Roald Dahl’s Matilda

Matilda, written by the well-known author Roald Dahl is a children’s novel. It was published in London by Jonathan Cape in the year 1988. All of us know that Roald Dahl is one of the very famous children writers and Matilda is one of the best books he has written.

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Matilda is a quick-witted little girl. At the age of 3 she teaches herself to read and by the age of four, she has already read all the children’s books available in the library. Matilda has cross parents who never get her. On one hand, her father questions her reading novels and instead forces her to watch television and on the other hand, according to her mother, “a brain never got a woman anywhere.” She is often ill-treated by her parents. Then after some time, she starts attending “Crunchem Hall Primary School,” where she befriends her kindergarten teacher. Dahl calls the headmistress of the school Miss Trunchbull, a “fierce tyrannical monster.” Matilda’s kindergarten teacher Miss Honey is dazzled by her smartness and is keen to hone her talents. She is inclined to promote her to a higher class as she has a uniquely sharp brain, but the “tyrannical monster” refuses to do so. Miss Honey tries talking to other teachers too but all of them are reluctant to help her out. Soon in the story, it is revealed that Miss Honey was raised by her cruel aunt which turns out to be Miss Trunchball herself. Matilda is often seen in the story planning and plotting against her parents and headmistress. She does various pranks on them, like bleaching her father’s hair, sticking them on his hat. Watching Miss Honey in distress and deprived of her inheritance which her aunt is not giving her, Matilda plans to help her out. She plays a telekinetic prank on her. Yes! Matilda knows telekinesis! The book continues and concludes with a happy ending.

There have been various movie and cartoon adaptations of Matilda and I am sure many people as children have watched them.

Matilda is a kind of novel which can attract kids easily as it depicts the little girl Matilda, the main protagonist as a clever and nimble-witted girl. Children love it when they read about characters that are about their age and are smart. It makes them feel elated and they start feeling smart themselves which is necessary to boost their confidence. It even teaches the elders that children should be treated nicely as sometime someday they might take revenge! And it is not just about revenge, children obviously need to be treated nicely. In 2012, a monthly magazine of the United States, namely School Library Journal had ranked Matilda at number 30 in all times children’s novels survey. It is no surprise to call this novel among the top children’s novels.

Image courtesy: thepulpzine.comThe Singapore Women’s Weekly

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One thought on “Roald Dahl’s Matilda

  1. The Past Due Book Review says:

    I remember watching the 1996 film adaptation of this story when I was a child, so to see it was written by Roald Dahl just places it higher up on my list of good children’s stories. I agree that it is empowering and encouraging for children to read about other kids their age taking action and helping other while, like any great children’s story, carrying a lesson that can be applied to adults as well. Fantastic review!

    Liked by 1 person

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