Danny lives with his father, William, in an old colorful gipsy caravan. They don’t have much money, but they own a filling-station and earn their money by repairing engines and selling petrol. Danny’s mum died when he was four months old, and they were left on their own.
Danny thinks his dad is the best a boy can get, but one night he figures his dad isn’t as good as he thought he was. He wakes up one night, but he can’t find his father. When William arrives, he tells Danny about an illegal, dangerous and exciting sport called poaching. Danny doesn't care about the danger, and listens to his father like he is a hero.
William was an excellent poacher when Danny’s mum was alive. When she died, William had to look after Danny instead of poaching. If you don’t know what poaching is, I’ll tell you now. In this book, poaching means going up into the wood and poach pheasants.
Danny’s father is poaching in Mr. Victor Hazell’s wood, Hazell’s Wood. Victor is a rich, frightening man who owns everything around, except the filling-station. Danny and William don’t like Mr. Hazell, and think it is okay to steal pheasants from him.
Next time William goes out poaching, Danny knows about it. William promises to be home by ten thirty, and Danny goes to bed early. He wakes up ten past two, but William is still in the wood. He understands that something is really wrong.
Danny takes one of the repaired cars, and drives it to Hazell’s Wood. Danny has some driving experience from the filling-station, and the drive goes fine. He parks the car and goes out looking for his father.
He finds William in a pit, and helps him up. At home they start planning the biggest and most dangerous plan ever.
Roald Dahl is a good writer, and he writes in a lively way. The language is uncomplicated, and you don't need much book experience to understand. He wrote the book through Danny’s eyes. It is therefore written in a childish way.
I think the book was okay, and the story was very good. I liked the balance between fantasy and reality. The relationship between father and son was touching. I loved the chapter Danny drove the Baby Austin to Hazell’s Wood. It wouldn’t happen in real life, but it isn’t impossible. The book’s contents fit together and give it a perfectly story.
I think the book needs more excitement and humor, because sometimes the book is a bit boring. Something I’ve missed is sentences to laugh at, or bite my nails in thrill.
I will recommend this book to girls and boys from five to ten years, but it’s okay to read it when you’re fifteen too. I think the perfect reader is a ten year old English boy. This book is perfect to read as a bedtime story from a father to a son.
I don’t think this is the perfect book for a normal teenager, because they need more excitement and challenge. If you like books with drawings and a lot of poaching, I think you’ll like this. If you like books with a lot of thrill and difficult words don’t do it!