#NaNoWriMo: M is for… Matilda by Roald Dahl

“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”

– Roald Dahl, Matilda

I cannot think of a single book that celebrates the power of reading more than Matilda does. It is an exceptional book about a little girl whose life – despite some fierce challenges – is better because of the lessons she learns in her books. Matilda is Roald Dahl at his absolute best!

Matilda is a wonderfully whimsical story of a little girl with extraordinary abilities. At three years old, Matilda teaches herself to read. At four, she takes herself off to the local library and reads as many books as she can physically carry home. Born to parents who see her an inconvenience to their TV-obsessed lives, Matilda longs for the day when she can attend school. However, when she finally arrives, she is horrified to find herself the centre of Miss Trunchball’s wrath. Known for throwing little girls by their piggy tails and making small boys eat gi-normous chocolate cakes, she insists that Matilda is ‘a nasty little worm’ whose spirit must be crushed. The shining light of Matilda’s day is her teacher Miss Honey. She is a warm and kind person who loves to teach and adores her students. When Matilda discovers that she isn’t the only one Miss Trunchball picks on, she comes up with a plan to teach the unsuspecting adults in her life a lesson. Matilda proves that underestimating her is a very, big mistake!

Matilda is a classic Dahl story with his quirky and humorous writing enhanced by Quentin Blake’s hilarious drawings! Dahl’s story shares some really lovely messages, the best of them being that you really can do anything you put your mind to – literally! Lucky little Matilda is able to move objects with her mind to extract her revenge against her parents and the Headmistress! Dahl takes the magic found in the books Matilda reads and let’s her use it to her advantage. Books become Matilda’s weapon of choice; her learned knowledge and natural imagination help her to defeat her foes and help her friends too.

I have always loved this book and as a young girl, I used to pretend that I had Matilda’s magical powers. Dalh’s writing evokes some wonderful images and encourages children (and adults) to use their own imagination. No matter what age you read this book, or how many times you pick it up, it never loses that magic.

P.S. Have you seen there is a stage show in Aus based on the book?! I cannot wait for it to come to Melbourne next year!



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