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The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

The Magic Finger (original 1964; edition 1996)

by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,851362,037 (3.53)30
Showing 1-25 of 36 (next | show all)
A short enjoyable novella (or really short story) by Roald Dahl, is a nice version of his vicious moralizing as a family of hunters is forced to experience what it is like to be hunted--and unlike some other Dahl villains they end up redeemed by the experience. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
This was a really great book. I liked it because it was engaging for the reader and had a great message. I really liked how Roald Dahl keeps the reader interested the book right from the beginning. For example, when the Girl uses her magic finger when the boys went hunting, I wanted to know what happened to them. She talked about she “saw red” and then she could not control what happened. As a reader I wanted to quickly read through the book to see what was going to happen. The sentences were also very short. This let me read through the book quickly and it kept the action alive. For example, “ they had wings and no arms. And they were really tiny. They were about as big as robins.” Also, there weren’t a lot of long description paragraphs in the story, which also helped with being engaged in the book. The message of this story is important to the plot. This book really shows how terrible hunting animals can be and what it would be like if the roles were reversed. We need to be careful about what and who we hunt because we wouldn’t want to ever be hunted like that. ( )
  tsmith44 | Apr 10, 2014 |
okay. It seems maybe I should have read Roald Dahl as a child. I've not loved his books as an adult. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
This book shows the value of being given a second chance and taking into consideration how one's actions affect others. It is an imaginative and goofy story in true Dahl style. ( )
  jthuro1 | Oct 24, 2013 |
While I do agree that hunting is wrong ... I'm not sure that turning hunters into ducks is the solution. ( )
  AmberTheHuman | Aug 30, 2013 |
Ever got red hot angry about something and pointed your finger at the target of your anger? This is exactly what happens to an 8 year old girl who lives next door to the Greggs, Mr & Mrs Gregg and their 2 sons Phillip and William. The girl ( as she is known in the story) is angry with the way Mr Gregg and his sons recklessly shoot ducks. One day as she witnesses them shooting 16 ducks and ready to aim at another 4, she admonishes Mr Gregg for his cruelty, he in return tells her to get lost! Feeling so angry, in fact red with anger she points her finger at him and storms off home. Mr Gregg and sons continue to aim at the 4 ducks who fly back and forth taunting the Greggs. Try as they may they cannot hit them. Later on that night strange things happen for the Gregg family. When they wake up they find that their arms have become wings and the 4 ducks have arms and their places of habitat have been exchanged. The Greggs busy themselves building a nest while the Ducks make themselves busy making themselves at home in the Gregg house. After spending a stormy night in the nest, the Greggs come to the realisation that hunting is a cruel, needless act. Vowing to change their ways, they revert back to humans and the girl marches off to point her finger to another shooter she can hear in the distance. This book can be used to question the right to shoot or not to shoot and why? It would be a great starting point to bring up this debate. ( )
  rata | Aug 4, 2013 |
So Roald Dahl does political/social commentary for children. It seemed a bit one sided and manipulative.

