I was just too old to read Dahl as a child (which means of course that I can't really judge his work as it should be judged).
I must admit to not liking all his stuff. There's a certain hand-rubbing enjoyment of downfall and revenge in some of his stories which sometimes makes me uneasy.
But, hey, Danny the Champion of the World, eh?
Boy means everything in the world to his dad, dad is hero to the boy. Nasty teacher (who doesn't really belong in the book, but such a gloriously nasty teacher is generally worth putting in) and a nasty landowner. Secret skills. and a plot to get revenge, but all with a skip of thrilling joy and delight to it.
(I've just opened the book to find a line to quote and discovered a sparrowhawk "hovering superbly in the darkening sky". Great line, pity sparrowhawks don't hover. Ah well.)
"This...book is about the most private and secret habit my father had, and about the strange adventures it led us both into."
How simple is that? But could there be a surer hook to pull us through the story right to the triumphant end?
Word To Use Today: secret. This word is from the Latin word sēcrētus, hidden, from sēcernere, to sift.