While I used to read ‘The Twits’ before bed every night, that book remains my second favourite Roald Dahl story, following behind ‘Matilda’, unfortunately it isn’t a close call either. In my opinion, Matilda is bounds ahead of any other of his books for one simple reason, relatability.
A young girl that discovers the magic of a library to take her away from the dullness of reality, and her not-so-lovely family. Even their name is horrifying, Wormwood, a stark contrast in connotations to the lovely ‘Miss Honey’. I could always imagine myself as Matilda, constantly with a book in my hands and my nose in that book, finishing one story only to move straight onto the next. The only difference being that she could bring the magic to life that I could only read about, moving things with her mind and using those powers to make things right and fair in the world.
I couldn’t stand the heathen that was Miss Trunchball, I find myself likening her to Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter, the evil that you are going to face each day that you are school. Few children or teenagers have the arch-nemesis that is often depicted in books but any school child is likely to end up interacting with that one malicious teacher in their school that seems to hate everything about children, especially their presence. These are the characters that we have to hate on principle but Trunchbull goes above and beyond in causing this hatred, the Chokey and throwing kids from windows, but the symbolism is still strong. Unfortunately these teachers don’t seem to change even as you grow up, they still dislike you for the memory of you being a child in their care or simply because they hate EVERYONE, I still have to interact with the teacher at our school who scares the children and, quite frankly, she terrifies me as well without ever having taught me.
Matilda has historically taken me a couple of days to finish reading and that has maintained the truth as I read through the book over two evenings during the summer holidays from work. You do not have to be reading this all in one go, the chapters mean that you are able to easily split it into several nights reading if that is what you choose.
The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.
As you can probably tell, this is one of my favourite books, definitely my favourite book by Roald Dahl.
5 out of 5 stars
Accelerated Reader Information
Interest Level: MY
Quiz Number: 200186