Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Children’s Classic, Fiction, Fantasy
So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea.
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In Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story, bright little Matilda is constantly overlooked by her abusive parents, and seeks comfort in the many books of her local library. Things don’t get much better when she starts school – the wicked Miss Trunchbull loves to punish her students, and is quick to take a disliking to Matilda. Developing magic powers to put these rotten adults in their place, Matilda decides to get justice for those who have been ill-treated, including her new friend and favourite teacher, Miss Honey.
Though Matilda may be a children’s book, there is much to enjoy for young and old alike. You don’t have to be a child to fear the wrath of the Trunchbull, or to despise the fraudulant Mr Wormwood. The book is about being strong in the face of bullies, and Matilda is certainly a good role model for tackling these issues. Indeed, there are few bullies more villainous than Miss Trunchbull – her characterisation was incredible, and illustrator Quentin Blake does an excellent job of bringing her to life in his unique style.
The book is also wonderfully comical throughout, which is a trademark of Roald Dahl’s work. Dahl doesn’t hold back with his humour, and constantly laughs at adults – I liked that this really built a connection between the reader and writer. This is evident even in the first few lines of the book, which really sets a prescedent for things to come:
It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.
Magial powers, a tyrannous headmistress and a young teacher with a heart of gold – it is a story that transcends both age and time, and has been widely adapted to film, audiobook and theatre. It will be loved no doubt for many years to come. Roald Dahl specialises in empowering children, and there is a message in Matilda for readers of all ages – not to underestimate children, because they are stronger and far more capable than you know.
Star Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
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