Selling over a million copies a year, this novel remains one of Dahl’s most popular and has sold over 37 million copies in the UK.
In 1989 an animated adaptation of the novel was created for television. The BFG has been adapted for the stage and a theatrical live action production was done for film by director Stephen Spielberg in 2016.