After being orphaned at the age of 4, James Henry Trotter goes to live with his only other relatives, the horrific Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge. The aunts force James to do all the work around the house, never give him treats, and refuse to let him play with other children. One day a mysterious stranger gives James some magical crystals, which James accidentally drops underneath a dormant peach tree. By the next morning, the tree has sprouted a peach as big as a house. When James investigates, he finds the giant peach inhabited by friendly talking insects, who help James leave behind his dreary life with his aunts forever. Paperback.