So, anyway. It was cute - well done. It's my second Roald Dahl and I will read more and I will recommend them. I did like The Witches a lot more though. ( )
  Yona | May 2, 2013 |
More Dahl to amuse and distract - I love the warped flip-flop that Dahl does in this book. Is his moral really really overstated? Yes... but it's hilarious and absurd to make a point. ( )
  sriemann | Mar 30, 2013 |
This book was written back in 1966. In his typically offbeat way, Roald Dahl tackles an important issue that is still controversial and in the news today. ( )
  asomers | Feb 4, 2013 |
A great book about a young girl who has special magic powers and cannot control them, but uses them for the good of the environment. Teaches moral is in a very subtle way, good story/chapter book to read with older kids (3-4th grade) who will understand the lesson behind the story. ( )
  DonnaChoe | Jan 30, 2013 |
I love Roald Dahl but this book wasn't a favorite. It's content is a bit detailed for the younger readers. It is about a girl who has the power to punish people who make her mad and it's called "the magic finger." She doesn't have control over what it does or when it happens. It could potentially be used to compliment exploration of fantasy in second or third grade. ( )
  ColorBound | Dec 3, 2012 |
A young girl becomes angered by a neighboring family's sport hunting, so the eight-year-old girl turns her magic finger on them! This books is a fun and easy read for children and I would recommend it because it is a great way to get children involved in reading because the story is filled with comical scenes!
  Caitlin_Rinner | Oct 29, 2012 |
It's about a girl who has a magic finger and when she get upset she uses it and weird stuff happens. Her friends William and Phillip Gregg and their father love to hunt which she doesn't like so she used the magic finger and it turns the whole Gregg family into birds. The birds now have human qualities and take over the Gregg house and almost shoot the Gregg's until Mr. Gregg apologizes for killing their family and everything goes back to normal. ( )
  Gabe77 | Jan 29, 2012 |
  BRCSBooks | Dec 5, 2011 |
Be careful what you wish for as ducks are turned into hunters and hunters into ducks, great first chapter book for kids. ( )
  Alexandra1600 | Jul 24, 2011 |
(easy, chapter book, young reader, fiction) A young girl has a magic finger. Whenever she gets mad or is confronted with an injustice, her finger starts tingling and...blammo! She gives someone the magic finger, kind of like an evil eye. The recipient of the magic finger has the tables turned on them. In this story's case it is a family of hunters who spend the night being the ducks that they hunted the day before. When the new day dawns, the family becomes aware of what it must be like to be a hunted duck and vows to never hunt again. They are returned to their former human state. They even crush their guns with hammers and bury the ducks they shot the day before. A good story for helping children to develop empathy and understand that others have viewpoints that may be different from theirs.
  derbygirl | Jul 21, 2011 |
This is a story that a girl who is unnamed is telling the story of her life. She has a neighbor called Gregg's. Gregg's family likes to go hunting with their gun. But the girl hates when she sees that the Gregg's family come out of the wood with an animal. This girl has a magic on her finger. When ever she sees red she automatically uses her finger. The time when this girl saw Gregg's family coming out of the wood with an animal, she saw red, and she used her magical finger. But she did something wrong. The girl just wanted Mr.Gregg, Philip and William, but she accidentally put the magic on to Mrs.Gregg. That night Gregg's family was cooking the animal that Mr.Gregg, Philip and WIlliam hunted. After eating dinner Mr.Gregg and Mrs.Gregg were trying to get in bed. Then! Mr.Gregg's arm changed to a wing. That was the magic that the girl put on them. How will the Gregg family come back to human? ( )
  ywoo | May 10, 2011 |
It is funny. Not as good as some of the other Roal Dahl books but it is still good. ( )
  2pigs | Apr 13, 2011 |
The Magic Finger was a bit on the boring side because it is meant for younger readers, but it was quite funny too. ( )
  be252000 | Jan 2, 2011 |
Another classic Dahl, this book is filled with hilarious antics and lessons about right and wrong. Told from the perspective of an eight-year-old girl who “put the magic finger” on her neighbours for hunting birds, the book follows the Greggs as they shrink, grow wings, live like birds and deal with their farm being taken over by giant ducks. As per usual Blake’s illustrations add just the right amount of fun and the ending is satisfying and provides the reader with the sense that the magic finger wasn’t all that bad after all. ( )
  ChristineRobinson | Jul 31, 2010 |
"The Magic Finger" is the short story of a girl with an amazing talent. When she gets mad and starts to see red, her Magic Finger takes over and changes the people who upset her. When she can't maker her neighbors change their ways about hunting, her Magic Finger changes the family, giving them wings instead of arms, and changes four ducks, giving them arms instead of wings. Soon, the Gregg family finds themselves having changed places with the ducks who are now hunting them! Will they see the error of their ways and change back?

This story was pleasant enough. It was a quick read with many illustrations throughout. The fantasy element comes with the Magic Finger that transforms the Greggs into human birds. It allows for an interesting way to teach the lesson of the story, which is to consider the other person's perspective. Until they know what it's like to be hunted, the Greggs never considered how the animals they've killed feel. ( )
  SadieReads | Jul 26, 2010 |
Wonderful commentary on the idiocy of hunting. ( )
  tashabear | Apr 19, 2010 |
A young girl decides to teach her hunting neighbors a lesson. The hunters quickly find out what it feels like to become the prey. ( )
  bookworm12 | Mar 11, 2010 |
A new Dahl for the Dahlaholic in our household, and one he enjoyed immensely, reading most of it on a train trip to London, keeping quiet for the whole journey (a true sign of absorption!). ( )
  ForrestFamily | Oct 18, 2009 |
Re-read and always enjoyable. Our heroine's magic finger only activates when she is cross but the justice it deals out seems to know what it's doing.
  Black_samvara | Feb 26, 2009 |
Showing 1-25 of 36 (next | show all)

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Average: (3.53)
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2 29
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3 112
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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141322683, 0141333219

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